Second half goals from Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Raphinha gave Leeds a comfortable 3-0 win over Southampton at Elland Road on Tuesday evening.
The opening exchanges was fairly even with both sides spurning good chances to open the scoring. Just after the half hour mark, Southampton thought they had a penalty when Nathan Tella went down in the box, only for Andre Marriner to overturn his decision after a VAR review.
Minutes later, Oriol Romeu made up 20 yards before completing a millimetre perfect sliding tackle to deny Raphinha a certain goal.
Just after the break, Bamford slipped between the Saints’ defence and made them pay, rolling the ball into the bottom corner.
Southampton struggled to muster a response and after several near misses the hosts doubled their lead when Dallas toe-punted his shot past Alex McCarthy. Minutes later, an outstanding free kick from Raphinha put the game beyond all doubt.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Illan Meslier (GK) – 6/10 – Made a few smart stops. Often his kicking was pretty poor.
Diego Llorente (CB) – 7./10 –
Correctly saved the embarrassment of conceding a penalty by VAR. He looked classy on the ball, knocking it around confidently.
Liam Cooper (CB) – 8/10 –
Dominant defensive display. He registered a game high five clearances and also chipped in with some key tackles and blocks.
Pascal Struijk (CB) – 7/10 –
Kept possession better than anyone in a white shirt. Also did not put a foot wrong defensively.
Raphinha (RM) – 9/10 – At the centre of everything his side did well going forward. Both on and off the ball, he was absolutely sensational. What a free kick as well.
Luke Ayling (CM) – 7/10 –
Passed it pretty well, knocking a few great long balls into the channels. Also made sure to get stuck in defensively.
Mateusz Klich (CM) – 7/10 –
Put in a typically hard working display before being forced off with injury just before the hour mark.
Stuart Dallas (CM) – 8/10 –
His goal may have been a toe-punt but they all count. The strike was exactly what his selfless display deserved.
Jack Harrison (LM) – 6/10 –
Had a quiet first half before being replaced by Helder Costa at the break, possibly due to injury.
Tyler Roberts (ST) – 7/10 – Let a couple of good chances go begging. Finishing aside, he worked hard and assisted Bamford with an incisive through ball.
Patrick Bamford (ST) – 8/10 –
Bode his time until he got an opening in the second half. When he did, he finished clinically. Also made a key clearance in the second half.
Helder Costa – 6/10 – A pretty quiet 45 minutes. Did not do his first team chances much good. Did get the assist for Dallas’ goal, mind.
Ezgjan Alioski – 6/10 –
Defended solidly and offered an attacking threat down the left hand side.
Pablo Hernandez – 6/10 –
Used his experience to help Leeds see things out.
Alex McCarthy (GK) – 5/10 – Kept his side in it with some brilliant saves in the second half. Should have done better with the free kick though.
Jan Bednarek (RB) – 5/10 –
Looked shaky in a unfamiliar role with Raphinha enjoying himself down the left in the second half.
Jannik Vestergaard (CB) – 5/10 –
Let a couple of good headed chances go begging. Perhaps could have done better for Leeds’ first goal as well.
Mohammed Salisu (CB) – 5/10 –
A little rash at times. One first half challenge on Raphinha may have been a penalty if the Brazilian had gone down.
Ryan Bertrand (LB) – 6/10 –
Only pushed forward rarely. Did little wrong defensively.
Stuart Armstrong (RM) – 5/10 – Industrious but largely ineffectual. He looked leggy as the game wore on.
Oriol Romeu (CM) – 7/10 –
Deserves a knighthood for his goal saving tackle on Raphinha in the first half. Continued to run himself into the ground before being forced off with injury in the second half. Saints looked lost without him.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) – 6/10 – His delivery, both from dead balls and crosses, was excellent as always. Struggled to contain Leeds in transition after Romeu went off.
Nathan Tella (LM) – 5/10 –
Showed a lot of bravery on his first Premier League start but faded as the game wore on. No one likes a diver as well, so he loses a mark.
Nathan Redmond (ST) – 5/10 – Pressed well but struggled to make an impact when he had the ball. Withdrawn after an hour.
Che Adams (ST) – 5/10 –
Held up the ball well at times. Needed to make some more positive runs in behind though.
Danny Ings – 6/10 – Added some dynamism to the Saints attack after coming on.
Takumi Minamino – 5/10 –
He was a passenger for his cameo appearance.
Moussa Djenepo – 5/10 –
Took one for the team to halt a Leeds’ counter attack. One of his only contributions of note.