By Joe Ellis

2nd Oct, 2022 | 5:11pm

Sky pundit slams Liam Cooper for awful moment in 1st half of Leeds United v Aston Villa

Leeds United rode their luck on more than one occasion in the first half of their Premier League encounter at home to Aston Villa.

One moment which had Whites fans’ hearts in their mouths was when returning defender Liam Copper gave the ball away near his own goal and Philippe Coutinho very nearly punished them with the finish.

But the Brazilian lost his footing at the wrong time and Sky Sports commentator Andy Hinchcliffe did not hold back on the Leed United captain.

“Leeds’ problems begin with a really poor defensive header by Liam Cooper,” he said [Sky Sports Premier League 16:47, 2 October]. “That header back down the pitch just gifts the ball back to Villa.

“Just head the ball out of play or take it down. It’s risky. Coutinho actually loses his feet and that’s the problem, if he stays on his feet he might have been able to tuck that rebound home.”

Rusty

This is Cooper’s first start for quite some time so it is not surprising that he has not quite managed to keep up with the pace of such a ferocious game so far.

Most things he has managed to deal with enough to cope but there have been moments where you can tell this is his first game for a while but Jesse Marsch doesn’t have much of a choice.

The American coach is sat in the stands for this game, due to his sending off against Brentford nearly a month ago when the Whites last played in the Premier League, knowing that it was either him or Diego Llorente, who has been very under par so far this season.

He had to make changes after the humiliation in the capital in September and he has done just that but Cooper has to get himself much more into the game and alert than he has been so far.

In other Leeds United news, this South American coach spent a month at Thorp Arch and could not speak highly enough of everything he experienced.