Leeds United cruised to a 3-0 victory against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Friday evening, with Patrick Bamford scoring a hattrick.
Marcelo Bielsa was forced into a defensive reshuffle, with Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente joining Kalvin Phillips in being ruled out.
Ezgjan Alioski was drafted into the side, moving Luke Ayling into the middle of the defence to partner Robin Koch at Villa Park.
Despite a breathless first half, it was goalless at the break. Leeds took the lead through Bamford, who tapped home after a great team move. He then smashed home two great finishes to seal the three points and send Leeds third.
MOT Leeds News have handed their player ratings below…
Illan Meslier – 7
After a first half in which he had very little to do, Meslier made a number of great saves including a reflex dive to keep out Ezri Konsa from a corner. He got another well-earned clean sheet with his defence also putting in the work.
Stuart Dallas – 7
After a switch of side in defence, Dallas was handed the job of watching Jack Grealish. He certainly struggled at times but in true fashion, he stuck in there. Sticking in there gave him a much-easier second half in which he dominated the Villa captain.
Luke Ayling – 8
It was a massive ask of Ayling to step up in Cooper’s absence. Taking the armband once again, the right-back was superb to keep Villa at bay throughout the end-to-end clash.
Robin Koch – 8
The summer signing is getting better with every single game. Bielsa will be delighted with his performance once again, with Ollie Watkins hardly getting a sniff.
Ezgjan Alioski – 7
The Macedonian earned his first start of the Premier League era in this one, and he was hot and cold throughout the clash. Defensively, Alioski was solid but his passing was all over the place at times. He did improve that aspect in the second half and never stopped running.
Pascal Struijk – 4
With Phillips missing, the colossal youngster was pushed into the role he played in towards the end of last season. An early booking for a foul on Jack Grealish hampered him, and he was replaced after 20 minutes.
Mateusz Klich – 8
The Polish international was forced into a position change early on after Struijk’s substitution, although he did it well. Klich is brilliant at picking out those spaces to exploit and was superb at being that senior head in midfield.
Helder Costa – 7
It was a much-quieter evening for Costa, but he did his job well enough when coming back too. With Grealish down that side, he was tasked with getting back to support Dallas and he did that well enough. He got his assist for Bamford’s third and that was his reward for the night of tireless work.
Jack Harrison – 8
Nearly everything went down the left for Leeds on Friday, and Harrison was putting in overtime down that side. The winger worked well with Alioski and was unlucky not to get an assist in the first half. He continued impressing and played a massive part in the first goal.
Rodrigo – 9
Rodrigo is slowly getting better the more he plays and is proving he can be that focal point in the playmaker role. Some of his decisions were questionable, but as he gets sharper, he will only get better. He also played a massive role in the first goal and tormented Luiz all evening.
Patrick Bamford – 10
It was another night against a tough defence, but Bamford did well. After missing a couple of chances he sprang to life in the second half. His first goal was a smart finish from a rebound, but his second was simply out of this world. After one touch on the edge, he curled home a worldie into the top corner. Could it get better? Of course, he sealed his hattrick with another cracking finish.
In other Leeds United news, many Whites fans blown away by latest Thorp Arch news
Be sure to follow MOT Leeds News on Facebook for 24/7 updates on the Whites and more exclusive content with Paul Robinson.