YEP Jury: ‘Vintage Leeds United’ as Kalvin Phillips and Co see off Everton

Our panel of fans have their say on another superlative away performance from Leeds United.

Sunday, 29th November 2020, 4:27 pm
Illan Meslier of Leeds United saves from Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

DAVID WATKINS

Wow, another breathtaking performance from the mighty Whites and in just our 10th game back in the big time.

It is only a shame that we were not able to convert a dominant performance into a dominant result!

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Kalvin Phillips gets away from Everton's Richarlison. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Another 23 attempts and another 58 per cent possession stat tells the story of the dominance of the game but it was the failure to get more than seven of those attempts on target – Everton got eight of theirs on target from only 15 efforts – meaning it was in the balance until the final whistle.

Everton showed only glimpses of the individual quality they undoubtedly have and that was mainly because we didn’t give them too much opportunity, as we pressed and ran our socks off.

But we still have to pay tribute to Illan Meslier for a couple of superb saves, playing his part in a first-class all-round display.

Marcelo did warn us that the brilliance of our finishing in those early games would not last, but if we can just up the conversion ratio a tad then we’ll have a fine season!

Leeds United's Jack Harrison hits the post at Everton. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Man of the match: Illan Meslier.

MATTHEW EVANS

Not for the first time this year I’m left imagining the away end in a parallel universe. At Goodison Park yesterday we would have exploded with joy at Raphinha’s late, long-range goal, safe in the knowledge that VAR couldn’t touch it.

Even without VAR the ball was in the back of the net three times on Saturday with each one correctly ruled out by the on field officials. Those moments coupled with a hatful of misses make you wonder how this ever finished 1-0.

Helder Costa has his shot saved by Everton's Jordan Pickford. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The three points were well deserved for United. We looked in control for most of the 90 minutes and, to my eye, clearly the superior side. I honestly believe we’ve played well in every single game this season and we just need to add a bit of composure and consistency to climb high in the table.

For the second game in a row I could pick most of the team for man of the match. Meslier deserves a call out for another clean sheet. Kalvin Phillips was immense in the middle of the field while Klich, Koch, Ayling and Alioski were all brilliant in their own way. I’m giving it to the man with the debut goal who has single-handedly made us look more threatening almost overnight.

Man of the match: Raphinha.

JACOB STARR

Leeds United's Raphinha holds off Everton's James Rodríguez. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

A bit of Brazilian magic from Raphinha edged us past Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton in a thoroughly entertaining encounter at Goodison Park.

It was looking as though we were going to record a second successive goalless draw, but up stepped the former Rennes-man 11 minutes from time to slot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Patrick Bamford, Jack Harrison and Mateusz Klich all had clear opportunities to score in the first half whilst the Toffees had two goals correctly ruled out by VAR after Illan Meslier had saved terrifically from Abdoulaye Doucoure.

The Whites did extremely well to marshal Dominic Calvert-Lewin to a limited amount of goalmouth action, contributing towards consecutive clean sheets. This was all without Rodrigo, who was only handed a small cameo in stoppage time.

Raphinha did his bit, and so did the defence, but Kalvin Phillips stole the show.

He topped all the stats ranging from passes made to distance covered. The man is a machine, just like this team.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

KEITH INGHAM

As I mentioned in my preview it was 30 years ago when I travelled to see Leeds play Everton in their first game after their promotion to Division One.

The game yesterday was just as thrilling and again for the first time since 1990, United travelled back over the Pennines with three points tucked inside their maroon shirt sleeves after a 1-0 win.

To be honest by the end of the first half a scoreline of 6-4 wouldn’t have been surreal. Leeds had chance after chance with Pickford keeping out Bamford and a host of other chances just going past his post.

Everton though tested Meslier who saved superbly from Doucoure and blocked a James Rodriguez effort on his goal.

The home side also had two ‘goals’ disallowed for offside by VAR.

With the game going into the last 20 minutes, Leeds finally got the goal their display so deserved. Raphinha received the ball and powered towards the 18-yard box before putting a shot wide of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and into the Everton net.

He deserved the goal for a very impressive display, his first for the first team since his move from Rennes.

When you looked at the fixtures after the last international break you feared it might be a hard three games, but with two played Leeds have already four points against Arsenal and Everton and will go to Chelsea next Saturday with confidence.

I was very proud of that performance and result. It made me remember another great win back in the day.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

MIKE GILL

Another tight game. It was looking like another undeserved goalless draw until Raphinha broke the deadlock with a beautifully placed long-range shot which Pickford couldn’t get anywhere near.

The Brazilian had laid down a few markers mainly in the first half and it was great to see him open his account for Leeds.

This was further progression for the Whites as they pull their chair forward and stretch their legs under the Premier League table.

They certainly look at home and nobody can say it’s due to the element of surprise any more.

Kalvin Phillips was imperious as he completely bossed the midfield. What a fine player he has turned out to be. Close behind came Raphinha, Alioski, Ayling and a special mention must go to Meslier.

The ‘12-year-old giant’ kept his concentration throughout.

He is definitely a class act.

Most fans would like to have seen a bit more of Rodrigo but it’s a long season and I feel sure that he will get his chance before very long.

Chelsea are next and United will be up for that as well.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

ANDY RHODES

I’m never quite sure what to expect from Leeds games these days. On paper this looked like a tricky one but, in reality, it was a return to the dominant Leeds United we’ve come to know under Marcelo Bielsa.

United registered 23 shots but, for a while, it looked like they’d leave Goodison Park with just a point – a story we’ve all heard before.

However Raphinha, a bargain at £17m, had the quality to find the bottom corner with no other options available to him.

His individual brilliance was matched by his team-mates. Kalvin Phillips, Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich all had excellent games in midfield, while Illan Meslier did his bit with some vital saves.

It all means that, as of full time yesterday evening, Leeds had the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League, unthinkable when you consider they have conceded 17 goals in 10 games.

Bielsa will be happy with another win and, while it could have been a more comfortable scoreline, it was vintage Leeds United.

Man of the match: Raphinha.

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