Leeds United sent a message out to the rest of the Championship last night. Half a team injured, a key player suspended and the media world trying to make Marcelo Bielsa out to be some kind of bond villain for breaking zero rules. Elland Road turned into a cauldron of noise and intimidation and Derby couldn’t cope with Bielsa and our boys. A spanking from start to finish.
Baily Peacock-Farrell – 8 – If ever there was a calibre of player he could do with coming into the club to help him learn then a Real Madrid veteran is the perfect one. Had a decent game, was safe. Made a big call to race out and face Nugent in second half at 1-0 and it paid off. Didn’t really have a save to make.
Luke Ayling – 8 – Tom Lawrence was probably the most threatening Derby player, if you could call it that. Ayling had him in his pocket all night. Didn’t bomb on because Alioksi was so influential down the other side. One top block tackle in the first-half.
Pontus Jansson – 9 – Really top performance at the back from Jansson. Dealt with every problem that was near him, got three players booked because they couldn’t cope with his ability on the ball which is staggering for a centre-back.
Liam Cooper – 9 – At the start of this season I was worried that Cooper was still starting games but he’s proved me, and so many wrong. Led the team last night and had a wonderful game. Becoming one of the most reliable centre-backs in the division under Marcelo Bielsa.
Gjanni Alioski – 9 – I came under serious criticism when I was rating Alioski low earlier this season. For me it’s case of rating players based on how I see them. Since the win over Blackburn he’s been the best player in the side. I can’t give him man of the match but he deserved it. An unbelievable performance, the best ever in a Leeds shirt for him. So, so impressed.
Adam Forshaw – 9 – T72MOM – I said before the game that he’s not been playing well but he has the ability to control this game and show how good he can be. Despite criticism of him I’ve always believed he’s a very good player and last night he showed how good he can be. He was all over Derby, taking the ball off them every time they went near him and on the ball he was faultless. His best performance in a Leeds shirt.
Mateusz Klich – 8 – What a difference a week off made for the player. Looked back to his best despite not getting any shots off. Dragged Derby’s midfield around the park, left and right and gave Pablo Hernandez the freedom of the park. A role that is so underrated.
Jack Clarke – 9 – Mon of the match on Sky and I can’t argue, it could have gone to three or four of them. We have been waiting for this for what seems an age now and he didn’t let it pass him by. He tore strips of Derby from the word go. The most talented player through the youth ranks in a decade in my opinion. Destined for England, no doubt Gareth Southgate was impressed last night at Elland Road.
Jack Harrison – 8 – One of his best games for Leeds last night if not the best. Direct and unpredictable Derby couldn’t really keep up with him. Got his goal and created some very good chances. Sometimes a run in the side is all it needs, he’s starting to show his potential.
Pablo Hernandez – 8 – Wasn’t fully fit but you couldn’t tell. Found gaps in the midfield and exploited them time and time again. Such an influential player and put a shift in as well as helping dictate our relentless attacking moves.
Kemar Roofe – 8 – It’s easy to show how good Roofe has become when you compare him to Jack Marriott in a Derby shirt. Similar in style and playing an identical role last night. Marriott barely touched the ball, Roofe ragged the Derby defence all over, barely giving them a second to breath. And that finish…
Jamie Shackleton – 7 – Helped contain the pressure we had when he came on, man marked Tom Lawrence.
Leif Davis – N/A