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Leeds Player Ratings: Leeds 1 - 0 Reading

Far from a vintage performance, but another important win

Leeds United v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

A late penalty save from Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell ensured Leeds United picked up another 3 points against Reading FC.

Leeds never got going in the first half and manager Marcelo Bielsa made two half-time substitutions which improved the performance. Leeds managed to grab the lead through Stuart Dallas’ first goal of the season making it a fine day overall for Leeds’ Northern Irish contingent.

Leeds had been the better side throughout without hitting their stride. Then, with about 5 minutes remaining, a panic set in among the players. A foul on Southampton loanee Josh Sims gave Reading the perfect chance to equalise but BPF made a terrific save to his right to keep Leeds in front and guarantee the 3 points.

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

Bailey Peacock-Farrell - Made a good save from a clever long-range free-kick by Leandro Bacuna. Other than one good smother when coming off his line, that was about all he had to do between minute one and the 89th minute.

His save from Marc McNulty’s penalty was tremendous and a fantastic response to the criticism he received following the game against West Bromwich Albion. A penalty save and a clean sheet is always going to score highly. 8/10

Stuart Dallas - Better defensively and was more successful in the tackle. Some good work in possession and showed his attacking instincts to get in at the back post for the only goal. Has bounced back well from his West Brom performance. 7.5/10

Kalvin Phillips - Another really good performance from Phillips. Played the full 90 minutes as a centre-back and looked as if he had been playing that position his whole life. Good in possession, very impressive in the air, has become indispensable. Just sneaks ahead of BPF and Liam Cooper for Man of the Match. 8.5/10

Liam Cooper - Made several really good tackles and held the defence together during Leeds’ panic during the last 5-10 minutes. Kept possession well and marshalled the defence excellently. 8/10

Barry Douglas - Had the best chance of the first half but misjudged his header. Put in an excellent cross from deep to find Kemar Roofe for a good chance. Good work to get in behind down the left in the build up to the goal. Made a very poor tackle to give away the penalty and has to be thankful to his goalkeeper for getting him out of jail. 6.5/10

Adam Forshaw - Played in the “Phillips” role, didn’t give the ball away much but there were too many occasions where he turned down a forward pass into a good area to turn and look back towards the defenders. When he did look forward Leeds looked better, his pass to Hernandez in the build up to the goal being a prime example. The lack of penetrative passing was a contributing factor in Leeds inability to break Reading down enough. 6.5/10

Lewis Baker - Questions were asked when he was picked ahead of Samu Saiz, after his performance we are none the wiser. Gave the ball away in a dangerous area but was rescued by Liam Cooper. Offered nothing in attack either. First league start since he started for Middlesbrough in September 2017, I wouldn’t expect another one any time soon. 4.5/10

Mateusz Klich - Looked a bit tired in this game. Had a solid first half and a good first 15 minutes of the second half but not his best day. 6/10

Pablo Hernandez - First half on the right, second half on the left, looked good in both positions but couldn’t produce his usual level of end product. Classy backheel to find Douglas in the build up to the goal. 7/10

Ezgjan Alioski - Sometimes he was too negative, almost always looking backwards to pass. When he did put in a cross it was poor. I haven’t seen a replay but from in the ground, and from what others have said, he was booked for a ridiculous dive. Hooked at half-time and shouldn’t start the next match. 3/10

Kemar Roofe - Showed some good strength in his hold up play. Forced a couple of good saves from Anssi Jaakkola and kept looking for opportunities to score. Didn’t get on the scoresheet but was involved in the build up to the goal. 7.5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Samu Saiz (for Baker, HT) - Stop me if you have heard this one before. Leeds immediately looked more creative and more balanced in midfield as soon as he was introduced. Has to start surely? 7/10

Jack Clarke (for Alioski, HT) - Some immature decisions on the counter attack at the end of the match. Aside from that, his direct running and willingness to try and beat a player gave Leeds far more cutting edge. Would take the place of Alioski in the next match if I was the one in charge. 7/10

Jamie Shackleton (for Klich, 73mins) - A rare opportunity for Shackleton to play in the middle of midfield, he will hope to do better with the next one. Was a bit too negative in possession and got caught wrong side in the build up to Reading’s penalty. Had the chance to grab hold of Bacuna to stop the attack and take the yellow card but didn’t do so, another who owes a pint to BPF. 5/10