Leeds United 2 Birmingham City 0: O’Kane, Jansson and Saiz excel as Whites move top - player ratings

A REAL HANDFUL: Samuel Saiz is pulled down by Cheikh Ndoye. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
A REAL HANDFUL: Samuel Saiz is pulled down by Cheikh Ndoye. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
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LEEDS United moved top of the Championship through a thrilling 2-0 victory against Birmingham City at Elland Road.

But how did YEP chief football writer Phil Hay rate the performances?

Felix Wiedwald - His distribution caused some problems but his handling was safe in the wet. More than 600 minutes without a concession now. 6/10

Luke Ayling - Whatever else he did, his goalline clearance at the end of the first half was a defining moment. Has had better games but played his part. 6/10

Pontus Jansson - Started off with a couple of strange, misplaced passes but got his game in order and waded through a tonne of defensive work. 8/10

Liam Cooper - Did not have the luxury of sitting back and admiring the play in front of him this time and fought Birmingham hard until injury forced him off. 7/10

Vurnon Anita - Started at left-back, finished at right-back and did enough in both positions. City came at him but found no great weakness. 7/10

Kalvin Phillips - Lacking the energy of Saturday’s win over Burton, which was true of several players. Pushed himself as far as he could go. 6/10

Eunan O’Kane - Some dodgy moments but some fine ones too and he kept Leeds playing at times when it looked like the nerves might be creeping in. 8/10

Gjanni Alioski - Hasn’t really shone in his performances at home and some nice touches didn’t translate into the sort of football Alioski can play. 6/10

Samuel Saiz - A horse for all courses and although the going was wet and soft, he got his goal and broke on Birmingham at every opportunity. Unlucky not to score a second. 8/10

Pablo Hernandez - Made something of the first half but became an increasingly tired presence on the left in the second. 6/10

Pierre-Michel Lasogga - Forced the opener with a fierce volley and led the counter-attack for the second. Chased everything, despite the fact that the match took it out of him too. 7/10


Kemar Roofe (for Alioski, 60) - A lot of his half-hour on the pitch was spent sticking to the plan and keeping Birmingham out. Flourished a bit more towards the end. 6/10

Gaetano Berardi (for Cooper, 69) - Back from a dislocated shoulder and was as disciplined as Christiansen needed him to be at left-back. 6/10

Stuart Dallas (for Hernandez, 80) - Has looked like a different player since the summer, more confident and positive, and his goal took the roof off Elland Road. 7/10

Subs (not used): Andy Lonergan, Jay-Roy Grot, Pawel Cibicki, Ronaldo Vieira.

Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside) - Not an easy game to referee but was well on top of it. 7/10

Attendance: 31,507