Leeds United played ok in the first half against a Derby County side that were nothing special at all and went in at the break with a 1-0 lead. There was some decent pressing and the much needed improvement from Friday’s performance appeared to be coming to fruition. Lasogga was more involved and took his goal well from Saiz pass.
Leeds were even alright for the first 15 minutes of the second half with Alioski putting in a decent ball and Saiz playing a wonderful ball through to Lasogga (who was just offside). Saiz then fired over after a 50 yard run (where he probably should have passed it).
Then Leeds decided to be Leeds. The last 30 minutes was weak both in stature and character. A team of scared footballers so worried about making mistakes that they end up making the same errors they have made in the last few games to condemn us to another defeat.
Andy Lonergan - Not many saves to make. Cleared a couple of corners well. Had no chance with the first goal and the second was from the penalty spot. An average game. 6/10
Luke Ayling - His passing was ok and his tackling was ok. He didn’t get forward particularly effectively by his standards. That’s the unimportant stuff out of the way.
First, here is some of what I wrote for Luke Ayling after the Sheffield United match.
“Far too slow getting back to try and prevent Brooks’ winning goal... Goal was almost a carbon copy of Mo Barrow’s goal for Reading which shows not learning from mistakes.”
This time, it wasn’t a ball played inside him when he was too far forward. This time, he ran forward 10 yards and 5-10 yard in field to try and make a tackle (from behind) in central midfield. This left a giant gap in his position which Craig Forsyth ran into and crossed for Sam Winnall to score. Keeps getting caught going too far forward, he is too good and too experienced a player to keep making simple mistakes like this. Ayling has now been at fault for 3 of the last 4 goals Leeds have conceded.
I also said this after the Sheffield United match: “When Berardi is back I think Ayling needs a rest for a couple of matches.”
I stand by it. 5/10
Rumour has it Ayling still hasn't got back in position for their first goal #lufc— kirbs (@liammkirby) October 31, 2017
Pontus Jansson - Solid enough game for the Sweden international. A couple of small errors but they didn’t cost anything. Much like Andy Lonergan, an average performance. Neither him or Pennington able to keep up with Winnall for his first goal but the real error had already been made. 6/10
Matthew Pennington - Similar level of performance to Jansson and therefore a vast improvement compared to his nightmare performance against Sheffield United. Made one terrific sliding tackle in the first half. 6/10
Pennington's defending okay, tracking runs well, but he lacks composure when he's near the ball. Ayling & Pontus much more confident. #LUFC— ETHAN (@EthanFromOnline) October 31, 2017
Stuart Dallas - Still an unfamiliar position for Dallas despite a few brief substitute appearances at left-back earlier in the season. Dallas had a solid game and looked more comfortable at left-back than Vernon Anita has lately. Not a long-term solution I wouldn’t think but has a decent chance of keeping his place. Especially as Berardi may need to be back at right-back with Ayling’s current form. 6/10
Dallas looking very accomplished at left back. Massively better than Anita with his attacking pace #lufc— Mike Whorley (@mikewhorley) October 31, 2017
Eunan O’Kane - Along with Vieira, struggled to assert themselves against an experienced midfield pairing in Tom Huddlestone and Joe Ledley. Played some very nice cross-field passes out to both wings at points. One of many who were solid but no better than that. 6/10
Ronaldo Vieira - Gave the ball away fewer times than his midfield partner, won the ball very well in midfield which gave Saiz the freedom to set up the opening goal. Slightly better than his midfield partner tonight. 6.5/10
We are crying out for a strong centre midfielder. We are so weak in there. Vieira the only one willing to put his foot in. #LUFC— Ben Smith (@BenSmith_7) October 31, 2017
Kemar Roofe - Very quiet night for Roofe, something he has had far too many of when he got on the pitch lately. Barely seemed to get a touch of a ball. Put in one good cross and tracked back without ever really having to do much defensively. Looked visibly frustrated at times, especially when Saiz turned down a couple of passes to him, one of which he should have played. 5/10
Roofe knackered himself out tonight doing absolutely nothing #lufc— StaceyC (@Lovellstacey) October 31, 2017
Samuel Saiz - Once again, by far the biggest threat on the pitch. Almost everything good that Leeds did went through him at some point. Great timing on the assist having moved inside with the ball to create the angle for the pass. Still had some moments where he wanted too many touches or ignored a pass to go himself but easily Man of the Match from a Leeds point of View. 7/10
Saiz’s run from in his own half was a thing of beauty if he’d have scored that I’d have been on the pitch #lufc— Armo #NH69 (@Jordan_Armo) October 31, 2017
Ezgjan Alioski - Got up and down the pitch well and helped out Stuart Dallas defensively fairly well. More involved than Roofe on the other wing but still quiet going forward. Said a lot about his involvement that with the team losing Thomas Christiansen subbed him off and no-one complained. Also, his set-pieces were terrible once again. 5.5/10
I just don't see what Alioski brings to the team...there I've said it #lufc— LS11 exile (@Ken_Bates_PA) October 31, 2017
Pierre-Michel Lasogga - A gigantic improvement on the last game but could still do better, and has previously done better. Was rightly castigated by the fans for his lack of effort in aerial situations on Friday but he won more than his fair share in this match, including some good work on defensive set-pieces. In the last game he won 4 aerial duels, in this game he won 13 (9 more than anyone else on the pitch). The problem was that there was no-one running in behind on to the balls he flicked on. Went close with a strike at the end and took his goal very well in the first half. Did look very tired by the end. Tied for second best behind Saiz for me. 6.5/10
Hadi Sacko (for Roofe, 75mins) - Somehow, quieter than Roofe going forward and defensively made a very stupid challenge which gave away a penalty (even though the tackle was outside the area). 4/10
When things are going bad, how are Sacko and Grot the answer? And hoofing the ball in panic? #lufc— Martin Garrity (@mjgarrity72) October 31, 2017
Jay-Roy Grot (for Pennington, 84 mins) - Again, I refer to my last player ratings article.
“Yes, he is only 19 and may well improve. Yes, he keeps coming on in tough situations. Does anyone see him scoring a goal? He is so big and well-built yet doesn’t seem strong on the ball or particularly good in the air.”
To be fair to him, a slight improvement on Friday, actually won a couple of headers but still very uneffective. 5/10
Pablo Hernandez (for Alioski, 84 mins) - Very tough situation to come on but gave the ball away constantly once on. Not his fault though really. 5/10
Last match I called out TC for taking off a right winger who was disciplined for one that wasn’t while our right-back is out of form. Today, he took off Kemar Roofe for Hadi Sacko on the right-wing and Sacko committed a stupid foul which (although it was a bad decision by the referee as it was outside the area) cost Leeds a goal at a crucial time. I said Luke Ayling isn’t learning from mistakes, well, neither is TC.