There are some players who, on their day, are unplayable. They glide around with aplomb and everyone else on the pitch seems below them. That was Pablo Hernandez for Leeds United yesterday.

Effortless was a word that could have been used to describe the Spaniard’s contribution yesterday for the Whites versus the Black Cats. It is often an overused term that, to such a degree, becomes a cliché in football. It was fully deserved yesterday though and the 30,000+ inside Elland Road, including 2,000 Sunderland fans would have gladly told you so.

Hernandez continues to play like a king at Leeds United, issuing passes like royalty of old issued decrees and judgements. Like I said above, it’s done with such a degree of a lack of effort that some might interpret it as arrogance. It isn’t, it is simply a man going about his business in the only way he knows how.

Un momento de magia de un mago

Hernandez’s goal against Sunderland showed just how easy the former Swansea man can make the difficult look, well, easy. Receiving a flicked pass from Samu Saiz in the Sunderland box, he only needed two delicate touches to stand Donald Love up and turn him inside out. Then a wonderful piece of skill saw him lift the ball, with swerve, up and between two Sunderland defenders, across Lee Camp’s sprawling dive and inside the far post. It was a strike that was warmly received at Elland Road and it put the Whites back on the front foot.

That wasn’t all that Pablo did against Sunderland, not by any measure of the imagination. The diminutive Spaniard put on a veritable masterclass, as the figures below show.

  • 87 touches – 7.1% of Leeds United’s possession
  • 48 passes/30 successful passes/63% accuracy/7 key passes/23% completed passes led to chances
  • 30 completed passes/22 final third passes/73% completed passes attacking balls
  • 9 dribbles attempted/6 dribbles won/67% success
  • 3 corners taken/2 corners successful/67% accuracy

It was a display that made Leeds United fans really sit up and take notice, as if they hadn’t been doing all season anyway. Such was the degree of control he had over the game, these fans were more than enthused with his magisterial display that bordered on magical at times. Here these fans comment on Twitter about just how impressive the diminutive Spanish wizard was against the Black Cats.

Leeds United fans comment on Twitter after Hernandez masterclass


About Author

Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.