'I went to sleep' - Leeds United defender's frank admission after Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal for Everton

Luke Ayling has accepted full responsibility for one of what he felt were two 'sloppy' goals in Leeds United's defeat by Everton.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 12:20 pm
DEFENSIVE ERROR - Luke Ayling says he 'went to sleep' and lost Dominic Calvert-Lewin for Everton's second goal in a 2-1 win over Leeds United. Pic: Tony Johnson

The Whites went two goals behind in the first half due to defensive lapses but hit back after the break through Raphinha and were denied by Everton keeper Robin Olsen and the woodwork as they dominated the second half.

The game ended 2-1 to the Toffees however thanks to those goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson, who popped up unmarked in the Leeds area to convert Lucas Digne's cross, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who freed himself of Ayling's attention to head in Ben Godfrey's flick on from a corner.

"I think it was two sloppy goals," said Ayling.

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"The first goal he's free in the six-yard box which can't happen and the second goal it's my man from a corner, just got caught napping.

"We came back into it second half, had some great chances and probably could have nicked a draw but you can't afford to go 2-0 down in this league."

While conceding from set-pieces, corners in particular, is an issue that has cropped up time and time again for Leeds, Ayling feels they had shown improvement in recent outings and began to use them as an effective weapon at the other end of the pitch.

So losing his man for the second goal and watching the ball hit the net was bitterly disappointing.

"In the last few games we've actually been really good at them, stood up well to some of them, actually scored a couple and made a few chances," he said.

"But it's an error from me, I went to sleep, there's a flick on to the back post and [Calvert-Lewin is] in good form, you can't give him that much space in the box. It's down to me that second one."

The positives, for Leeds, were the large parts of the game in which they performed well and a goal early in the second half that gave them a route back into it. Ultimately they were frustrated by a goalkeeper playing well and a result they couldn't rescue.

"I think we started the game really well, played a really good 30 minutes but went off it for 15 minutes," said Ayling.

"[Marcelo Bielsa's] message was just come out and play like that first 30 minutes for all 45 minutes of the second half and chances will come. We scored early on and thought we had a good chance of getting back into it.

"The keeper made two great saves in the space of 30 seconds which could have changed the game but it's just disappointing."