Player ratings

Leeds United 0-0 Manchester United: Player ratings as bitter rivals share drab stalemate

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Leeds United capped off a brilliant month with a hard-earned 0-0 draw at home to Manchester United, where defences were on top at Elland Road.

A lot of the build-up to this game pointed towards Man United’s demolition of Leeds back in December, but so much has changed since that game.

For one, Leeds have a semblance of a fully-fit defence now with the form of Diego Llorente the highlight of that.

Also, leeds have managed to manage games and situations against the top sides much better in recent months, with three games against the ‘big six’ proof of that since March.

In truth a game that could have been a gripping encounter between two very exciting teams that are bitter rivals was actually a drab affair.

Neither attack really threatened either of the two goalkeepers throughout the 90 minutes, and a 0-0 draw was a fair result.

Here, we deliver our player ratings from the stalemate at Elland Road…

Illan Meslier – 8

Not much in the way of shots to save but he dealt with everything else well.

The visitors only threatened us from a set-piece once but he couldn’t do much about it. Solid again.

Luke Ayling – 9

His best defensive performance this season.

Completely dominant on his side of the pitch, and you barely noticed Marcus Rashford was playing, apart from an unfortunate slip from Ayling in the first-half, resulting in a yellow.

He looked very dangerous in the final third as well despite a flat performance in attack for both sides.

Diego Llorente – 8

Llorente has been the core reason why we’ve managed to transform from a team shipping six to Man United, to one that can hold out for a clean sheet against them.

He didn’t have much chance to showcase his comfort in possession, but he still picked out passes to put Man United’s midfield out of the game.

Pascal Struijk – 8

Alongside Llorente, Struijk has been so classy. Not only has his defending on the ground been top notch, but he’s been the other reason for why we look so much stronger from set-pieces lately.

It looks more and more likely he’ll start permanently next season.

Gjanni Alioski – 7

One of his more solid games at left-back up against Mason Greenwood.

A lot of the work Man United did was focused on Alioski’s flank and it might be a symptom of how Liverpool broke us down last week, but he played well.

Kalvin Phillips – 9

Another brilliant performance from someone who is proving exactly why he’s an England regular now.

Bruno Fernandes did nothing all game, and it’s probably about time that Phillips let him out of his pocket.

Helder Costa – 6

A tough outing for Costa on the wing.

He was one of the players that struggled most to build anything meaningful in attack, but he did come closest to scoring for Leeds.

His deflected effort from the edge of the box looped just over Henderson’s crossbar in the second half.

Tyler Roberts – 6

His movement has become a key part of how we move into attack and when he isn’t quite at the races like today, the system falters somewhat.

He’s come such a long way to now be looking like keeping Rodrigo out of the squad when he’s back.

Stuart Dallas – 7

Energetic as ever, but his only opening going forward resulted in a tame effort down the throat of Henderson.

His marking in midfield was vital, though, in stopping a potential rout like last time.

Jack Harrison – 6

Very similar to Costa, Harrison couldn’t really get the better of Aaron Wan-Bissaka out wide.

There wasn’t much of note that Harrison created and it was right for Marcelo Bielsa to bring him off.

Patrick Bamford – 6

On the recieving end of the lack of service was Bamford.

When there’s nothing to feed off of in possession, you’re bound to have a quiet afternoon.


Ian Poveda – 6

The correct sub to make as Poveda’s cameos have been promising, but he did little to change the game as he has done before.

Mateusz Klich – 6

His movement was all there with how he managed to draw the attention of Fred and pull him out of position, but he’s not looking as mobile when he has the ball.

Robin Koch – N/a

Came on purely to run around and annoy Paul Pogba, but did his job.

Perhaps a sign of Bielsa’s pragmatism coming through that he brought on a centre-back for Roberts.

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.