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Leeds Player Ratings: Leeds 2 - 0 Derby

Well, that was really impressive.

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

Leeds United produced what, in my opinion, was their best all around performance of the season to claim a very comfortable 2-0 victory over Frank Lampard’s Derby County (TM).

Goals from Kemar Roofe and Jack Harrison gave Leeds the win. A full recap of the game is available here.

There was also a furore about spying and Marcelo Bielsa. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about all that. However, for what it is worth, teams spying on other teams’ training sessions is nothing new. Jose Mourinho had Andre Villas-Boas do the same thing, and there are several anecdotes of Sir Alex Ferguson doing similar things.

On those other occasions it came to nothing, let’s see if that is the case when it is Leeds United.

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 - Good to see him get a clean sheet on the day news broke of Leeds’ potential signing of Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla (more here). In truth, had very little to do due to the dominant nature of Leeds performance. Main moments were him coming a good 35 yards off his line and blocking a shot from David Nugent, as well as coming out well to punch a ball clear. Fine in terms of distribution. Could have easily given away a penalty for a high foot on Duane Holmes when collecting a high-ball. 6.5/10

Luke Ayling - Made a fantastic block to deny Mason Mount in the first half. Some of his passing was a little bit sloppy at times but never looked in any danger defensively. Solid performance at both right-back and as a 3rd centre-back later in the match. 7/10

Pontus Jansson - The last 6/7 games he has been consistently good and more of the same today. Passing was really good. Brought the ball out from the back so well that he was taken out with two very cynical tackles. Excellent in the tackle and was never tested aerially. Current form, best defender in the division. 8.5/10

Liam Cooper - Back in the side - back to looking like Franco Baresi. No mistakes, got through more defensive work than his partner and passed the ball well. Only being slightly less adept at passing and bringing the ball out puts him half a point behind his CB partner. Having two actual centre-backs made a real difference. 8/10

Ezgjan Alioski - People have been calling for Alioski at left-back, an injury to Barry Douglas gave him the opportunity and he grabbed it with both hands. Won a penalty but was denied by an offside flag despite being clearly onside. Don’t know if the stats will back this up but seemed to win the most tackles of anyone on the pitch. Produced some good crosses and linked up well with Jack Harrison down the left before setting up Jack Harrison’s goal. 7.5/10

Adam Forshaw - His first half performance was the best performance he has had in a Leeds United shirt. Won every tackle, great in possession, a couple of decent efforts on goal. Special mention for the quality of his switches of play which were constantly superb. Absolutely immense in the middle. Second half, had to drop into a de facto back three when Derby went 2 up top before moving back to midfield. Good in the second half too but I cannot overstate how good that first half performance was. 9/10

Jack Clarke - (for the benefit of Premier League Scouts) - Shite, can’t pass, can’t cross, can’t beat a man. No future for this kid. 2/10

Have they stopped reading? What a talent this lad is. Raw talent and absolutely terrifies defenders. Fantastic assist for Roofe’s goal as he skinned Craig Bryson and fired in a great cross. Beat his man to produce a cross for the second goal as well. Was given Man of the Match on the TV apparently but for my money he shares it with Forshaw. 9/10

Mateusz Klich - The rest seems to have done him good. Good performance from the Poland international. Solid both in the tackle and in possession. However, was overshadowed by his teammates on this occasion. 7/10

Pablo Hernandez - Great that he was able to start when not expected to be fit. As always, involved with everything and made Leeds tick. A couple of sloppy moments but when you try the sort of passes he does that will happen. Excellent discipline too, dropped into cover well and won possession more than he normally would. 8/10

Jack Harrison - Better performance and helped by getting on the scoresheet. Him and Alioski were in constant communication and he did well to drop into left-back when the Macedonia international got caught up the pitch. Not as effective as Clarke on the other side but the sort of performance that should keep him in the side. 7.5/10

Kemar Roofe - Movement was excellent throughout, his runs in behind meant that on the few occasions Derby were able to press Leeds well there was still a good option in a ball over the top. Good near post finish from Clarke’s cross to get on the scoresheet. Very good hold up play as well. Picked up one of the softest yellow cards you will ever see but then produced a couple of heart in mouth moments with some needless slide-tackles. 8.5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Jamie Shackleton (for Harrison, 63mins) - Came on as a right-wing-back and provided a lot of energy down the wing. Didn’t have loads to do but was solid. Had one cross/shot across Scott Carson but side of the far post. 6.5/10

Leif Davis (for Clarke, 79mins) - Came on, did fine, got skinned once. 6/10