Match of the Day pundit Micah Richards placed the blame for the 2-1 defeat Leeds United suffered against Everton at the feet of Pascal Struijk.

He said the young centre-back was guilty of “not doing the basics correctly” for the first goal and that gave Everton the confidence to go on and claim all three points.

Talking about the first goal on Match of the Day after the game, Richards said, “They played so well Leeds but they’re just not doing the basics correctly. If you just look, Struijk here is playing Digne onside.

“But if you make a mistake it’s not a problem here. The ball comes in and he needs to be five yards across to stop the ball coming in.

“Granted Cooper should do better chasing his man there but he’s made two mistakes and he’s cost his team the first goal and that gave Everton the confidence to go and win the game.”

Learning curve

We think Leeds were unlucky not to get anything out of the game last night and Struijk almost made amends for the first goal with a header that Robin Olsen saved well.

Marcelo Bielsa thought that Leeds did enough to win and deserved at least a draw out of the game and watching it, it was hard to disagree with that.

However, Understat had the game at 1.14 v 1.92 in terms of xG.

Either way, it was a close-run thing and you could see by the way Carlo Ancelotti celebrated the three points at the end that he knew his side had been in a game.

For Leeds, safety in the Premier League is all we need this season and we’re probably only three wins away from that.

Aside from that, this is a learning curve and we’re not going to criticise Struijk too much for his part in the defeat.

He’s still young, he’s still learning his trade and he’s up against the best in the country.

In other Leeds United news, Leeds 21y/o applies for passport, set for place in top int’l squad for WC quals in March

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