By Daniel Feliciano

21st Feb, 2022 | 12:00pm

'Best player on the pitch' - Woodgate praises Adam Forshaw for second-half display vs Man Utd

Adam Forshaw was “the best player on the pitch” in the second half as Leeds were beaten 4-2 by Manchester United, according to former defender Jonathan Woodgate.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side found themselves 2-0 down at half-time, before fighting back to level the game thanks to two goals in 24 seconds of game time, before eventually succumbing to their fierce rivals.

But according to Woodgate, who was working as a pundit on BBC Match of the Day 2, the huge second-half improvement came thanks to a change of positions for Forshaw.

“I went to the game and that’s what I was thinking. ‘Are these Leeds players going to put a tackle in?’. I’ll tell you what, they did,” he said.

“When they came out in that second half, they didn’t half. Look at the passion and what they want to do. They’re getting close to people, they’re creating chances. The conditions were brilliant for it.

“Look at this Stuart Dallas tackle, look at the fans’ reaction. Forshaw, in. This is what Leeds fans want to see.

“Pogba was really dictating the game. I think Forshaw found it really hard to play against Pogba. But when Forshaw went back into being the number six, he was the best player on the pitch.”

Comeback

Forshaw’s return to first-team action and excellent form has been one of few positives in a relatively poor season.

After two years of injury hell, he has returned to the team and immediately adapted to the pace of the Premier League and the style of Bielsa.

His move into a deeper midfield role against Man United saw Leeds get more control of the game and while the goals came relatively quickly and with a bit of luck, they were much better as a unit.

Forshaw was initially brought into the team in place of Raphinha in midfield, playing in a two alongside Robin Koch but he struggled with the physical and technical qualities of Pogba.

In a deeper role, he was able to read the game more and not go directly against an opponent, in a position that suited him more. Maybe something for Bielsa to look at going forward?

In other Leeds news, Phil Hay: Marcelo Bielsa & Raphinha held private talks this week before Leeds XI snub v Man Utd