By George Overhill

26th Nov, 2022 | 8:45pm

Leeds United man Rasmus Kristensen blamed for Kylian Mbappe goal by Graeme Souness

Rasmus Kristensen was blamed by Graeme Souness for losing the game for Denmark on Saturday, as the Leeds United defender was “ball-watching”.

France forward Kylian Mbappe got in between the Whites defender and Kasper Schmeichel at the back post to get on the end of an Antoine Griezmann cross to score his second of the night in the second group game (26 November).

The 86th-minute strike secured a 2-1 win the holders to make them the first nation through to the knockout rounds, and Ally McCoist was far more charitable in praising the French sensation rather than blaming the Whites man.

Speaking live on the ITV match commentary McCoist said (26 November, 5.23pm): “I don’t know how many times I tell you, he’s on the move and he deserves his goal. He’s just alert and he moves a split second ahead of everybody, and it’s too late for Rasmus Kristensen to react.”

But Souness, part of the ITV pundits panel, said following the final whistle (5.33pm) after blasting Adrien Rabiot’s defending for Denmark’s equaliser: “It was more of the same for the winning goal, ball-watching from Kristensen.”

“Keen your eye on the Danish player, Kristensen, at the bottom here. He has a look so he knows where Mbappe is and that’s the only look he has. He just loses him. He’s got to be more aware of what’s going on round about him.”

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It is hardly a capital offence to be bested by arguably the best attacking player in world football, but the Leeds United full-back did lose track of him for the crucial second.

Thankfully there aren’t too many players of the PSG star’s calibre for Kristensen to come up against in the Premier League, as the Whites are having enough problems in defence at the moment.

Souness is rarely one to make allowances and he wasn’t in the mood for making any for the defending by either team in this game.

Having drawn their opening game 0-0 against Australia, Denmark face a difficult task to make it out of the group now.

Jesse Marsch might not mind too much though if it means he gets one of his summer signings and regular starters back sooner rather than later.

The American is surely hoping for some defensive reinforcements in the January transfer window, but whether he gets them or not he will know he needs to get a lot more from the players currently in his squad, so work on the training ground before the return to league action will be vital.

In other Leeds United news, the club have identified one player currently at the World Cup as the ideal man to solve one key issue in the squad and are ready to sign him in January or the summer.