Stuart Dallas hails impact of Leeds United team mate as 'handful' for Europa League holders Villarreal

Stuart Dallas hailed the particular impact of a Leeds United team mate for proving "a handful" for Villarreal in Saturday's 2-2 draw.

Sunday, 8th August 2021, 9:16 pm

Leeds fell behind after just nine seconds of Saturday's friendly against the Europa League holders which was played behind closed doors at York City's new LNER Community Stadium.

Alberto Moreno's cross was diverted past Illan Meslier by Robin Koch for an own goal with less than ten seconds on the clock but Leeds drew level eight minutes later through a cultured finish from Mateusz Klich.

Patrick Bamford then fired the Whites ahead just before the interval and Leeds were heading for victory until Dani Raba converted a Yeremy cross following a rapid Villarreal counter attack in the 81st minute.

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PRAISE: From Stuart Dallas, centre, for Leeds United team mate Patrick Bamford in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Villarreal, above. Picture by Varleys.

Meslier then pulled off a tremendous save to deny Boulaye Dia a late winner but Dallas saluted a good test of United's credentials and particularly highlighted the display of Bamford upfront.

As well as scoring, the Whites no 9 saw one effort hit the crossbar and another cleared off the line whilst the striker was also denied what looked like a clear penalty after being tripped by Jorge Cuenca in the box.

With the pre-season friendlies now finished, Leeds will begin their second season back in the Premier League with Saturday's trip to arch rivals Manchester United whilst Villarreal start their new campaign on Wednesday evening in the UEFA Super Cup clash against Chelsea, just four days after facing Leeds.

"It was a good test for us against very good opposition," Dallas told LUTV.

"I think they are obviously preparing for a cup final during the week so I think it was a good test for both sides and a draw was probably a fair result in the end.

"We started the game a bit strangely, I was saying the ref should have blown up and started again because I don't really know what happened but we got ourselves back into it and I thought in the first half we played really well.

"I thought Pat up front was a real handful, I thought we pressed the game really well - we've been working really hard on it in the last couple of weeks.

"Obviously in the second half it tends to open up a bit more and I'm disappointed with how we conceded.

"We were very open, the ball was in the opposition half and one ball was through and that I got turned too easily at the back post.

"It's something that we will look back on and try to improve on.

"We could have lost it in the end, it was a great save from Illan but overall I thought a draw was a fair result and it was a good performance all round.”

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Thank you Laura Collins