I don’t even know how to start rating today’s Leeds United performance. The first half saw the team booed off the pitch and deservedly so, 2-0 down after a display in which our back 4 looked like they had never met before. Liam Cooper was shown a red card for a challenge that was, at best, reckless. A central midfield that was totally overrun. The performance was horrendous, which made what followed even more surprising.
What followed in the second half was an unbelievably committed performance. Pierre-Michel Lasogga scored twice and Kemar Roofe scored to put 10-man Leeds in front. Leeds were playing with pace, and closing down all over the pitch and Millwall looked shellshocked.
Roofe and Lasogga were then removed due a combination of tiredness and injury but Leeds switching to such a defensive formation handed all the momentum back to Millwall and a goal from ex-Leeds player Tom Elliott and a fourth, massively deflected, goal scored by Jed Wallace condemned Leeds to a heartbreaking defeat.
Felix Wiedwald - Made some good saves in the first half which kept Leeds in the game while they were playing terribly. It sounds odd to say when Leeds conceded 4 goals but this was a fairly solid performance for the German goalkeeper, there were a couple of aerial balls that he maybe could have come for but on the whole this was a solid display. 7/10
Wiedwald kept Leeds in this either side of half-time. Big saves particularly before the break when it looked all over. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 20, 2018
Gaetano Berardi - Part of a back four that was ripped apart in the first half and lost his man at the back post for Aiden O’Brien’s goal. At half-time Leeds switched to a back 3 with De Bock and Alioski as wing-backs and Berardi looked far more comfortable, although this could be put down to Millwall suddenly being on the back foot after Leeds great start to the second half. Certainly not his best day. 5/10
Pontus Jansson - First half, lacked composure, lost his man on several occasions, failed to exert any control on Leeds defensive performance. Picked up a yellow card for a poor tackle just after Cooper’s red and his temper was clearly gone as it took three Leeds players to stop him talking his way into further trouble.
Second half, Massive improvement and was able to get back to his normal self, suddenly able to get on the end of some of the aerial balls that Millwall were dominating. Overall, not his best game but pulled it back in the second half. 6.5/10
Liam Cooper - Before the red card he was just as terrible as the rest of the defenders were in the first half. Then, having miscontrolled a ball he goes steaming in to midfield and mistimes his challenge. He didn’t make much contact but in truth he was high and nowadays you cannot make a challenge like that and be shocked to see a red card. It is one that is worth appealing but it is the second time this season that Liam Cooper has made a rash decision, got sent off, and possibly cost Leeds United valuable points. A bad day for the skipper who will probably be banned for 4 matches now. 1/10
I rate Cooper as a good championship defender, he’s a leader of men but it’s the second time this season he’s been sent off in the first half and that’s pretty unforgivable, especially for the captain #lufc— Sean G (@SeanyGee) January 20, 2018
Laurens De Bock - An inauspicious debut for Leeds’ first player from Belgium. Won a couple of decent slide tackles and showed some nice touches in possession. He also provided the cross which lead to Leeds’ second goal (although there was a giant goalkeeping error before Roofe poked the ball home). However, both Millwall goals in the first half came from crosses from the area he should have been defending and he was not quick enough to get out to the ball on several other occasions too. Has some potential but will need to improve. 5/10
Ronaldo Vieira - Was the player sacrificed after Cooper’s red card and rightly so. Was having a really poor game where he seemed to be yards off the pace. Lost possession a lot and wasn’t his usual self in winning the ball back. Didn’t look like he was fit enough to be on the pitch following his injury to be honest. Poor. 4.5/10
Vieira absolutely shocking today clearly not fit ! #lufc— Andrew Harvey (@AndrewHarvey_) January 20, 2018
Kalvin Phillips - Passing was poor much like Vieira, and the game seemed to pass both of them by in the first half. In the second half there was a massive improvement as he got around the pitch a lot more but he still wasn’t at his best. Won a fair few balls in the air to give him credit. Picked up a yellow for kicking the ball away and will miss the next two matches through suspension. Big games ahead for Vieira and the new man Adam Forshaw. 5/10
