Leeds 1-2 Everton: Player ratings as Toffees hang on for crucial win

04 February 2021 12:42

Everton held out for a hard-fought victory away to Leeds, with two first half goals moving them up to fifth in the Premier League.

The game plan from both sides was clear from the off. Leeds were comfortable in possession from the first whistle, but organised pressing from Everton caught the hosts off guard and allowed them to take the lead after nine minutes through Gylfi Sigurdsson. Leeds picked up the tempo after falling behind and came close through Ezgjan Alioski and later Pascal Struijk, but to no avail.

For all their possession, however, Leeds struggled to on the ball when pressed by the visitors and eventually crumbled due to naïve defending. They conceded a second after 41 minutes when Dominic Calvert-Lewin finished from a corner, sending his side into half time with a two goal cushion.

Marcelo Bielsa's side caught Everton sleeping after the break, however, and got themselves back in the game through Raphinha after 48 minutes. The Toffees were against the ropes thereafter, but for all of Leeds' dominance, though, an equaliser didn't come and the game opened up once again in the final 15 minutes.

Calvert-Lewin should've secured the points for his side with five minutes to go, but Illan Meslier denied the England international one on one. It didn't matter, though, as the Toffees hung on for the win.

Here are your player ratings from Elland Road.


LEEDS UNITED

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Alioski came mightily close early on | Pool/Getty Images

Illan Meslier (GK) - 5/10 - Comfortable with the ball at his feet and decent enough distribution. Little he could do to stop either of Everton's two goals, and had to stay alert to deny Calvert-Lewin late on.

Luke Ayling (RB) - 6/10 - Struggled to evade the press at times, but overall not a bad performance.

Pascal Struijk (CB) - 4/10 - Caught sleeping and didn't protect the front post which allowed Digne to slide the ball across goal for Everton's opener. Struggled to defend crosses and set pieces throughout; an issue too common for Leeds this season.

Liam Cooper (CB) - 5/10 - Stepped out of defence well and provide another outlet when Kalvin Phillips was marked out of the game, but needed to be better defensively as he is, well, a centre back.

Ezgjan Alioski (LB) - 5/10 - Alioski almost bagged a goal of the season contender in the first half. His hard and low, left-footed volley smashed the post from a well-worked corner. So unlucky.


2. Midfielders

Phillips chases Mason Holgate | Pool/Getty Images

Kalvin Phillips (DM) - 6/10 - Was watched like a hawk at times by Gylfi Sigurdsson which limited his impact, but Phillips still did well to create chances for his side.

Raphinha (RM) - 7/10 - The Brazilian was Leeds' most creative player and linked up well with Ayling on the right flank. Lacked the end product in the first half, but got his goal in the second.

Mateusz Klich (CM) - 4/10 - A poor return to the side for Klich, who coasted through the first half at walking pace. Equally as underwhelming in the second half and was replaced by Tyler Roberts as a result.

Stuart Dallas (CM) - 5/10 - Dallas worked tirelessly for Leeds and while his final pass let him down at times, his desire to get back and defend redeemed it somewhat.

Jack Harrison (LM) - 5/10 - Entirely pedestrian in the first half, but saw more of the ball after the break and caused Mason Holgate a headache.


3. Forward

Frustrating night at the office for Bamford | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Patrick Bamford (ST) - 5/10 - For all their possession, Leeds couldn't pick out Bamford in the first half, who was swallowed by Everton's defence. He battled hard, though, and forced Mason Holgate into the mistake to get his side on the score sheet.


4. Substitutes

Tyler Roberts - 5/10

Pablo Hernandez - N/A

Helder Costa - N/A


EVERTON


5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Olsen put in a solid shift for the Toffees | JON SUPER/Getty Images

Robin Olsen (GK) - 8/10 - Made a number of comfortable, but important saves to wave off Leeds' pressure and keep his side ahead in the first half. Pulled off a tremendous triple save on the hour mark to keep the Toffees ahead again. A brilliant performance from Olsen on just his third league start.

Mason Holgate (RB) - 4/10 - Holgate struggled at right back, and was caught trying to be too cute on the ball in his own box which allowed Raphinha to score. The weak link on the night.

Yerry Mina (CB) - 7/10 - Brilliant header to defend a dangerous corner early in the first half. Was everywhere after the break to cover for Holgate on the right flank.

Ben Godfrey (CB) - 8/10 -
Mature and concentrated performance from Godfrey who remained vigilant in his own box, but also produced a smart flick on to assist Everton's second.

Lucas Digne (LB) - 6/10 - Digne looked a step closer to his usual self against Leeds, after a string of sub-par performances. Struggled to contain the overload of Ayling and Raphinha at times, but got forward well himself.


6. Midfielders

Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) - 7/10 - The Frenchman retained the ball brilliantly in possession and anticipated the game well when defending, tracking runs deep into his own 18-yard box.

Andre Gomes (CM) - 6/10 -
Textbook midfielder's performance from Andre Gomes, who kept the tempo in midfield for his side. Always available to receive the ball and recycle play under pressure.

Gylfi Sigurdsson (AM) - 8/10 - The Icelandic international enjoyed a fine game, keeping Phillips quiet off the ball but coming up with the goods when needed. A well taken goal gave his side the lead, and an inch-perfect corner doubled it.


7. Forwards

Back in the goals | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Alex Iwobi (RW) - 6/10 - Pressed well when off the ball which let his side in at goal on several occasions. Iwobi has to do more when in possession, however.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ST) - 7/10 - The 23-year-old ended a run of seven league games without a goal in true poachers' fashion, peeling off at the back post to tuck away a flick on. Vital goal for himself and his team.

Richarlison (LW) - 6/10 - Always dangerous when running at defenders with the ball, but Richarlison could've done more to alleviate the pressure defensively on Lucas Digne at times.


8. Substitutes

Michael Keane - N/A

Joshua King - N/A

Tom Davies - N/A


Source: 90min