Leeds United stayed on top of the Championship table today with a 3-2 win over Ipswich Town. While the club at times looked like it’s normal, dominate self, Ipswich did well to disrupt the pressure passing game that Leeds like to play and were able to stop Wiedwald’s distribution from the back.
Christiansen on the passing between Wiedwald and the defence: "It's something we need to work on. Ipswich saw what we were doing." #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) September 23, 2017
Despite the two goals conceded, it was still a good win over a stubborn top six side and showed a lot of fight in the club to come back and score right away to retake the lead after Ipswich had equalized.
Without further ado, here are the grades.
Felix Wiedwald: Appeared off in his passing for much of the match. An example of his day was in the second half when he was forced to put the ball into the air from the back, instead of his usual throws or passes on the floor, and an Ipswich player was able to win possession back, leading to a shot on goal that Wiedwald had to extend to catch in the air and ended up on his back. Not really at fault for the first goal, but probably could have done better job of controlling the shot/cross into the box from Iofra that resulted in the second Town goal. Made some decent saves, but not his best game for Leeds. 6/10
Luke Ayling: Had a number of excellent clearances and tackles on the defensive end and did well to support Gjanni Alioksi going forward. It’s telling that his excellent performances sometimes bring a shrug from supporters, as we’ve come to expect him to be fantastic. 8/10
Conor Shaughnessy: The boy’s a bit special, isn’t he? Had a number of good blocks on the defensive end and provided the great through ball that set Lasogga free for the opening goal of the match. Solid all day for Leeds. 8/10
Liam Cooper: Another solid, if unspectacular, performance from Cooper. The team missed Pontus Jansson’s heading ability at corner kicks, but it’s Cooper’s fault that Jansson was out. Did a good enough job in the final minutes to keep the scoreline 3-2. 7/10
Vurnon Anita: It’s been a worrying trend to see Anita getting burned by opposing wingers, as Ipswich seemed to get the memo from Millwall on how to break down the Leeds defence. He was rightly subbed off in the 60th minute for Gaetano Berardi. While Anita did have a wonderful clearance off the goal-line to deny Ipswich a goal, it was his mistake that lead to the corner in the first place. He gave up a number of free-kicks and corners and looked off the pace. 5/10
Eunan O’Kane: Dug in and was one of the better performers in the match. Did well passing the ball and rarely gave up possession. His play this season has made almost everyone wonder why he never got into the team last season when Garry Monk was in charge. 7.5/10
Kalvin Phillips: His goal was an absolute back-breaker for Ipswich. Played into the box by Samu Saiz, he latched onto the ball, dribbled past the outstretched Ipswich keeper and slotted the ball home from a very tight angle. Did well to make life difficult for Ipswich going forward at times. His goal came at such a crucial time in the match and really stopped the momentum of Ipswich after they scored. Man of the Match for me. 8/10
Gjanni Alioski: Showed flashes of brilliance, but also seemed a tad off when going forward at times. A few stray balls that are atypical of the winger, and while his pace caused Ipswich problems, couldn’t really provide the final ball to create anything. Should have passed instead of shooting in the second half, but still caused Ipswich fits. 6/10
63' Lasogga cushions the ball to Saiz to send him into the box, Chambers makes a last ditch challenge, to prevent him getting his shot away— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 23, 2017
Samu Saiz: Like O’Kane and Ayling, we’ve become spoiled to his ability on the ball that a good performance seems boring. Made a brilliant through ball for the 2nd goal and got free a few times in the box, only for an Ipswich player to block the attempts on goal. Maybe shouldn’t have taken an extra touch on his shot in the second half, but oh well. Almost put the match to bed with a shot that went just over the bar. 7.5/10
Pablo said he MEANT that corner goal: "Yes, I tried. I watched the goalkeeper, and his position was not good. So I thought I had a chance." pic.twitter.com/eE8GteIp67— Chris Taylor (@LUFCDATA) September 23, 2017
Pablo Hernandez: Did some good interplay on the ball with Saiz, but really doesn’t have the ability to get back and help out on defence. His “goal” was counted as an own-goal for the Ipswich keeper Bartosz Białkowski, which might be a bit harsh on the keeper, as he was standing inside the net when he dropped it, but still had a decent performance. Was subbed off for the more defensively responsible Stuart Dallas in the second half. He can’t really go 90 minutes every week and probably can’t be counted on to play a lot of matches with midweek games, but still a good performance from the Spaniard. 7/10
Pierre-Michel Lasogga: Took his goal brilliantly in the first half to open the scoring and was a threat the whole time he was on the pitch. Showed good ability to not only get into space in front of the goal, but also tracked back and helped out when the Whites were on the back foot defending. Another example of how he’s really too good for this division. 7.5/10
Gaetano Berardi (on for Vurnon Anita in the 60th minute): Seemed to shut off the supply from Ipswich’s right side once he came onto the pitch, but wasn’t asked to do much more than settle the match down at that point in time. Did well with O’Kane down the left-hand side to get some attacking moves going, but really just called upon to shut up shop. 7/10
Stuart Dallas (on for Pablo Hernandez in the 76th minute): Again, wasn’t called upon to do much besides shut up shop. Had some good passes, but also did yeoman’s work to track back and help to deny any more goals from Ipswich. 6.5/10
Jay-Roy Grot (on for PM Lasogga in the 86th minute): Had a cameo appearance at the end of the match. Not given enough time to really get into the match and Leeds were all about defending when he came on anyway. NA
As usual, if you think I’ve lost my mind or want to tell me how much you agree with the ratings, let us know in the comments or @ThruItAllLUFC on Twitter. MOT