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Leeds Player Ratings - Leeds 1-0 Hull

A game where Leeds did not play well, but got a vital three points.

Cardiff City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

It is often taken as a positive sign when your team wins a game in which they don’t play well, at least I am going to look at it that way. Leeds United were not awful, no-one had an absolute shocker, but they were not anywhere close to their best and hopefully we will produce an improved performance next time out. Nothing wrong with getting a lucky win every now and then, and that is what we got against a Hull City side who look better since their change in Manager.

Time now to look at each player and how they performed. As always you can tell me how wrong I am @mightywhitespod or @ThruItAllLUFC on twitter.

STARTING LINE-UP

Felix Wiedwald - Decent argument that this was the best performance of the season for the German goalkeeper. Made a couple of crucial saves in the first half, his first save to deny Kamil Grosicki was absolutely top drawer and Leeds would not have got the three-points without his contribution. His distribution wasn’t quite at his best today and that was the one area he could have been slightly better. Tied for Man of the Match. 8/10

Luke Ayling - In the first half he struggled against the impressive Grosicki, he got in behind too easily and repeatedly but Leeds were let off by Hull continually playing poor passes when he had the chance to get in. In the second half he did much better and although Hull had lots of the ball second half I thought the whole defensive unit was very impressive. Ayling really looks like he needs a rest. 6/10

Pontus Jansson - Another fantastic performance from the Sweden international. Did well to cover a defence that started out a little bit ‘all over the place’ but after the opening 30 minutes started to nullify Hull’s threat. Both Jansson and Cooper covered well in behind each other which was important in dealing with the threat of Nouha Dicko in behind which Hull looked to exploit with balls over the top. His passing was good and he always looked composed on the ball. Shares the Man of the Match award with Wiedwald. 8/10

Liam Cooper - Similar story to Jansson. Was required to make a couple more tackles than Jansson but was less dominant in the air. Another clean sheet and he is now fully established as part of our first choice line-up, and appears to have been an excellent choice of captain. 7.5/10

Gaetano Berardi - One of his better left-back performances. Solid for the whole match and it said a lot that the majority of Hull’s dangerous moments came down Leeds’ right hand side. Some of his passing was poor but overall a good game. Lots of talk about Leeds needing a new left-back (including from Berardi himself), but if he plays like this every game we would be fine without one. 7/10

Kalvin Phillips - One of his poorer performances this season. Leeds really struggled to get on the ball and maintain control of the game, when that happens you have to look at the centre-midfielders. Not his usual self, less chasing around and making tackles than you would like to see. Thomas Christiansen said that Phillips “wasn’t 100%” before the match so we can certainly let one below par performance go. 5.5/10

Ronaldo Vieira - Better than his starting midfield partner but again has to be looked at for the lack of control Leeds exerted on the match. However, while his passing wasn’t up to scratch he battled well and regained possession well a few times, as well as looking strong in the air. 6.5/10

Pawel Cibicki - After two very impressive performances this was a drop-off. Didn’t do a great deal wrong but didn’t provide the amount of threat he did against QPR/Norwich. Worked hard though so can’t give him too much criticism. Wouldn’t be shocked if he was to drop to the bench against Burton, especially with Lasogga fit and Samu Saiz expected to return. 6/10

Pablo Hernandez - Had a big job on in his preferred “number 10” role with Saiz unavailable. Thought he was nowhere close to his best and that was one of the reasons Leeds struggled to assert any control on proceedings. However, he was gifted an opportunity by Alan McGregor’s mistake and he showed the quality we all know he has with an impudent chip over McGregor for the only goal. 7/10

Ezgjan Alioski - Similar story to Cibicki really. Wasn’t able to get on the ball enough in key areas but did a little more with it when he got there. Also got through a bit more work defensively than the other winger. 6.5/10

Kemar Roofe - A very tough day for Roofe. Can’t throw too much blame his way as he didn’t receive much service as long-balls were fired forward towards him which he never really had any chance with. Was a willing runner but some of the runs took him away from danger rather than creating it. Was his pressing that lead to McGregor’s mistake, although you can only give him a small amount of the credit for an error like that. Could well drop to the bench for the Burton Albion match on Boxing Day. 5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Eunan O’Kane (for Phillips, HT) - Didn’t provide the control which Leeds could have used but got through more defensive work than the man he replaced. Didn’t do enough to make me think he will start (unless Vieira/Phillips unavailable), but Hull found it more difficult to create openings with him on the pitch. 6.5/10

Pierre-Michel Lasogga (For Roofe, 77mins) - Won more in the air than Roofe but wasn’t dominant by any stretch of the imagination. Had one good effort at the end of the game. Not a criticism of Roofe but I think he will get the start on Boxing Day. 6/10

Matthew Pennington (for Hernandez, 90mins) - Went to 5 at the back to protect the lead as we did against Norwich. Wasn’t on long enough to give a rating. N/A