Leeds 1-0 Watford: Player ratings as hosts finally earn first win

02 October 2021 07:09

Leeds held on to a 1-0 lead against Watford to secure an overdue first Premier League win of the season, with the only goal coming from centre-back Diego Llorente in the first half.

Llorente was quick to react in a moment of penalty area pinball in the 18th minute and that early strike proved to be the sole difference between the sides on the scoresheet.

Leeds dominated the game, controlling possession and peppering shots in the vicinity of the Watford goal – even if few actually found the target to challenge Ben Foster.

The front three of Raphinha, Daniel James and Rodrigo constantly had Watford on the backfoot and were well supported in attack by Mateusz Klich and Stuart Dallas from midfield. But the all-important quality was usually missing when it mattered most.

Watford were mostly quite poor and didn’t do anything near enough to properly challenge Leeds. But they did actually have the ball in the net at one stage when Illan Meslier dropped, literally, a clanger at a set piece. But the goal was ruled out for a foul on Leeds centre-back Liam Cooper.

Leeds went close to doubling their lead late in the game, with Juraj Kucka clearing one off the line for Watford and Tyler Roberts spectacularly turning the rebound onto the bar from a difficult angle.


Leeds player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Diego Llorente got on the scoresheet | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Illan Meslier (GK) - 5/10 - Got away with a potential howler when a Watford equaliser was ruled out for a foul in the penalty area.

Jamie Shackleton (RB) - 6/10 - Made a few bursts forward from right-back and showed plenty of energy until the end.

Diego Llorente (CB) - 7/10 -
Reacted sharply in Watford's six-yard box at a set piece to break the deadlock.

Liam Cooper (CB) - 6/10 - Stood firm to repel minimal Watford pressure. A couple of late interventions were important.

Junior Firpo (LB) - 6/10 - Saw plenty of the ball on the left flank.

2. Midfielders

Stuart Dallas was everywhere but lacked quality when it mattered | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Kalvin Phillips (DM) - 7/10 - Decent on the ball at the base of the midfield and offered protection for the back four.

Stuart Dallas (CM) - 6/10 - Drove forward from midfield to support the attack but lacked quality in good positions. Shooting was wayward.

Mateusz Klich (CM) - 7/10 - Another willing runner forward. All over Watford in midfield and constantly looking to create.

3. Forwards

Watford struggled to contain Raphinha | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Raphinha (RW) - 7/10 - Leeds' chief source of danger and creativity.

Rodrigo (ST) - 6/10 - Played further forward as a 'number nine' for the second week running. Better able to influence the game.

Daniel James (LW) - 7/10 - Looked threatening with his pace and direct running and perhaps deserved a first half penalty.

4. Substitutes

Tyler Roberts (AM) - 6/10 - Close to scoring a spectacular late effort that rebounded down off the crossbar.

Pascal Struijk (CB) - N/A - Returned from suspension in stoppage time.


Watford player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

No clean sheet for Ben Foster | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Ben Foster (GK) - 5/10 - Wasn't tested all that much given the home side's dominance of possession, but one late error almost cost a goal.

Kiko Femenia (RB) - 4/10 - Troubled by the pace of Leeds' wingers and didn't do enough to get forward himself.

William Troost-Ekong (CB) - 5/10 - Arguably fortunate not to give away a penalty for his challenge on James.

Francisco Sierralta (CB) - 5/10 - Won defensive headers in his own penalty area but not overly convincing in possession.

Danny Rose (LB) - 4/10 - Had to contend with Raphinha's unpredictability.

6. Midfielders

Ozan Tufan lasted under an hour on his full Premier League debut | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Juraj Kucka (CM) - 6/10 - Made a lot of tackles in midfield to win the ball and cleared a late Leeds effort off the line.

Moussa Sissoko (CM) - 5/10 - Lacked any real impetus.

Ozan Tufan (AM) - 4/10 - Minimal impact on his first Premier League start.

7. Forwards

Joshua King was injured in the first half | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Ismaila Sarr (RW) - 4/10 - Didn't do enough to get into the game.

Joshua King (ST) - 5/10 - Cruelly forced off with what appeared to be a twisted knee in the closing stages of the first half.

Emmanuel Dennis (LW) - 4/10 - Moved more central in the second half but was unable to make any telling impact.

8. Substitutes

Ken Sema (LW) - 4/10 - Pretty anonymous after replacing King.

Joao Pedro (ST) - 6/10 - Made a positive difference off the bench.

Christian Kabasele (CB) - 6/10 - Like for like swap for the injured Sierralta.


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Source: 90min