Leeds United came back from a horrible start to claim a point at the Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion. Semi Ajayi scored early for the Baggies and then scored an own-goal to level things in the second half.
Leeds were a goal down after 80 seconds when Leeds again failed to defend a set-piece. Kiko Casilla made a mess of punching a corner clear, before Liam Cooper, Ben White, and Kalvin Phillips all failed to win their battles allowing Semi Ajayi to head the ball home. Jack Harrison almost got the ball clear off the line but it had gone over.
Leeds got into the game after that and dominated the ball, but West Brom did have chances. Marcelo Bielsa brought on Barry Douglas and Patrick Bamford at half-time and Leeds were better for the changes.
Leeds drew level through a Bamford header from a Jack Harrison cross, although it took a huge deflection off Semi Ajayi and it will go down as his own goal.
Both sides had chances and Kiko Casilla had to make some good saves but in the end both sides will be happy with the result.
Kiko Casilla - Really poor punch from the corner for the first goal, dreadful goalkeeping. However, we then didn’t challenge for the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th balls so there were others at fault too. Made a good save from a Matheus Pereira free kick, and saved a one-on-one against Matt Phillips. Couple of good saves in the second half followed by a really good one late on to deny Kyle Edwards. Take out the first 90 seconds and it is a good performance. 6.5/10
Would have took a point before kick off. Definitely would have after 2 minutes. Actually gutted we didn't win in the end. That performance against our closest rivals was fantastic and keeps confidence levels high. Casilla, barring first 90 seconds, was brilliant. #lufc— Mr Geldard (@MrJGeldard) January 1, 2020
Luke Ayling - Could have done better defensively on the first goal (goes for a few people). Involved in some decent play down the right. Played Matt Phillips onside by dropping 5 yards behind everyone else and that could have cost a goal easily. Some good play going forward. 7/10
Brilliant performance that. Harrison and Douglas has their best games in a #lufc shirt. Kiko excellent, Klich and Ayling looking like the players we know they are and Costa so dangerous. Happy with that.— Paddy Murphy (@Paddy19847) January 1, 2020
Ben White - Could have done better defensively on the first goal, seemed not to know where Ajayi was and was brushed aside far too easily. Improved after that and was solid as a rock. 6.5/10
Liam Cooper - Could have done better defensively on the first goal. Defended fine after that, similar to Ben White. 6.5/10
Ezgjan Alioski - Sloppy start, lost the ball in bad areas. Got a bit better as the half went on but not good first half. Replaced by Barry Douglas at half-time. 5/10
Kalvin Phillips - Could have done better defensively on the first goal. Too many set-pieces that weren’t in any way dangerous. Struggled to deal with Matheus Pereira at times in the first half but that is a tough task. Pereira a bit quieter second half which is a credit to him. 6.5/10
Helder Costa - Great cross that almost gave Nketiah a tap in to an empty goal. Looked dangerous when he got on the ball first half. Glimpses of his pace and trickery but most of the play was down the other side through Harrison. Lots of running and looked knackered at the end, one who should be rested for the trip to Arsenal. 6.5/10
Stuart Dallas - First half, looked more comfortable as a CM than usual. Couple of shots but both poor ones. Solid game continued in the second half, probably his best central midfield performance despite not scoring this time. 7/10
Klich or Dallas my MOTM for today. Thought they were both brilliant, Costa looking more like that £15M player.— Stu (@Stuey3_) January 1, 2020
Mateusz Klich - Best player first half for Leeds. Won the ball back a lot and played some good passes. Had a risky pull of Romaine Sawyers in the box that could have been given as a penalty (although I don’t think it was). Passed the ball fairly well and was able to beat a man in midfield. Central midfield as a whole the best we have seen from the Klich-Dallas combination. 7.5/10
Jack Harrison - Looked good coming inside from the left but it didn’t lead to any chances first half. Was unlucky that the ball crossed the line just before his clearance for the goal. Good cross for Bamford when Leeds made it 1-1. Looked dangerous and a threat in behind when the ball was switched to him. Not perfect but a constant threat. 7.5/10
Every time Harrison or Costa get the ball something happens. Unreal players. #lufc— Sam (@Iufcsammm) January 1, 2020
Eddie Nketiah - Showed very little in the first half. Didn’t get the ball much and he seemed to lose it more often than not. Struggled against the much bigger and stronger Kyle Bartley and Semi Ajayi. Subbed at half-time, if that’s his farewell he goes out with a whimper rather than a bang. 4.5/10
Barry Douglas (for Alioski, HT) - Good early set-pieces. Solid performance. Looked vulnerable to the pace of Matt Phillips but mostly dealt with that well. Good to see him have a solid game because he had fallen away from the first team. 6.5/10
Douglas did well when he came on too, nice to see him getting some game time, could be pivotal on the run in. #lufc— Sion Jones (@sionbach23) January 1, 2020
Patrick Bamford (for Nketiah, HT) - Hold up play immediately improved Leeds. His header deflected in off Semi Ajayi, was an own goal but he still gets some credit. Immediately put the pressure on the centre-backs rather than the other way around. Lead the line brilliantly. Despite being a substitute, my Man of the Match. 8/10
NOTE - Marcelo Bielsa has got his substitutions wrong on a few occasions this season, although I think starting Nketiah was the wrong call, he deserves the credit for two good changes today.