Ezgjan Alioski - Main problem today was his decision making. Had a couple of shots when there was a better option available and even when he did make the correct decision he was often too slow to do so. In the second half he worked really hard in a right wing-back role and got up and down the pitch really well until the last couple of minutes when his gas tank started to run low. Not his highest quality performance but cannot fault the effort. 6/10
Quite enjoyed Alioski and De Bock as WB’s in the back 3 during the second half... if we’re thinking of a mini reset that system could potentially be quite effective #lufc— Tom Banks (@tombanksUK) January 20, 2018
Kemar Roofe - Surprisingly played more central with Pablo Hernandez moving out wide, in the first half he did not get close enough to Lasogga so when he did win the ball in the air it just fell to a Millwall player. Not a great first half but in the second half he was great. His pull back for Lasogga’s first goal was perfect and he showed good tenacity to grab himself a goal after a goal mouth scramble to put Leeds level. Came off due to tiredness and Leeds certainly missed him once he was off the pitch. 8/10
Roofe off. Done very well. Goal and an assist. Job done mate, job done. #lufc— The Scratching Shed (@TSSLUFC) January 20, 2018
Pablo Hernandez - His passing was on point for most of the game and he could easily have had a first half assist but for a poor header from Lasogga. Was on the ball more often than any other Leeds player despite having to drop into a deeper role at times following Cooper’s red card and Vieira’s substitution. Set up Lasogga for his second goal and continued to try and fill the void left by Samu Saiz’s indiscretion at Newport County. 7.5/10
One thing that we need to happen is to see Pablo Hernandez signing a new Contract! #lufc— Chris Gamble (@CGamb15) January 20, 2018
Pierre-Michel Lasogga - Performances like today’s are why I find it so infuriating when we see Lasogga not moving and not looking a threat, he clearly has plenty of ability. Even in the first half he was playing fairly well today, he missed two good chances (the first one being a header that he absolutely had to score) but his movement was markedly improved and he was winning plenty of balls in the air. Then in the second half not only did he score two good goals, the second being a tremendous finish, he also provided Leeds with a great outlet to relieve the pressure. His hold up play was good and some of his lay-offs to players running off him were great. His removal coincided with Leeds conceding the territory to Millwall and although the substitution was due to injury, maybe another attacking player coming on could have helped Leeds take some of the pressure off a defence that was really tiring and starting to struggle. Man of the Match. 8.5/10
Agree we need to add another quality striker to the squad but that's 7 goals in 11 starts for Lasogga.. Not a bad record in the championship.. #lufc— TheCheeseWedgeAssassin (@TCWA_LUFC) January 20, 2018
Matthew Pennington (For Vieira, 43 mins) - Not on until Leeds were already 2-0 down. In the second half when Leeds switched to three centre-backs he looked very comfortable on the right side of defence. He really looked good making some good challenges when Leeds were in trouble. He even had some good overlapping runs down the right hand side which gave Leeds a good outlet. Will now get his chance in the starting line-up you would think and if he plays like he did today he may well stay in there. 7.5/10
Pennington’s a top notch Championship player. Don’t know he was binned after the Sheffield United game. Most players on the park were poor that evening. Add Forshaw and Saiz to this side and we’re cooking ln gas. #lufc— The Lowfields (@TheLowfields) January 20, 2018
Stuart Dallas (for Roofe, 74 mins) - Came on with Leeds 3-2 up and made some nice runs and showed some tidy passing. However, he gave the ball away from a simple throw-in in a terrible area when Leeds were under mounting pressure, Millwall broke and scored the winner. Unfortunately, mistakes like that cannot be ignored. 5/10
Players looked devastated. Dallas gave the ball away from a throw, Millwall broke and Leeds were stretched. Wallace forces in a deflected shot. The phrase rhymes with clucking bell. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) January 20, 2018
Conor Shaughnessy (for Lasogga, 82 mins) - Was brought on to sure things up and help cope with the aerial bombardment coming from Millwall. He unfortunately did neither of those things. Almost nicked an equaliser at the death once he pushed forward but unfortunately his shot was saved by Jordan Archer. 5/10