A game that will go down as more of a tactical masterclass between two top managers, as Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough side managed to nullify the attacking prowess of Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa.
Leeds were largely restricted to long-shots as a whole host of players had a go from outside the box. The greatest of the chances fell to Middlesbrough as Bailey Peacock-Farrell had to tip over a header from team mate Luke Ayling.
Even though Leeds were limited in way of chances the Whites managed to keep the ball well and maintain 61% possession. Largely having the ball in the attacking third Leeds seemed to be rushing things and when chances arose to play the ball round the final ball was poor and often rushed.
Leeds United Player Ratings:
Peacock-Farrell-7, Another solid performance distribution was better but what really impressed was his claiming of crosses against the giants of Boro.
Ayling-7, Unlike him on the day was wasteful in the attacking third but did his defensive duties very well.
Berardi-8, Solid all game, coped well against Flint and Ayala and provided good distribution from the back as Bielsa wants from him. Shame about his late injury.
Cooper-6, Not with the races, was easily beaten by Assombalonga and seemed like he was wrestling rather than playing football.
Douglas-7, had another solid game, often his performances fall under the radar but handled himself well and had some joy against Shotten down the left.
Phillips-8, The championship Kante sits just in front of the back four and offers a cool head under pressure. Another solid performance with a Fantastic passing range in the game.
Klich-7, Offered himself in every attacking play and was often the furthest player up the field making a overlapping run. Always looking to go forward and always an option.
Saiz-6, Nothing was really happening for Saiz as passes weren’t reaching their mark and dribbles were unsuccessful, seemed quite without Pablo.
Harrison-7, Making his first start in the league. Harrison, in the first half looked like the only player who was going to create something for Leeds everything was going down the right where he was having some joy against Friend.
Alioski-5, Spent the majority of the game offside, I can’t actually remember the last time he attempted to take a man on, would love to see Harrison and Pablo start next game.
Roofe-6, Wasn’t really in the game, he spent the majority of the game dropping deep just to get involved, but applied extreme pressure on Boro’s midfield.
My MOTM – Phillips