Sunday, October 2, 2022

Three Key Leeds United Takeaways From Their Defeat To Leicester City On Monday

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Leeds United failed to take advantage of their ten-day break, slumping to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Leicester City. The Whites were completely outclassed by Brendan Rodgers’ men, despite making a good second-half comeback. However, there were still some positives for Marcelo Bielsa, and here, at The 4th Official, we will take a look at three key Leeds United takeaways in their defeat to Leicester City on Monday.

Leeds United Missed Rodrigo Moreno

Rodrigo Moreno had to be left out of the squad against Leicester City due to self-isolation, serving as a massive blow for Bielsa. But given the excellent form of last game’s hat-trick hero Patrick Bamford, there were still hopes for the home side.

Unfortunately, those hopes were shattered early on in the proceedings when Bamford missed an absolute sitter, moments before Harvey Barnes scored on the other side. The ex-Chelsea forward went on to miss one more glaring opportunity to score and didn’t look sharp at all. In fact, it was one of his worst performances for Leeds United in quite some time.

Bamford’s awful display entertains the importance of Rodrigo in this Leeds attack. The Spaniard may not have come out all guns blazing since joining from Valencia, but his trickery, technical prowess and industry were major forces behind the club’s impressive victory over Aston Villa last time out.

Bielsa, therefore, will hope to have him back as soon as possible as Leeds United look to get back to winning ways.

Three key Leeds United takeaways in their defeat to Leicester City - He was missed.
Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League 19/10/2020. Leeds United forward Rodrigo Moreno 20 during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road, Leeds, England on 19 October 2020. Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xSimonxDaviesx PSI-10845-0043

Pablo Hernandez Slowly Getting Back To His Feet?

Rodrigo’s absence from the starting lineup saw Pablo Hernandez receive a start in the number ten role.

The Spaniard, who was one of the club’s best performers in the Championship last season, has had a relatively slow start to the campaign, marred by injuries and lack of form. But on Monday, he showed some promising signs by helping Leeds United craft opportunities, especially during the early stages of the second half.

The 35-year-old also had an attempt from range hit the post while his work-rate was impeccable, despite his age. And knowing Hernandez’s quality, this performance would certainly serve as a boon for Bielsa and Leeds.

Luke Ayling Still The Only Reliable Defender

If there was one thing that was genuinely bad about Leeds United last night, it was the lack of responsibility in defence. Robin Koch made the first error within the second minute of the game as his pass back to Illan Meslier was intercepted by Jamie Vardy, who went on to make life difficult not just for the German, but also for the returning Liam Cooper, throughout the course of the game.

Vardy’s dismantling of the Leeds United centre-backs highlights the work Bielsa still needs to achieve as far as providing a sense of solidity in defence is concerned. But while these two struggled, Luke Ayling, returning to his right-back duties, looked somewhat decent.

The Englishman was primarily involved in the attacking phase of the game, where his passes helped Leeds United create some good chances. But, he responded well whenever he was needed during a defensive moment.

One could argue that Bielsa should entertain the possibility of deploying Ayling at centre-back as he did against Aston Villa. He has what it takes to lead the side and is the most disciplined Leeds defender at the moment – someone who could thrive alongside someone like Koch or Diego Llorente.

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