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.
Gareth Southgate and Kalvin Phillips were pleased with their comeback win over Belgium. pic.twitter.com/ocySifQgaz— RUZINDANA JUNIOR (@RuzindanaJunior) October 12, 2020
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.
Kalvin Phillips vs. Denmark— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) October 14, 2020
90 mins played
82% pass acc.
40/49 successful passes
13 final third passes
5 ground duels won
3 chances created (2 corners)
3/6 successful long balls
2 tackles won
2 ball recoveries
2 times fouled
1 succ. take-on
1 blocked shot
1 yellow pic.twitter.com/zLnWneE7ul
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.
Wales - Tyler Roberts (vs Bulgaria)
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.
This! Exactly this, re: Tyler Roberts! https://t.co/jubdpxjAGx— Huw Davies (@thehuwdavies) October 14, 2020
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.
Northern Ireland - Stuart Dallas (vs Austria & Norway)
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.
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.
Watched all three of Spain's games this week - and last night offered a chance to Rodrigo in the centre-forward role.— Lee Sobot (@LeeSobotYEP) October 14, 2020
Here's a look at how he got on, how he will suit Marcelo Bielsa and also a look at a likely huge threat come Monday night. #lufc https://t.co/fFjnPJNXAx
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.
Mateusz Klich v Bosnia & Herzegovina:— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) October 14, 2020
64 mins played
82% pass accuracy
36/44 successful passes
3 chances created ️
3 ball recoveries
2/3 successful long passes
2/2 successful take-ons
2 touches in the opp box
1 yellow card
1 peach of an assist pic.twitter.com/XBU4MwxKdo
North Macedonia - Ezgjan Alioski
90th minute (+2) GOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLL— Macedonian Football (@MacedonianFooty) October 14, 2020
BEAUTFIUL PENALTY. CALM. KEEPER GUESSED WRONGLY. pic.twitter.com/gjkGv2oUDt
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.
Gjanni Alioski v Georgia:— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) October 14, 2020
90 mins played
26/34 successful passes
6 ground duels won
5/9 successful crosses
3 chances created
2/2 succ. take-ons
2 tackles won
2 aerial duels won
1 shot on-target
1 penalty goal ⚽
Scored a 93rd-minute equaliser from the spot. pic.twitter.com/VqtMdRcX0N
Which Leeds player do you think put in the best performance during this round of international matches?
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