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Leeds Player Ratings: Preston 3 - 1 Leeds

Leeds threw away a 1-0 halftime lead and lost another match away from home

Preston North End v Liverpool - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

So yeah, a game a football happened and a small riot broke out on social media.

After a good first half, Leeds United crumbled like a house of cards, giving up three goals to Preston North End at Deepdale after a rather perplexing lineup was announced by Paul Heckingbottom. The ex-Barnsley FC manager named a squad with four changes and without a recognized fullback in the lineup to face a Preston team which gets its goals from crosses into the box for their big forward, Sean Maguire, to head home.

The selection made it difficult for the players to get a result, but given that the team was ahead after 45 minutes, only to surrender three goals in the second half, means that a lot of the blame should fall on the shoulders of the players as well. Can this season just be over already?

STARTING LINEUP

Bailey Peacock-Farrell: Honestly, not a lot he could have done on any of the goals. The second goal he might have done better to get to, but to be fair to him Pontus Jansson was lying on the ground in front of him, blocking his path to the ball. Wasn’t as brilliant a performance as he had against Sunderland, but still one of the better players tonight. 6/10

Vurnon Anita: Toast once again got burnt, as he continued to be unable to stop crosses from coming into the box and fouled the Preston player in the box that led to the equalising goal from the spot. Anita is NOT a fullback at this level of football, and yet he keeps being trotted out there, only for him to fail again. 4/10

Pontus Jansson: Was pretty decent in the first half, but was injured in the build-up to the second goal and had to be taken off. At what point does Jansson get his position in the team questioned? 6/10

Paudie O’Connor: Another player that had a better first half than second half of the match. Looked a lot better next to Jansson than next to Diaz, but it’s not totally his fault on that one. Still, got a yellow card for an unnecessary foul on Preston’s keeper Rudd and the hand-bags that followed. 5.5/10

Stuart Dallas: Another player being played out of position at right back. His crossing, again, let a lot to be desired and his defending was questionable, at best, in the second half. If Dallas is going to be effective as a fill-in fullback, he’s got to start getting successful crosses, because right now he’s getting free ones because no one fears that his crosses are going to end up where they should. 6/10

Ronaldo Vieira: Looked decent in the first half, but had the turnover that led to the Preston counter-attack that resulted in the penalty for the hosts. Had a match to forget in the second half. 5/10

Kalvin Phillips: Much like Vieira, looked a lot better in the first half, but seemed to shrink from the responsibility in the second half when things went south. Had a nice assist on Roofe’s goal, which saved his grade a little bit. 5.5/10

Pablo Hernandez: One could hardly blame the Spaniard for wanting to go home to Spain this off-season, given the lack of quality around him. Was a constant danger, putting passes into dangerous areas that his teammates couldn’t finish. The worst was probably when he put in a beautiful ball for Caleb Ekuban, only for the striker to take an extra touch on the ball and his shot was blocked. One of the few players to acquit themselves well in the second half. 6/10

Jay-Roy Grot: Wasn’t his absolute worst, but never looked a threat to score. Was a bold choice to start him over Alioski, and in the first half it looked like it was the right move. Was subbed off after about 70 minutes. 5.5/10

Kemar Roofe: Scored Leeds’ only goal in the match, and honestly looked like more of a threat than Alioski or Saiz did when they came into the match. Should he get the start at striker instead of Ekuban or alongside Ekuban? I firmly believe he’s better as a striker than as a winger. 6/10

Caleb Ekuban: Worked very hard, got into channels, but my god, if he could only shoot. Still works hard and forces the defence into covering him, but doesn’t seem to have the confidence or ability to test the keeper on a regular basis. 5.5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Hugo Diaz (57th minute for Jansson): Didn’t look very good, but honestly, it’s not really his fault as there is no reason he should be in the first team at this point in time. If Jansson is out for any period of time, Diaz or Pascal Strujik are in for a baptism by fire the rest of the season. If only the club had known that Shaughnessy was out for an extended period of time before the end of the transfer window. What’s that? They did? Oh, bother. 5/10

Gjanni Alioski (68th minute for Grot): He and Saiz were introduced at the same time, but honestly, it was too little, too late and Preston ended up scoring another goal while he and Saiz were on the pitch. Whatever. 5/10

Samu Saiz (68th minute for Roofe): Made some nice runs and dribbles, but didn’t create many chances from his efforts. Either the opposition is defending him better or he’s wearing down after a long Championship season, because he doesn’t look the same. 5/10