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Player Ratings: Leeds United 1-0 Crystal Palace

Agony turned into ecstasy with one slotted penalty as Leeds United scored late to claim a massive three points.

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Raphinha takes home Man-of-the-Match with an 8/10 performance.
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Wow. How tense was that?

A late penalty - given by VAR - rolled in with outrageous confidence by Raphinha to give Leeds United a massive win at home to Crystal Palace.

The Whites came flying out of the blocks in a blistering quarter of an hour before Palace settled into the game and created plenty of chances of their own.

The game, overall, was an attritional one: Leeds tried to gather momentum and Palace did well to stifle it while offering danger themselves.

But, when Liam Cooper’s header appeared to hit Marc Guehi’s arm, the Whites pleaded with referee Kevin Friend. And after a short look at the screen, he gave the penalty.

Raphinha stood tall and slotted home to give Leeds a huge win as they can now look forward to another home game this weekend.

Here are the player ratings.


Illan Meslier - 7

Brighton & Hove Albion v Leeds United - Premier League
Illan Meslier in action for Leeds against Crystal Palace
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Had little to do in the first half but claimed crosses confidently.

Some quality saves in the second half and a heart in mouth moment as Benteke’s toe-poke rolled agonisingly towards goal - thank god for them long limbs.

Stuart Dallas - 7.5

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Stuart Dallas was excellent against Wilfried Zaha tonight and even had the energy for some late surges
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Came up against Palace’s best player in Wilfried Zaha and coped with him brilliantly.

Got done for pace a couple of times - to be expected - but all in all kept the Palace winger quiet.

Came into his own later in the game once Zaha’s energy dwindled and he could bomb on unchallenged.

Diego Llorente - 7

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League - Elland Road
Diego Llorente pleading with referee Kevin Friend after Marc Guehi’s handball
Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Strong defensively against a physical Palace front-line and even more so from the many set-pieces they swung in.

Assured on the ball as ever. He, as with his defensive teammates, will be buzzing with back-to-back clean sheets.

Liam Cooper - 6.5

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
An assured performance from Liam Cooper as he led Leeds to a huge win
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Got done a couple of times by Jordan Ayew when covering but another solid performance.

As with Llorente, brilliant defending set-plays and commanding when the ball was around the box.

Pascal Struijk (off 45’) - 5.5

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Pascal Struijk leading the pre-game warm up at Elland Road
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Struggled on the left against Jordan Ayew who was Palace’s main threat.

Got done for pace a couple of times. picked up an injury and a yellow for a foul and had to come off at the break.

Kalvin Phillips - 6.5

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
After a slow first-half Kalvin Phillips fought hard do dominate midfield and gather momentum
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Definitely looked a little off the mark in the first half: a yard off his man, a bit weak in the tackle and gave away the ball too often.

Came out fighting in the second half and produced a much more assured performance. Found his passing range and won his 50/50’s.

Adam Forshaw - 7

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Adam Forshaw was relentless in midfield: it’s baffling to think how long he’d been out and how easily he has settled back in
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

It’s still baffling that Forshaw has settled into this team with such ease after so long out, never mind the fact he’s consistently been one of the better players.

Full of energy and so composed in the middle of the park. His awareness in tight spaces and ability to evade a press is invaluable in this side.

With a little more attacking adventure he could well have found himself on the end of some inviting crosses.

Mateusz Klich (off 45’) - 5.5

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Mateusz Klich putting the pressure on Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Found some good positions in the opening 15 as Leeds flew out of the blocks but faded from there.

Looked short of a yard from then on and lost the press a couple of times.

Dan James - 6.5

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
A really good performance from Dan James who constantly ran at Palace and caused plenty of problems
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

There is always going to be moments with Dan James where the wrong ball is played or the wrong decision is made: He operates at such speed that things like that will happen.

Did a lot right tonight: pressed tirelessly and ran at Joel Ward throughout - he even threw himself into a couple of big tackles to rile up the crowd.

Raphinha - 8 (MOTM)

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Calmness personified: Raphinha’s rolled penalty earned all three points for Leeds
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Thank god for Raphinha.

Tyrick Mitchell did a relatively good job in all honesty, but the Brazilian’s class shone through.

Some wonderful touches and moments of skill and a few sumptuous switches of play. Patrick Bamford’s mouth will be watering at some of those crosses as well.

Calmness personified in a sea of tension and panic, his penalty resembled the kind you do against your 5-year-old nephew in the garden.

Tyler Roberts (off 95’) - 6.5

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Tyler Roberts fought endlessly for Leeds and led the line well out of possession but struggled to influence the game on the ball
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Plenty of energy and some brilliant pressing from Roberts but struggled to get involved in the final third.

Again, dropped into some good positions and turned but he was deployed as a striker and struggled to influence the game where it mattered.

Had he made contact from Dallas’ early cross and made it 1-0 it could’ve been different, but it was far from a poor showing from the 22-year-old.

Substitutes

Junior Firpo (on 45’) - 6

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League - Elland Road
Junior Firpo in action at Elland Road vs Crystal Palace
Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Booked after two minutes, it looked set for another nightmare evening for Firpo, but he gathered himself well and defended resolutely - barring a few lapses in concentration.

Played a big part in Leeds gathering late momentum as he pushed on to support James. Made some really good runs beyond him also.

Rodrigo (on 45’) - 6.5

Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Rodrigo was heavily involved in Leeds’ build up play throughout the second half - he could have done better with this chance however.
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Influenced the game fairly well from half-time and provided the link that was missing for a lot of the first.

Struggled to find a killer pass once in the spaces, however, although that’s just as much due to a lack of runners than his vision.

Charlie Cresswell (on 95’) - N/A

Southampton v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Came on at the death to sure things up and was a big presence when Conor Gallagher swung in a free-kick from deep.