Bamford leads the way, Klich disappoints - Leeds player ratings v Blackburn
Leeds picked up another three points on Saturday against Blackburn Rovers. The 2-1 victory was not enough to see them climb up the table, though, as they entered the international break sitting third.
The Whites dominated yet another game at Elland Road and while they didn’t blow Blackburn away, manager Marcelo Bielsa was still clearly happy with the efforts of his side.
Blackburn scored from a set piece after goals from Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison had given Leeds a two-goal advantage in the game.
Bielsa’s men enjoyed 67% possession and completed 261 more passes than their opponents on Saturday afternoon on their way to another win [SofaScore].
Here are the MOT player ratings…
1. Kiko Casilla – 6
Another game in which the Spaniard had pretty much nothing to do. That is a credit to his defence but he will be disappointed not to have kept a clean-sheet in quite a straight-forward win. Casilla’s distribution was solid and he collected most things that came into the box, even if there weren’t that many throughout the 90 minutes.
2. Luke Ayling – 5
Somewhat of an off-day for Ayling against Blackburn. The right-back was guilty of giving away possession many times throughout the game and it was his marking that gave Rovers their goal too, as he lost Derrick Williams who powered home his header. The 28-year-old was slammed by fans after the game and he will need to improve after the international break.
3. Liam Cooper – 7
If it wasn’t for the Scottish international having to leave the pitch injured, it would have been a much higher rating. The Leeds captain led by example once again and was phenomenal on and off the ball. Cooper bullied Sam Gallagher who is a handful on his day, but he was nullified by the Whites’ commanding defence. Hopefully not a serious setback.
4. Ben White – 8
We are running out of words to say about White, who once again was superb. His ability on the ball is starting to become more important than his work off it, but he reminded us all of that quality when making a vital tackle to halt the progress of Bradley Dack in the final 10 minutes of the game. The amount of long-diagonal passes he made in the game to put Blackburn on the back foot was pivotal at times, and his progression will be imperative to a promotion push this season.
5. Stuart Dallas – 6
A quiet afternoon for Dallas on Saturday. The Northern Ireland international went about his business effectively, but his decision making was questionable at times. The winger-turned-defender made countless runs forward on the ball and had a couple of opportunities where he should have found the target, but instead found the South Stand.
6. Kalvin Phillips – 7
Another week, another dominating performance in the heart of midfield. The prospect of Dack coming to Elland Road could have been a problem with his unquestionable ability on the ball, but Phillips bullied him for the majority of the game. His long ball to Patrick Bamford for the Jack Harrison goal was out of this world, and the freedom given to him in the heart of midfield is really getting the best out of him.
7. Mateusz Klich – 5
A new four-and-a-half-year deal signed on the morning of the game should have given Klich a kick in the right direction after a lacklustre start to the season, but it didn’t change much. Klich was ineffective for the majority of the game and seemed to just float around the pitch not getting on the ball in important areas. Klich has been pushed a little deeper with the introduction of Tyler Roberts, which should give him the chance to get in possession, but that didn’t happen – massively disappointing once again.
8. Helder Costa – 7
The summer signing still hasn’t set the world alight in Leeds, but he is definitely starting to show glimpses. Costa had the crowd on their feet countless times on Saturday, and Bielsa’s patience is starting to pay off. The Whites have missed pace at times in the past couple of seasons, and Costa gives that in bucket-loads. The goal involvements will surely start to flow for him soon and Saturday’s game could be the catalyst for the rest of the campaign.
9. Tyler Roberts – 6
After the Queens Park Rangers game, it was a disappointing afternoon for the Welsh starlet. Roberts did his best to get on the ball but it never seemed to click when he entered the final third. It may have been Ayling who lost his man for the goal, but it was Roberts who was caught in possession unnecessarily which led to the corner, and he will need to learn from that going forward.
10. Jack Harrison – 8
Is this the Harrison we all hoped to see? The Manchester City loanee is getting better as the weeks go on and he is starting to get the goals he deserves. Harrison was a frustrating figure last season, failing to be involved as much as we all expected, but after being involved in six goals in his last six games, he is starting to hit his best form. The second-goal scorer was one of the standout figures against Blackburn, and he is one of the first names on the teamsheet right now.
11. Patrick Bamford – 9
After his first goal since August, Bamford was untouchable for the Rovers’ defence. The sigh of relief was there to see for everyone when he found the back of the net from the spot, and there was no stopping him after. His ability to hold up the ball and interlink play in the final third was central in the win.
Gaetano Berardi (For Liam Cooper, 72 minutes) Coming on to face a potential barrage from a side looking to salvage a point is no easy task, but Berardi was solid for Leeds and didn’t put a single foot wrong in his 20-minute cameo. 7/10
Pablo Hernandez (For Helder Costa, 81 minutes) The Spaniard didn’t have much time to stamp his authority on the game but showed glimpses of class with a couple of great passes that split the Blackburn midfield in half. 6/10
In other Leeds news, 26y/o has got bottle – Three things we learned from Leeds in win v Blackburn