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Leeds Player Ratings - Salford 0 - 3 Leeds

A solid performance and a good result.

Salford City v Leeds United - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Marcelo Bielsa named a strong Leeds United side which produced a very professional performance to get a comfortable 3-0 win away at Salford City (even if some media outlets tried to make it seem like Salford were Manchester United).

Leeds went in at the break 1-0 up following Eddie Nketiah’s debut goal following the only real flowing move of a half that wasn’t one for the neutral. Leeds second half performance was better and Leeds got a second and third goal quite quickly through Gaetano Berardi and Mateusz Klich.

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

Kiko Casilla - Started with a simple save and an easy claim from a cross. Made the first decent save of the match to deny Jake Beesley after a good Salford counter attack. Forced into another couple of fairly comfortable saves early in the second half by Danny Whitehead from the edge of the box. Came for free-kick and made a mess of it, Berardi clearing the ball off the line to save his blushes. Made a save soon after but he pushed it into the middle instead of wide and Adam Rooney should have scored the rebound.

Shot stopping good, decision making a bit dodgy. 7/10

Gaetano Berardi - Had an ok first half. Then.....

The Switzerland international scored his second senior goal in his entire career from a Helder Costa corner, he got across his man well and turned the volley in at the near post - good finish. Leeds fans were sensible and didn’t actually invade the pitch as his song suggests we will. Came up with a goalline clearance at 3-0 to save Casilla’s blushes following a bad error. Also gets an assist for his long hoof up the pitch for Klich’s goal. 7.5/10

Ben White - Comfortable first half and brought the ball out well. Second half - had very little to do but did it well. Not much to say, another good performance. 7.5/10

Leif Davis - Lost the ball in a dangerous area but fortunately for him it lead to nothing. Struggled physically early on against the much more imposing Emmanuel Dieseruvwe. Kept battling against him and did better as the first half went on. Second half, looked in no trouble. 7/10

Jamie Shackleton - Had a quiet first half and then produced a great pass to get Helder Costa in behind down the right in the build up to the opening goal. Solid game topped by that one moment of real quality. 6.5/10

Kalvin Phillips - Gave Salford an early chance to counter with a sloppy pass in midfield, and cleared the (admittedly small) stand with Leeds’ first shot. Then got a second shot on target but it was weak and easy for Chris Neal. Forced a good save with another 25 yard effort, Salford’s low block meaning that the biggest space on the pitch was central and outside their penalty area. Spread the play well and consistently all game and got more and more comfortable on the ball, producing some excellent passes. Ran the game after the first 10 minutes. Man of the Match. 8/10

Ezgjan Alioski - Got a few crosses in but didn’t find his range until the 30th minute when he put in a great cross that was inches from finding Helder Costa. Was a bit wasteful first half, skied an effort from the edge of the box that he would expect to do better with. Produced a great cross from deep to set up Mateusz Klich 10 minutes into the second half, Klich should have done better. Did well not to react to a couple of elbows to the face. 6.5/10

Mateusz Klich - Quiet first half, had one curling effort wide towards the end of the half. Missed a good chance early in the second half - skying a volley from an Alioski cross. Made up for it five minutes later by curling in a lovely right-footed effort from the edge of the box to make it 3-0. Another solid game but topped off with a goal. 7/10

Jack Clarke - Good header clear from a few yards out to deny a Richie Towell volley. Won a corner when it shot was blocked following a strong direct run into the box. Had a decent strike (with a slight deflection) from 25 yards cutting inside from the left which was saved well by Neal. Solid game but he is capable of much more. 6.5/10

Helder Costa - Not in the game enough early on but then he produced good movement and a good cross to set up the opening goal. The Portugal international claimed another assist with an inswinging corner that was turned in by Berardi at the near post. Some progress running at players and looked a threat. Two assists from a winger is always a decent day. 7.5/10

Eddie Nketiah - Found it hard to get involved enough for 40 minutes but the Arsenal loanee showed excellent striking instincts to get on the end of a Costa cross to get his first goal for the club on his debut. Lofted one over the bar after a poor header back to the keeper, keeper got close enough to put him under pressure to be fair. Not as involved in build up play as we have seen from Bamford but a debut goal and a threat in behind showed he could be a real threat. 7.5/10

SUBSTITUTES

Alfie McCalmont (for Clarke, 70mins) - Good to see McCalmont make his debut. Ticked possession over well in a deep midfield role. Game was dead by time he was on though. N/A

Jack Harrison (for Alioski, 78mins) - Got in behind down the left and was pulled back, looked a definite penalty. N/A

Patrick Bamford (for Nketiah, 78mins) - Had one chance from a tightish angle after intercepting a poor backpass, it was saved well by Salford keeper Neal. N/A