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Everton 3-0 Leeds United: Whites performance in focus

Missing midfield and baffling lineups opened room for Everton to breathe.

Everton v Leeds United - Premier League
Bielsa commands his team from the touchline.
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

The match result at Goodison Park was disappointing, to say the least. After a solid performance at Villa Park, the Whites followed it up with another poor performance by any team’s standards.

For the second straight contest, Bielsa played the same starting lineup. The addition to the bench was disgruntled youngster, Crysencio Summerville.

Although the performance was good at Villa Park, the holes in the midfield and defence were evident. Like the January transfer window, Leeds decided to not change much and go with what they have used.

Mateusz Klich and Robin Koch both provide different styles, but not enough on either side of the ball. Defensively, Koch has been put in a spot to mirror what Kalvin Phillips can do. Having said that, Koch is nowhere near the level of Phillips, which leaves the safety net empty for the backline.

Klich has provided some creative plays in the box but can be something of a liability defensively, as we witnessed at Villa Park some three days prior.

It has been evident in the last two matches that Raphinha is fatigued from the international break. The game plan has almost eliminated his skillset. Most of the Aston Villa game had the offence going through Jack Harrison’s side of the pitch.

Despite showing signs towards the end of the half, Raphinha was taken off at halftime for Tyler Roberts.

Roberts seems to be considered a super-sub in the eyes of Bielsa, but the results have not supported this tough process. Roberts certainly serves a purpose on the squad, but not as the first or second man off the bench each match.

The handling of Joe Gelhardt has been puzzling as the phenom has produced every appearance but continues to be left out of the starting lineup and now the sub rotation.

Forshaw came on at the half and provided the backline with an outlet in the middle of the field. Everton began pressuring and anticipating the outlets to the wing from the back.

The entry of Forshaw gave more options to create offensive moving up the pitch.

Ultimately, the squad did not want it as much as Everton. The pressure up front and atmosphere buried Leeds early and it was difficult to dig out of the two-goal deficit.

The squad does not seem to be on the same page out there, and it is causing wide-open offensive chances for the opposition. The Leeds attack is not matching the offence of the opponent which is creating a difficult situation. To come back from behind is not an easy task night in and night out.

Moving forward, Forshaw will need to be in the starting lineup and James must return to his natural position.