Everton 0-1 Leeds United - who had a good day, who had a bad one and the 4.30pm turning point

Everton's weakness in the wing-back positions was well documented before the game but Leeds United still had to be ruthless to take advantage of it.

Sunday, 29th November 2020, 4:49 pm
GOOD DAY - Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips had a great game in possession and a good one out of it. His passing was superb, particularly in the Everton half. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The way Jack Harrison exploited Alex Iwobi's defensive frailties helped the Whites to stay on the front foot and create chances, giving the left-sided Everton man a bad day.

Good day

Kalvin Phillips

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His best performance of the Premier League season. Broke up play, moved Leeds around the pitch, pushed them high and when he got on the ball in the Everton half sprayed some beautiful passes around. Looked like he was enjoying himself.

Bad day

Alex Iwobi

Picked out before the game as a potential source of joy for Leeds United, the Everton man did not seem to relish his defensive duties. Jack Harrison stole in behind him to great effect on a number of occasions and Leeds went at him with pace, too. A difficult outing for Lucas Digne's deputy. Iwobi wasn't alone in having a bad one, however - this writer's initial on-the-whistle assessment of Phillips' performance was an eight out of 10.

Number of the day

85

Marcelo Bielsa could have thrown Rodrigo on as Leeds searched for a winner late in the game, but trusted in the players on the pitch. Fans and pundits alike were crying out for a change and begging for Rodrigo, who is a game-changer. But the head coach trusted in his players' physical ability to last the pace and their technical ability to find a goal. Raphinha rewarded him in the 79th minute but still Bielsa didn't make a change until five minutes remained on the clock. By that stage Everton had used all three out of sheer necessity. Bielsa simply didn't blink. His players simply didn't stop. A monumental effort went into that win.

Turning point

4.30pm

When the sides were named and Bielsa made no changes from the team who drew with Arsenal, it was a statement of his faith and one that called for a reward from his players. Similarly, Carlo Ancelotti had to name two stand-in wing-backs and that proved difficult for Everton, with Leeds bringing plenty of danger down both flanks throughout the game. The game wasn't won in the selection but it definitely helped Leeds that they weren't facing Ancelotti's first-choice wing-backs. You still have to beat what is in front of you, of course and Leeds were fully deserving of the three points. Jamie Carragher called it a 'battering' and although the Toffees had chances of their own, you can see why he used that word.