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Leeds Player Ratings - Leeds 2 - 0 Rotherham

Marcelo Bielsa becomes the first Leeds manager ever to win his first 4 competitive matches

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

Leeds United shook off an indifferent first half performance, where Rotherham United had their share of chances, to take a 2-0 victory at Elland Road.

Leeds made more errors than we have seen in their previous performances in the first half but they improved in the second half and ran out deserved winners thanks to goals from Luke Ayling and Kemar Roofe.

I would think an improvement would be needed if our winning run is to be continued on Tuesday night away at Swansea City.

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 - A good performance for BPF. Made an excellent save to deny Ryan Williams from point-blank range after a poor ball back into the box from Liam Cooper. The chance may have been prevented if either BPF or Gaetano Berardi had reacted faster to the pass, but the save outweighs any slow reaction to the pass. People with a better view than me said he got a touch to the Jon Taylor shot which hit the post as well. Distribution was solid again. Proving Bielsa’s faith in him was well placed. 8/10

Luke Ayling - A first competitive goal for him is well deserved both in general and today. Solid defensively again and got forward down the right flank repeatedly. Went close with a left-footed effort in the first half. Getting more difficult to write about Ayling, another good performance with the same strengths we see in most games. Patricularly impressive when playing one-twos and linking with Pablo Hernandez to get in behind the full-back. 8/10

Gaetano Berardi - Did as well as could be expected against Michael Smith who had a good 6” on him at least. Ran away from Cooper’s poor pass which was a combination error from Cooper, BPF, and Berardi (with Cooper taking most blame). Very good in possession again, particularly impressive in this regard in the last 20mins, where he played out of tight situations very well. Went close with a rasping effort from 30 yards when Rotherham refused to close him down. Long-term, Leeds should get Pontus Jansson into the side ahead of him, but it is harsh on Berardi who has performed beyond expectations as a centre-back. 7.5/10

Liam Cooper - For the most part a similar level of performance to his centre-back partner, but was stronger in the air. However, played a very poor pass across his own penalty area where Rotherham really should have scored. There are going to be errors at the back playing with Bielsa’s style, but this was a poor ball regardless of style. 6.5/10

Barry Douglas - Pretty solid again, didn’t have the same effectiveness going forward as Ayling on the other side. Some decent set-pieces taken as well. Never panicked in possession when Rotherham put him under pressure. 7/10

Kalvin Phillips - Started well, but from 15mins to half-time he played 4/5 awful passes to give the ball away in dangerous areas, and made a poor half-challenge to lose the ball for the effort where Rotherham hit the post. Did some similar passes at the start of the second half but settled down into his role and produced some real quality with a fantastic ball in behind to set up Kemar Roofe’s goal. Finished with a record number of passes for him personally. When he got going he was the pivot that Leeds’ game moved around. Another good game, but not quite as good as in previous matches. 7.5/10

Pablo Hernandez - Not consistently at his best but had some great moments of link-up play, particularly with Ayling and Saiz. Will have better games than this but nothing wrong with his performance. Looked a bit tired by the end so wouldn’t be shocked if he drops to the bench for Tuesday. 7/10

Mateusz Klich - Another who played well without reaching the levels of previous matches. Passed the ball fine with a few exceptions but didn’t drive Leeds forward with the ball at his feet as much as you would hope. Rotherham playing with men behind the ball could well be the main reason for that. Had a couple of decent efforts from outside the area. Passing got more penetrative as the match went on. 7.5/10

Samu Saiz - Showed his quality but only intermittently. Marked very well in the first half by Semi Ajayi who made Saiz’s job far tougher than in previous matches. A couple of times where he could have played the ball a bit quicker but didn’t spot the pass. Had an effort cleared off the line by Richard Wood after Leeds played some fantastic football to break Rotherham down. The move, involving Ayling, Hernandez, and Saiz, was as good as any bit of football I have seen this season. 7/10

Ezgjan Alioski - Effort was there as always from the Macedonia international but today he couldn’t quite find the quality. Crosses didn’t find the mark and looked the least likely of Leeds attacking players to make the breakthrough. Did come very close to getting on the end of a Roofe header though. 6/10

Kemar Roofe - Worked hard in tough circumstances first half when he was left the most isolated that a Leeds forward has been this season. Held the ball up well and seemed to never give it away despite having to drop deep to get on the ball at times. Set up the goal for Ayling but to be honest I don’t think it was a pass, I think he just didn’t have time to react and mis-hit a shot. There was no mis-hit on his goal though. Great ball from Phillips but Roofe showed fantastic pace to get on the end of it, a great first touch to get away from the defender, and his right foot finish from a relatively tight angle was that of a very confident striker. Excellent build up for the goal once again. Another great performance from Roofe and he claims another man of the match award for me. 8.5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Lewis Baker (For Saiz, 80mins) - Got the ball on the half-turn a few times and played a couple of nice passes. 6/10

Patrick Bamford (For Roofe, 86mins) - Not on long enough to score. N/A

Pontus Jansson (For Klich, 90mins) - Not on long enough to score. N/A