Jamie Carragher delighted by what Diego Llorente did for Leeds United that so many others don't
Jamie Carragher was delighted to see the composure on display in the build up to the last-gasp Leeds United equaliser against Brighton.
Pascal Struijk nodded in a Joe Gelhardt cross in injury-time to snatch a vital point at the death at Elland Road on Sunday (15 May), and the former Liverpool hero was “really impressed” that United didn’t panic in the build up.
He singled out defender Diego Llorente for having the presence of mind to clip the ball over to Gelhardt as the ball came out to him just outside the area, and praised him for avoiding “the worst thing” that defenders repeatedly fall for in that situation of getting over excited and blasting a shot into the crowd.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football (7.23pm) Carragher said: “The last two games it’s been a mess. They’ve lost their heads completely, no composure at all.
“The thing that was really interesting about this game was the actual composure they showed in the last minute of the game. There’s always going to be a little bit of madness, 92nd-minute, you need a goal.
“But two or three times within this move not panicking means they get a point from the game.
“The thing that really impressed me here was… just as he’s coming in now, Llorente.
“How often I see games when I see a centre-back come in and smash that. And the crowd are shouting ‘Shoot’ and it’s the worst thing. Honestly, when I see a defender do it I get so wound up.
“He doesn’t take a stupid shot. Shows great composure, plays a nice pass.”
The plaudits will unsurprisingly go to Joffy for the outrageous skill he displayed inside the area to lay on the assist, but Llorente has been rightly lauded for his role.
It was a genuine surprise to see the 28-year-old cut back and look for the pass when it is so common to see the defender in that situation view himself as the hero and attempt to smash a long-range shot into the net.
While that does occasionally work, the chances are that it will end up in the crowd, and if the former Real Madrid man had done that at Elland Road then the club would probably be heading out of the Premier League now.
As it is they have a chance, albeit a small one, with that point lifting them out of the relegation zone.
Burnley’s game in hand offers them the chance to condemn the Whites to the Championship but that is no certainty.
Llorente has been a strange player to assess this year, as he has played calamitous roles in various goals conceded, and in fact hardly covered himself in glory for Danny Welbeck’s opener at the weekend.
But at other times he has been crucial to valuable points, as he was alongside Liam Cooper in the 3-0 win over Watford (9 April).
Having been brought in for relatively big money he is one of a number whose effectiveness has arguably not matched their fee.
But if he can chip in with a crucial involvement on the final day like he did at the end of this dramatic draw it would help to justify the outlay.