Despite making a blistering start to the new Championship campaign, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds failed to maintain the momentum and dropped to third in the league tally before the international break. Injuries hampered the progress, but the return of Gaetano Berardi and Kemar Roofe in the first-team action relieved many who were worried about a win against newly promoted Blackburn Rovers.
The Saturday early kickoff fixture at Ewood Park started in favour of the hosts who earned an early lead and despite the Whites’ equaliser late in the first half, the game ended in yet another disappointment for Bielsa’s men who suffered a 2-1 defeat.
Below are the Leeds United players rated in their disappointing defeat against Blackburn Rovers.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell: 6
The young custodian made a few decent saves to keep Leeds in contention but could have done little to deny both of Rovers’ goals which showcased the visitors’ defensive lapse while defending set-pieces.
Gaetano Berardi: 6
Returned to action from injury and started as a right fullback in place of the suspended Luke Ayling. Assisted Klich’s first-half equaliser but struggled defensively with mistimed tackles and lost duels. Was replaced late in the game by Jamie Shackleton.
Pontus Jansson: 5.5
Maintained a decent passing accuracy but found it hard against the Rovers frontline who kept on threatening with long balls and set-pieces. Lost all duels and struggled aerially in both the goals scored by the hosts.
Liam Cooper: 6
The skipper had a slightly better outing as he tried to play it out of the back, won duels, tackles and interceptions. Did well against the likes of Daniel Graham, Harrison Reed, Adam Armstrong and Bradley Dack. However, should have been more focused while defending corners and indirect free-kicks.
Stuart Dallas: 5
Started as a makeshift left-back in place of injured Barry Douglas but never looked confident on the ball, misplaced his passes and failed with dribbling attempts. Was taken off late in the game to be replaced by teenager Jake Clarke.
Kalvin Phillips: 6
Saw his effort denied by David Raya in Blackburn goal. The homegrown English talent had a mixed outing while featuring ‘in the hole’ as he won back possession a few times deep down the midfield, impressed with his distribution but should have done better with his tackling and intercepting attributes.
Mateusz Klich: 7.5
Was impressive yet again as he scored a late equalizer late in the first half which, however, went in vain. Forced Raya to make some crucial saves and tried to carry the ball forward from the centre of the pitch with his runs and link-up play.
Samuel Saiz: 7
Had a better outing as he troubled the Rovers defence time and again and also played his part in Klich’s equaliser with a lovely cross for Berardi. Created a few more chances, impressed with his dribbling skills but should have done better in the final third with decision making.
Ezgjan Alioski: 6
Whipped in numerous crosses from the left but mostly failed to find anyone inside the box. Did little to contribute more in the game as he neither tried to cut inside nor charge the Rovers backline with his directness.
Kemar Roofe: 5
Returned to action after a brief injury absence. Started the game from the wide despite scoring a few in early weeks while featuring as a ‘number 9’. His switching position with Tyler Roberts did not work out for the frontman. Roofe failed to make any notable contribution before being replaced by Pablo Hernandez midway through the second half.
Tyler Roberts: 5
Kept his place in the starting XI even after Roofe’s return. The Welshman, however, could not grab his chance and did not contribute much upfront except winning the ball back a few times.
Pablo Hernandez: 6
Returned from his injury and made a positive impact late in the game despite failing to grab a result for Leeds. His return should hand Bielsa a fresh hope to resurrect Leeds season from falling apart.
Jack Clarke: 6
Had a few promising movements which were not enough to alter the scoreline.
Jamie Shackleton: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
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