A first half Neal Maupay goal was enough for Brighton and Hove Albion to beat a poor Leeds United at Elland Road by a goal to nil.
The match started quietly before some very good play from Brighton produced the opening goal. Ben White brought the ball forward before Alexis Mac Alister and Leandro Trossard played a good one-two, it was played square to Neal Maupay who had all the time in the world to tap it into an empty goal.
That is as bad a goal as you can give away from a defensive point of view. They’ve just walked through us and how on Earth is Maupay free there?— Josh Hobbs (@JoshAHobbs) January 16, 2021
Brighton looked the better side, breaking whenever Leeds lost possession and hit the bar soon after when Trossard’s cross was deflected off Luke Ayling on to the crossbar. After that, there weren’t many chances but Brighton were by far the more comfortable side for the rest of the first half.
Leeds had all of the ball in the second half but never looked like scoring, this was a laboured, poor performance and a big improvement will be needed.
Kiko Casilla - Had very little to do. Claimed a couple of crosses well. Not at fault for the goal. 6/10
Stuart Dallas - An hour at right-back and 30mins at left-back. Had some trouble early on defensively but got better at that and ended up with an average performance. 6/10
Luke Ayling - Found himself stood in no man’s land for the opening goal, playing people onside while not marking anyone, completely switched off. Brought the ball out well on a couple of occasions but not his best day. 5/10
Liam Cooper - Deserves credit. Did well throughout both on and off the ball. Fewer errors than most. 6.5/10
Just awful this, the only player out there who seems to care is Cooper— Sean Champions 19/20 (@ROI_LUFC) January 16, 2021
Ezgjan Alioski - Could have had an early assist with an outstanding driven cross which Rodrigo couldn’t convert. Never looked comfortable defensively and the early attacking output dropped away as well. 5/10
Pascal Struijk - Got caught too far up the pitch for the opening goal. Played more sloppy passes than you want to see in that role. Never looked like he was settled until his spell at CB late on when Leeds were having all the ball. 5/10
Jack Harrison - Played on the right and was the brightest spark in the first half for Leeds with a couple of good turns and first touches - not saying much. Had Leeds first real chance early in the second half but curled it just wide. Going forward, by the far the best outlet. Would have been more effective if he had help from those around him. 7/10
Mateusz Klich - Was pretty anonymous until the last 15 minutes where he started to have more of an impact on the game from a deeper role, but that impact wasn’t always positive. Looks like he “needs a rest”. 4/10
Klich awful. Rodrigo what does he even bring to this team. Put Raphina and Harrison on the correct wings. Struijk is not a CDM. We need a CM and a LB #lufc— Josh Osborn (@josh0sborn) January 16, 2021
Rodrigo - Very quiet, should have done better with an early chance but missed the ball. He and Klich in the middle didn’t really work today. Didn’t offer much going forward and struggled to stay with his man defensively. 5/10
Raphinha - Moved to the left and wasn’t involved to the level we have seen previously. Seemed slow and kept being left by Veltman when Brighton attacked. 5/10
Patrick Bamford - Completely isolated in the first half. Misjudged the ball on the rare occasions he was given it in a dangerous area. Another who needed more help. 5/10
Tyler Roberts (for Rodrigo, 61mins) - Linked up play far better than the man he replaced. Able to beat his man which we didn’t see enough of during the game as a whole. Much better from him. 6.5/10
Maybe the only positive there is Tyler Roberts looked lively when he came on. Poorest performance in the league all season from the games I've seen. #lufc— Lee Geldard (@Gelds1) January 16, 2021
Pablo Hernandez (for Alioski, 66mins) - Tried to get on the ball and dictate but it didn’t really work. 6/10
Ian Poveda (for Raphinha, 74mins) - N/A