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Leeds Player Ratings - Leeds 1 - 2 Sheff Wed

Sheffield Wednesday are terrible. Leeds managing to lose to them is a disgrace.

Leeds United V Sheffield Wednesday  - Sky Bet Championship

Leeds United somehow contrived to lose 2-1 against a poor Sheffield Wednesday side at Elland Road today. Despite having the majority of the play, Leeds didn’t convert it into good chances, and when they did they missed them. Far too often when Leeds got into a good position the final pass was off target, or the cross hit the first man. Then Leeds make a couple of defensive errors and the game is gone.

A really good crowd despite the snow and the terrible recent form deserve better, particularly as Season Ticket renewals need to be done in the next two weeks. They aren’t really giving Leeds fans much reason to renew right now.

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 couple of decent saves, one good one to deny Reach when he got away. Wasn’t to blame on the goals Leeds conceded. His kicking wasn’t great today though, often drifting from his intended target or not getting the distance required. 6/10

Gaetano Berardi - Passing was decent today and made a couple of good tackles. Had one decent shot as well. Wasn’t able to get forward much when playing right-back and got forward a bit more when he changed position as Leeds chased the game. Did ok. 6/10

Matthew Pennington - Was doing ok for the majority of the match. Won a decent number of balls in the air considering the size of Wednesday’s front two. Didn’t give the ball away much and won a couple of tackles. Had one error when him and Pearce got in each others way and presented Wednesday with a chance. Then, in stoppage time he allowed himself to be bullied off the ball by Nuhiu, it was far too easy for the big striker and Pennington’s error cost us a point. Has to be reflected in his score. 5/10

Pontus Jansson - Similar level of performance to Pennington but without an error of the same magnitude. 6/10

Tom Pearce - Finally handed the debut that a lot of people (me very much included) have been clamouring for. Looked a bit nervous in the first half but grew into the match as it went on. Put a couple of decent crosses in during the second half. Struggled when the ball was in the air against Wednesday’s big forward players. Did enough that I would keep him in the side, does look a bit lightweight in senior football, something which I didn’t notice so much in the u23s. 6/10

Eunan O’Kane - Leeds fans gave ironic cheers when he was substituted today but I have to believe that is more to do with his form in previous gams than his performance today. He wasn’t great but his passing was tidy and he won possession back a fair few times in the middle of the park. Once again though, he was a bit too “safe” in the way he played, not trying to drive the team forward in the same way as his partner in central midfield and not getting on the ball as often as him either. 6/10

Adam Forshaw - Another good performance as we have come to expect from him. Good in possession again and willing to run at players. Had a couple of shots, one decent effort which was deflected wide. Good work to combine with Pablo Hernandez from a quick free-kick to create a very clear opening for Caleb Ekuban. I just wish we had two of him so it wasn’t a partnership of Forshaw and one of the out of form players. Man of the Match for me today. 7.5/10

Ezgjan Alioski - Up until the final ball he was good today. Beat his man a lot more than we have seen him manage in recent matches. Won the ball back well a few times. Passing was decent outside of a couple of poor ones at the end of attacks. Did give the ball a few times more than you would like but it wasn’t in defensive areas. 6.5/10

Pablo Hernandez - Moved into the number 10 position thanks to the injury to Samu Saiz. Some similarities to Alioski in that he got into a lot of good positions but too often the final pass, or the cross from a set-piece, wasn’t up to the standards he would set himself. Did get a cross bang on the money to set up the equaliser for Jay-Roy Grot. 7/10

Stuart Dallas - The quietest of the 3 behind the striker. Didn’t come close to replacing the threat of Saiz who you have to assume would have played alongside Alioski and Hernandez if fit. Passing was ok but not great and he wasn’t able to run at players like Alioski on the other side. In the first half looked scared to push on, which was probably because of having an inexperienced player behind him in Tom Pearce. However, it was Dallas and not Pearce who got skinned far too easily by Jack Hunt allowing him to cross for the first goal. Moved to right-back at the end while Leeds were chasing the game but didn’t do much particularly wrong or right in that position. Will drop out for Bolton if others are fit. 5/10

Caleb Ekuban - The things we know you get from Ekuban were still there. He made several good runs in behind and covered a decent amount of ground. However, his weaknesses were shown more than normal today. Missed an absolute sitter when he was played clean through by Forshaw after a clever free kick routine starting with Pablo Hernandez. He also missed a good chance with a bouncing ball in the area following a header over the top from Eunan O’Kane. Wasn’t able to get on the ball enough to link up with his teammates enough. Would be surprised if he keeps his place. Has more chance of playing if Paul Heckingbottom switches to a two-striker formation after the international break. 4.5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Pierre-Michel Lasogga (for Ekuban, 69mins) - Not able to get into the game as much as he would like. Was getting into better goalscoring positions than Ekuban did on most attacks, but also didn’t end up with a chance as good as either of Ekuban’s. Link up play to find the midfielders runs was an improvement on the man he replaced. 5/10

Jay-Roy Grot (for Pearce, 77mins) - Got on the end of a Hernandez cross to head home the equaliser. Outside of the goal did not really manage to get into the match. But if you come on and score you have done alright. Looks more confident for his spell in the u23s, I had said I didn’t think he would score a goal this season in the first team, glad to be proved wrong by him. Shouldn’t start as yet but will maintain his place on the bench. 6.5/10

Kalvin Phillips (for O’Kane, 78mins) - Came on for O’Kane, his passing was poorer than the man he replaced and he wasn’t really able to make much of an impression on the match. To give him some mitigation, it was not a great situation to come on in. 5/10