Southampton 2 Leeds United 2: Player ratings as attackers shine but frailties cost Whites

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Leeds United blew a two-goal lead to eventually draw 2-2 at Saturday afternoon’s Premier League hosts Southampton – but how did we rate the performances?

Whites no 9 Patrick Bamford was taken off injured in the 28th minute and replaced by Dan James as part of a half in which the Whites survived a VAR check for Diego Llorente's tackle on Stuart Armstrong when the Saints striker was through on goal.

But Leeds squandered good openings in the first half and went 1-0 up one minute after the interval as Rodrigo brilliantly flicked home a Jack Harrison cross.

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Rodrigo then doubled his and United's tally on the hour mark when heading home from underneath the crossbar after Pascal Struijk had flicked on Brenden Aaronson's corner.

FALSE HOPE: For Leeds United and Rodrigo, above, after putting the Whites 2-0 up at Southampton.
Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images.FALSE HOPE: For Leeds United and Rodrigo, above, after putting the Whites 2-0 up at Southampton.
Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images.
FALSE HOPE: For Leeds United and Rodrigo, above, after putting the Whites 2-0 up at Southampton. Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images.

Southampton, though, pulled a goal back with 18 minutes left when Joe Aribo eventually powered the ball home after a break down the left and the Saints equalised with nine minutes left when a brilliant through ball from Sekou Mara played in Kyle Walker Peters who smashed a fierce finish past Meslier.

YEP writer Lee Sobot hands out the scores from a sweltering day at St Mary’s.

Meslier 7

Tried everything to keep out Joe Aribo's strike and then beaten by a clinical finish by Kyle Walker-Peters for the second. Solid, again and quite clearly one of United’s main stars.

Kristensen 6

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The Dane had a pretty torrid first-half and missed a free header from close range which would have put the Whites in front but Kristensen recovered after the break and made some big interceptions.

Llorente 6

Survived a huge VAR scare after his last-ditch tackle on Stuart Armstrong and a bit of a mixed afternoon. All hands to the pump as Southampton rallied but Leeds remain vulnerable at the back. Stable as Marsch called it but there is clearly room for improvement.

Koch 6

Noticeably vocal at the back and is clearly enjoying his run at centre-back but unable to prevent a Saints fightback despite some strong defending, more so in the first half. Interesting to see what Marsch does at centre-back when Cooper finally returns.

Struijk 7

A decent shift considering he's not a natural left back and made a key impact at the other end with the flick on for Rodrigo's second goal. Also combined with Llorente to produce a brilliant block to keep out an Aribo strike from close range.

Adams 7

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Another combative performance in the middle of the park and shrugged off a knock after the break. Leeds have a very strong base in front of the midfield so cannot afford to let sides in down the flanks.

Roca 7

Particularly thrived as Leeds built up a 2-0 lead and weighed in with some big tackles. Already becoming a firm favourite in the middle of the park and the Adams-Roca axis looks strong.

Aaronson 7

A frustrating first-half but much better after the break when switched centrally, often working openings in the tightest of spaces. Fine corner for Rodrigo's second goal.

Harrison 7

Clearly United's best player in the first half as he created several openings and again decent after the interval but caught out defensively as Southampton rallied. Decent cross to bag an assist for Rodrigo’s opener.

Rodrigo 8

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Didn't look set for a blinder early doors after a few loose touches but went on to cause the Saints all sorts of bother and might well have had a hat-trick but for a good Bazunu save at the end. A brilliant finish for his first goal and in the right place to nod home the second. Thriving.

Bamford 5

Unable to convert a couple of early openings and then taken off injured after 27 minutes although boss Marsch says the issue is not serious. Still very much stop start which is understandable after so missing so much of last season.

James (sub 28) 7

Sent on upfront to replace Bamford and would have put Leeds 1-0 up at the break but for a wonderful save from Bazunu. Switched to the right wing after the break and buzzed about with his pace. A good showing.

Sinisterra (sub 84) N/A

A competitive Whites debut on as a late sub but too late to really get going

Klich (sub 84) N/A

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Another brought on late and might have been brought on sooner. Ferociously looked to close Saints down as part of a frantic finale.

Forshaw (sub) N/A

Similar to Klich, brought on to add experience into the mix.