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Leeds Player Ratings - Birmingham 1 - 0 Leeds

A terrible match between two teams that played badly, the better team nicked it in the end.

Brentford v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Leeds United lost 1-0 at bottom of the league Birmingham City having put in what can only be described as an abysmal performance. A neutral fan would have fallen asleep watching this match, it was terrible. The recent victories over Hull City and Burton Albion were not particularly good but this performance really had the look of a tired team, and with another match in two days, that is a real worry. However, Leeds are still in the play-offs and results like this do happen every now and then. It is hardly time to panic.

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 - Not much to do, and his distribution was poor. Made one excellent save at 0-0 but should have done better with Jota’s shot which lead to Maghoma’s goal. As always, goalkeepers get punished for mistakes. 5/10

Luke Ayling - Going to keep saying it, as are so many Leeds fans, Luke Ayling needs a rest. He is a really good full-back, but isn’t in great form at all. More of the same from him today. Passing wasn’t up to the standards of last season, got caught ahead of the ball too much and got caught too far inside at times too. Not particularly terrible but he is not the same player as last season. 5/10

Pontus Jansson - Man Of The Match by a mile today. Won everything in the air, defended excellently in one against one situations and he was one of the only players whose passing was up to scratch. Made one error which gave David Davis a chance but he was the one player who I could say had a “good” game. 7.5/10

Liam Cooper - Did ok. A couple of errors but nothing too major. Picked up a yellow card taking a needless chance next to the box but didn’t do anything that gave Leeds too much of a problem. 5.5/10

Gaetano Berardi - Captain for the day on his 100th appearance for Leeds United and had a similar level of match to usual captain Liam Cooper but then made a key mistake. Struggled to deal with Maghoma’s runs in behind before he switched to the Birmingham left. Made a bad mistake for the goal. backed away from Jota on the edge of the box and gave him lots of space to shoot which is terrible considering everyone knows how good Jota is. 5/10

Conor Shaughnessy - A selection no-one was really expecting with Ronaldo Vieira and Eunan O’Kane missing through injury. Unfortunately, didn’t have a particularly stand out game but wasn’t terrible either. Was picked due to his height and he did win a lot of headers but his passing was not anywhere near the level you need from a central midfielder. I know he has always been considered a central midfielder, but he looks way more comfortable when playing as a centre-back. Wouldn’t be back in a midfield two any time soon. Leeds main failing today was the midfield were dominated all game, that has to be on the shoulders of him and Kalvin Phillips. 4.5/10

Kalvin Phillips - The senior partner of today’s midfield. Leeds lost the midfield battle today and that is what lead to such a poor performance. Managed to get a couple of shots away but his tackling wasn’t near his usual level and his passing was poor. Nothing really between him and Shaughnessy. One of his off-days. 4.5/10

Pawel Cibicki - His most anonymous performance since his return to the first team. Had very little effect on the game and I would expect him or Alioski would drop out of the side for the visit of Nottingham Forest on New Years Day. 4.5/10

Pablo Hernandez - Tried his best to create stuff and succeeded with a couple of openings. Had one chance where he should have played Roofe through on goal but he overhit the pass and had Leeds’ best chance when David Stockdale saved his shot from the inside left channel onto the crossbar. Wasn’t at his best but one of Leeds’ better players on the day. 6/10

Ezgjan Alioski - Similar to Cibicki, had very little effect on proceedings, scores a notch higher because he managed a little bit more defensive work. 5/10

Kemar Roofe - A poor game for Roofe. Some mitigating circumstances as he got very little service and that always makes a lone striker role difficult. However, didn’t hold the ball up well enough when he did get it and seemed to be giving up on his runs early. Another who looked tired and way well drop to the bench for the Forest match on Monday. 4.5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Samuel Saiz (For Cibicki, 55mins) - Made a difference when he came on despite not being at his best, Leeds just look so much more of a threat with him on the pitch. Gave the ball away a bit too much, but nearly laid on a goal for Hernandez. As he is fit he must return to the starting line-up for the next match. 6/10

Mateusz Klich (For Phillips, 68mins) - He’s alive, not that he showed much life on the pitch. His ball retention was an improvement on both Shaughnessy and Phillips but there was no penetration to the passing, all sideways and backwards. Vernon Anita must wonder what the hell he has to do to get a game in midfield. 5/10

Pierre-Michel Lasogga (for Alioski, 85mins) - Was chucked on after Birmingham’s goal. Had one half-chance that hit couldn’t quite hit. Being thrown on in bad situations a la Jay-Roy Grot earlier in the season. 5/10