A much better day for Leeds United on a day where the East Stand displayed “Together” before kick off. Bodies were thrown on the line at the end when they were needed, something we haven’t seen in a while and it was coupled with a very good attacking display where the Boro defence couldn’t really get to grips with the quick, interchanging forward line of Leeds.
Andy Lonergan – 6 – Didn’t have many problems to deal with as the defence stopped it before it reached him. His kicking was pretty dreadful three or four times though and it has to be addressed. Also needs to stop going long when our biggest player is probably Kemar Roofe.
Luke Ayling – 7 – I probably wouldn’t have started Ayling with the form he’s been in but he was much better today. The penalty decision was the biggest talking point, he was daft to grab the legs of Ayala but it was never a penalty after what he had done to him, Ayala could have gone off in reality for grabbing Ayling’s face.
Pontus Jansson – 9 – #PASMOM – Best player on the park, absolutely bullied Britt Assomalonga all day and left a few Boro players in a heap from challenges that were all very fair, but equally as strong. Having him in that form makes Leeds United a totally different beast. Dominated the battles.
Liam Cooper – 7 – Cooper back throwing his body on the line like he was at the start of the season. My only gripe would be his clearances at the end were putting us under unnecessary pressure when if he just took his time he could get it up the pitch. Can’t really complain though, defensively solid.
Gaetano Berardi – 8 – I thought Berardi had his best game of the season today. What impressed me the most was how he and Pablo Hernandez dealt with Adama Traore when he was introduced. He rarely got the chance to beat them, the tactics were to foul if needed and we did.
Ronaldo Vieira – 8 – Has been brilliant since he came back into the side and today, alongside Kalvin Phillips they were in control against one of the most experienced central midfields in the division. Powerful and energetic with a controlled aggression. As the game went on he stuck at his task and made sure gaps weren’t appearing in the middle of the pitch.
Kalvin Phillips – 8 – Always seems to take on a lot more responsibility when he is playing with Ronaldo Vieira in the middle of the pitch, whether that is because he is the senior of the two I don’t know. Was all over the park today, putting in some brilliant challenges and getting on the ball when he could.
Gjanni Alioski – 8 – One of the best performances he has put in since he arrived at the club and certainly his best at Elland Road. Worked himself into very good areas of the pitch and gave George Friend a torrid time throughout. Arrived brilliantly to net the second goal and his ball in was flicked by Phillips for the opener.
Samu Saiz – 8 – Caused Boro so many problems by picking up pockets of space between their lines, something that Howson and Leadbitter couldn’t really cope with. Very unlucky not to score and most importantly he had options when he was on the ball with Roofe, Alioski and Hernandez. Does need to release it quicker at times.
Pablo Hernandez – 8 – I was very critical of him in the early part of the season and I stand by it but for the last four or five games I have been calling for him to start. He constantly wants the ball and tries to make things happen which others haven’t been doing recently. Thought he was a good shout for man of the match but Jansson was just too good. Fair play Pablo.
Kemar Roofe – 8 – Toying with giving him a 7 but his contribution off the ball was quality today. He ran and ran and closed down the Boro defenders who didn’t like it one bit. On top of that he held the ball, dropped into areas where Gibson and Ayala didn’t want to go and his run for the second goal was bloody fantastic.
Caleb Ekuban – 6
Eunan O’Kane – 5
Matthew Pennington – N/A