Stoke came into this evening’s game at Elland Road on the back of battering Barnsley 4-0 in their last game. They left Elland Road wondering what had hit them. It was 5-0 on the night but it could have been worse, much worse for the Potters.
Stoke actually started out well and frustrated Leeds with an organised defence that was fluid enough to run a high press at times. The turning point for Leeds was the 45th minute and Helder Costa being brought down in the box. Up stepped Mateusz Klich who sent Jack Butland the wrong way from 12 yards out.
Marcelo Bielsa made a change at half-time bringing Pablo Hernandez out of his box, winding him up and letting him go. The little magician soon began to work his magic and the goals started to flow.
First, it was Helder Costa (47′) profiting from a Stuart Dallas assist to make it 2-0. Then captain Liam Cooper (57′) got in on the act thanks to a clever assist from Hernandez.
15 minutes later in was Hernandez (72′) on the scoresheet from a Costa assist to make it 4-0. Stoke made a brief stab of it after that and forced Leeds to retreat but there was just enough time for Patrick Bamford (90+2′) to get his name on the scoresheet and make it 5-0 with his 16th of the season.
Leeds United player ratings
Illan Meslier: Very little to do. Quality headed clearance when danger came his way – 7.5
Luke Ayling: Kept going, drove forward. Good assist for Bamford goal – 8.5
Ben White: Stuck to his man like glue. Dependable as usual – 8
Liam Cooper: Striker’s goal, 85 passes. Solid as a rock at the back – 8.5
Stuart Dallas: Back from injury, solid as usual. Great assist for Costa goal – 8.5
Kalvin Phillips: A typically tidy and robust display from the Yorkshire Pirlo – 8
Mateusz Klich: Cool as a cucumber with the penalty. Some probing passes. Made chances – 8.5
Jack Harrison: Ran like Forrest Gump but with more purpose. Forced a good save from Butland – 8
Tyler Roberts: Quiet half. Ran the channel well and some neat passes set up chances- 7.5
Helder Costa: Ran and ran. Surge into the Stoke area set up the penalty. Good goal and an assist for Pablo Hernandez – 9.5 MOTM
Patrick Bamford: Made space for others. Forced saves. Hit the bar. Finally got his deserved goal – 9
Pablo Hernandez: Best 45-minute player in the Championship. Passes with panache. Run to set up the assist for Liam Cooper was class. Great goal – 9
Barry Douglas: Shoring up job. Some neat touches. Settled well – 7
Jamie Shackleton: Got stuck in. Worked hard. Few nice touches 6.5
Gjanni Alioski: Ran the flank with his usual energy. One good pass set up a chance – 7
Gaetano Berardi: Got on for the last few minutes. One sumptuous pass to set Alioski on his way – 7