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Leeds Abroad: International Roundup (11/10/20 - 14/10/20)

Six Leeds United players represented their national teams during the latest round of international fixtures, but how did they get on?

England v Denmark - UEFA Nations League
Denmark’s Thomas Delaney looks on as Kalvin Phillips brings the ball forward during England’s frustrating 1-0 Nations League defeat.
Photo by Daniel Leal Olivas - Pool/Getty Images

England - Kalvin Phillips vs (Belgium & Denmark)

England v Denmark - UEFA Nations League
Back in blue: Kalvin Phillips takes the ball down during 10-man England’s 1-0 Nations League defeat to Denmark at Wembley.
Photo by Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images

Gary Neville drew criticism from Leeds fans after claiming Kalvin Phillips had learnt more in the last six weeks than he had in the last six years during his commentary in England’s 1-0 defeat to Denmark last night (14/10/20).

But the Yorkshire Pirlo certainly gained something from his two latest fixtures, completing the full 90 minutes against the Danes after coming on as a 66th-minute substitute in the 2-1 victory over Belgium.

It was promising to see Gareth Southgate turn to the Leeds academy product when the Three Lions were looking to retain their lead over the side currently topping the FIFA world rankings, and Phillips certainly helped his side in that regard; he won an aerial duel, completed a clearance and made two accurate long balls with just 13 touches.

The 24-year-old was back in the starting XI against Denmark, but understandably had a tougher time compared to his 90 minutes versus Wales, with Harry Maguire shown a second yellow after 30 minutes.

Still seeing plenty of the ball, however, Phillips performed well enough to convince Southgate to keep him on the pitch, as central-midfield partner Declan Rice made way for Jordan Henderson in the second half.

Similarly to his outing against the Welsh, he saw plenty of the ball past the halfway line, but still made his presence known across the pitch in what was a physical performance by the midfielder. His cheap loss of possession to Christian Eriksen in the latter stages of the affair was the only error in an otherwise solid display.

Kalvin Phillips’ 71 touches against Denmark.

Wales - Tyler Roberts (vs Bulgaria)

Bulgaria v Wales - UEFA Nations League - Group 4 - League B - Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski
Tyler Roberts battles for possession during his fourth start for Wales, with Ryan Giggs’ side winning 1-0 against Bulgaria in Group B4.
Photo by PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images

An 85th-minute winner from Jonny Williams certainly brought some relief to Wales fans, but the result didn’t save Tyler Roberts from criticism over his display during the 1-0 win against Bulgaria.

Starring as a striker, the 21-year-old struggled to fully impose himself in the final third, and despite linking up play well, he could often be found playing deeper and further wide than what would be expected from an attacking player.

Roberts still earned the third-highest WhoScored rating of any Wales player (7.45), while no one on the pitch had as many shots on target (2) as the former West Brom forward.

Only two of his 35 touches were made in Bulgaria’s box, however, and he could be mistaken for a right-back judging by the graphic below.

Tyler Roberts’ 35 touches against Bulgaria

Northern Ireland - Stuart Dallas (vs Austria & Norway)

Northern Ireland v Austria - UEFA Nations League B
Stuart Dallas convenes with Austria’s Pavao Pervan, who kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Group B1, on October 11.
Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images

After scoring in Northern Ireland’s penalty-shootout victory against Bosnia, thus sending them one step closer to the European Championships, things took a contrasting turn for Stuart Dallas in the Nations League.

Ian Baraclough’s side were dominated in a 1-0 loss at home to Austria on October 11, during which Dallas was replaced after 73 minutes, having failed to establish himself in the match.

Matters worsened for the utility man in the 1-0 away defeat to Norway, after he scored the only goal of the game in the wrong net, just seven minutes after being introduced as a second half substitute.

Spain - Rodrigo Moreno (vs Ukraine)

Ukraine v Spain - UEFA Nations League
15,000 fans watch Rodrigo Moreno compete for the ball with Yevhen Makarenko during Spain’s 1-0 defeat to Ukraine in Group A4 of the Nations League.
Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Leeds supporters can surely sympathise with Spain after they lost 1-0 to Ukraine despite keeping 72% of possession and having 21 shots to Ukraine’s two.

Rodrigo had four of those shots - only one of which was on target - as the Peacocks’ club-record signing missed two sizable headed chances before being replaced in the 58th minute.

Poland - Mateusz Klich (vs Italy & Bosnia)

Poland v Bosnia-Herzegovina - UEFA Nations League
Mateusz Klich battles for possession as Poland defeat Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-0 in Group A1.
Photo by ADAM NURKIEWICZ/Getty Images

Usually it is the likes of Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry who are blessed with the opportunity to put the ball on a plate for Robert Lewandowski in front of goal, but last night it was the turn of Mateusz Klich to provide a superb assist for the free-scoring Bayern Munich striker.

The 29-year-old found Lewandowski’s clever run into the area with a beautifully taken lobbed pass from outside the box, resulting in the striker’s second goal of the game.

It was a fantastic response to his less productive display in Poland’s goalless draw against Italy, a match the midfielder lasted 70 minutes in before being substituted.

In a vastly contrasting performance, no player on the pitch managed more than Klich’s three key passes, earning him a WhoScored rating of 7.53.

North Macedonia - Ezgjan Alioski

Staring down the camera during the North Macedonian national anthem, ruling himself out of his country’s next fixture after getting booked and scoring a last-minute penalty. All in a day’s work for Ezgjan Alioski.

No single player attempted more than his nine crosses and three key passes during a man-of-the-match performance from the much-loved maniac, who apparently likes to bark and howl like a dog in his spare time.

Which Leeds United player caught your eye during this run of international fixtures? Who put in the best performance? Have your say in the poll below and over @ThruItAllLUFC.


Which Leeds player do you think put in the best performance during this round of international matches?

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