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Leeds player ratings: Leeds 2 - 1 Barnsley

Not a high quality game but a much needed win for Leeds and Paul Heckingbottom.

Derby County v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Leeds United took all three points against relegation threatened Barnsley FC and in doing so released a little bit of the pressure on manager Paul Heckingbottom. The performance wasn’t great and Barnsley could have easily got something out of the match but with the form Leeds have been in you just have to say “a win is a win” and move forward.

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.


Bailey Peacock-Farrell - Another great performance from the young Northern Ireland goalkeeper (he really should make their next senior squad). Made a couple of key saves, particularly the save to deny Connor Mahoney just before half-time. The save was top class and him rushing out to give a bollocking to Samu Saiz shows the confidence he has gained from time in the first team.

A few weeks ago a goalkeeper was top of many fans shopping list for the summer. I would be happy going into next season with BPF as our number one and focusing on other areas now. 8.5/10

Matthew Pennington - In the first half looked really uncomfortable as a right-back. A couple of air kicks when dealing with simple balls and a couple of missed headers under no challenge. Did improve in the second half though where he seemed to get used to the right-back role. Execution was poor when he went forward but as a centre-back I can’t be too harsh on him for that. I didn’t have a great view on the penalty shout against him for his challenge on Hamill so I will assume good defending. 6/10

Pontus Jansson - A bit of an error strewn game for the Sweden international. Had his own air kick which nearly put Barnsley through on goal. He left an Adam Hamill cross alone instead of dealing with it forcing BPF into a good save. He also missed a header that he would expect to get to in the build up to the Barnsley goal. Was fine for long periods but his errors were too frequent today. Was solid in the air as usual. 5/10

Paudie O’Connor - Was solid once again, made a couple of errors but nothing serious, own goal aside. A little bit unlucky with the own-goal but he will feel he could/should have got a better contact on it. Looks very comfortable with the jump to first-team football. 6/10

Tom Pearce - A great performance, solid in possession and did well one-on-one against Adam Hamill. Only really got “done” once in the build up to Kieffer Moore’s terrible miss. Played a great ball in behind for Kemar Roofe in the build up to the second Leeds goal but more importantly scored his first goal for Leeds with a great piece of play. Stepping in to intercept near the halfway line and driving forward into the space, the Barnsley players didn’t close him down and he struck the ball across the goalkeeper into the bottom right corner from outside the area. It was a great first goal and hopefully the first of many. A Man Of The Match performance for me, going to give him it over BPF because I think that goal is going to be one that sticks with us. 8.5/10

Kalvin Phillips - Despite winning this game Leeds still looked a bit lightweight in midfield. Phillips didn’t do much wrong but he wasn’t the most visible player during the match. You need more from your CMs in this formation and a better quality of opposition would have probably punished the space and time allowed by our midfield. 5/10

Ronaldo Vieira - Similar story to Phillips but with most things a level up. Looked more combative that KP without being at his best. He gave the ball away on fewer occasions than his midfield partner as well. With Adam Forshaw’s reappearance from the bench today, one of the two central midfielders could well drop to the bench next week. The Phillips/Vieira combination seems to lose the midfield battle far too often. 5.5/10

Ezgjan Alioski - Weird one to score. Missed a pretty good chance and had some really poor touches in the first half. However, he chased everything and looked to make more tackles than anyone else on the pitch. In the second half, his efforts were rewarded with a goal after Kemar Roofe’s assist. His effort when things weren’t going to plan is something which other players could learn from. 7/10

Speaking of players who could learn from Alioski’s effort...

Samu Saiz - Not near his best and cut a frustrated figure all day, especially after not getting a couple of free-kicks (where he did have a point). Got into some dangerous areas and received the ball on the half-turn which is when he does his best work. However, it was the lack of work-rate in the other direction, particularly not chasing back when Leeds lost the ball and not putting in tackles when the opportunity arose that was particularly irksome. Received some stick from both Vieira and BPF during the game. 5/10

Post match doesn’t affect his score. When substituted he had a bit of a strop and kicked a water bottle while having a very obvious sulk on the bench. This was unacceptable but the calls for Leeds to sell the player are very much wide of the mark in my opinion.

Needs to get himself in check, would give him a telling off behind closed doors and would probably leave him on the bench for the next match. That’ll do.

Pablo Hernandez - Nowhere near as effective going forward as you would like him to be. However, unlike Saiz the effort was there and he made a few tackles and chased back (not to the level of Alioski). Set-pieces weren’t really up to scratch today either. 6/10

Kemar Roofe - Had a quiet first half but pulled his performance up with a very good 15 minutes at the start of the second half. His assist for the Alioski goal was really good. He showed good pace to run in behind and get on to Tom Pearce’s pass before beating his man, then when running towards goal he used his head and stayed calm (something we have not been seeing from some of our forwards lately) to pick out the onrushing Alioski for what proved to be the winning goal. He looked threatening for a while after the goal before he was moved to the wing and Leeds dropped back a bit. 7/10


Caleb Ekuban (for Alioski, 71mins) - Stop me if you have heard this before: Came on, worked hard, chased everything, had no quality on the ball. 5/10

Adam Forshaw (for Saiz, 84mins) - Did fine and nice to see him back on the pitch. Not on long enough to give a score. N/A