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Leeds Player Ratings: Leeds 2 - 2 Stoke (4-5 on penalties)

Out of the cup, a disappointment, but it isn’t where the focus lies.

Leeds United v Stoke City - Carabao Cup Second Round Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

A spirited Leeds United fightback following a poor first half was only enough to get a 2-2 draw against Stoke City in the Carabao Cup. Stoke then held their nerve to win 5-4 in a penalty shootout.

Leeds went in at the half-time break 2-0 down following goals from Danny Batth and former Leeds loanee Sam Vokes. The goals were poor defensively and showed that maybe not even Marcelo Bielsa can play a system with three centre-backs and pick a total of zero centre-backs.

Bielsa made three changes at half-time, adding a bit more experience, and Leeds improved to dominate the second half. A goal from Eddie Nketiah (following another Jack Butland error) and Portugal international Helder Costa’s first Leeds goal brought the hosts level in front of a bumper (for the Carabao Cup) crowd of 30,002.

The first nine penalties were all converted, with Butland himself scoring the ninth to put Stoke 5-4 in front, but Jack Harrison missed the crucial spot-kick to send the Potters through.

STARTING LINE-UP

Kiko Casilla - Not at fault for either of the goals but he did get a hand to Batth’s header which opened the scoring - he may feel he could have done better. Handling was good and distribution was fine. 6/10

Gaetano Berardi - Deployed on the right of a back three. Was troubled by the pace of Tyrese Campbell and this made him look very uncomfortable. Didn’t give the ball away lots but when he did it tended to be a really poor pass, some of which were in dangerous areas. Looked like he was supposed to be marking Batth for his goal. 5.5/10

Kalvin Phillips - Got beaten far too easily by Campbell in the build up to Vokes’ goal and wasn’t nearly as effective as he can be when deployed as a centre-back in the first half. Much better in the second half when he moved back into a more familiar midfield role when he was able to dictate play more. 6.5/10

Leif Davis - Struggled in the air against Vokes unsurprisingly, athough he did cause Stoke problems from Leeds attacking set-pieces. Looked more comfortable in the second half when he had an actual centre-back alongside him, made a really good block at the far post to prevent Stoke getting a late winner. Put in a great cross for Helder Costa’s goal. 7/10

Helder Costa - Played as right-wing-back which was interesting to see. Showed some great pace and skill to beat Stoke players on a few occasions, going close with a rasping left-foot effort at the end of one great run. However, he also lost the ball on too many occasions in the first half. Did well to get in at the back post to convert Davis’ cross. 7/10

Barry Douglas - One of his strengths usually is his incisive passing inside from the left, but he got this type of pass wrong on a fair view occasions. Looked better in the second half than the first - as did everybody who played both halves. 6/10

Alfie McCalmont - He’s young and the experience of his first start will do him good. However, never got to grips with the game and looked off the pace. Picked up a yellow card for a cynical foul. He will get other chances and will do better. 4.5/10

Jamie Shackleton - Showed good energy to pop-up all over the pitch at pace but never really did anything noteworthy in either attack or defence. 5/10

Mateusz Bogusz - I (as a noted Bogusz enthusiast) was excited to see his name in the starting line up but in the first half he seemed to find it hard to adjust to the pace of first team football. Much better in the second half, showing some nice touches and his propensity for a long-range shot. Forced Butland into making a good save with one of his efforts. 6/10

Jack Clarke - Could have forgotten he was playing at times. Not involved enough and wanted too long on the ball when he did. Not completely without a threat but he is capable of much better than this. 5/10

Eddie Nketiah - Scored a good goal following Butland’s error and scored his penalty in the shootout but he might feel he should have had more than one today. Hit the post in the first half with a great effort and had a header over soon after that he will feel he should have done better with. Couldn’t sort his feet out to get on the end of another couple of dangerous balls. 197 minutes, 3 goals, that is a good ratio. 8/10

SUBSTITUTES

Adam Forshaw (for McCalmont, HT) - Everything Leeds needed in place of McCalmont. Combative, assured in possession, intelligent with his movement. Changed the game. 7.5/10

Ben White (for Shackleton, HT) - Leeds’ defending improved immeasurably with him on the pitch. Having an actual centre-back also caused Davis and Berardi to improve and allowed Phillips to move into midfield. Calm on the ball and stood up to the physical challenge of Vokes. Stepped out well with the ball and played clever passes into midfield. 7.5/10

Jack Harrison (for Clarke, HT) - Much more involved than the man he replaced and looked far more of a threat. Caused problems the entire half and when something didn’t go right he battled excellently to keep the pressure on. Missed the crucial penalty (and looked like he would on his walk up to it) but overall played well. 7.5/10