Sheffield United 0 Leeds United 1: Jack Clarke impresses on the eye and the figures in bid to land first Whites start
TEENAGE winger Jack Clarke again advertised his claims to bag a first start for Leeds United in a performance very contrasting to Gjanni Alioski's in Saturday's 1-0 Championship victory at Sheffield United.
Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa again kept the faith with Alioski on the left wing with the Macedonian continuing his trend of lining up from the start in every league game this term.
But Alioski had just 20 touches of the ball in the first half, making only eight passes with six of them accurate with no shots at goal.
The 26-year-old made one unsuccessful tackle and one clearance, winning one aerial duel but a bitterly disappointing display led to Alioski being substituted at half-time for the second game in succession.
Clarke, Alioski's replacement on the left wing, was handed his fifth outing from the bench for Leeds and crucially set up the winning goal when keeping his cool to cash in on 'keeper Dean Henderson's error to square the ball to Pablo Hernandez to score.
In the same amount of time on the pitch as Alioski aside from an extra two minutes of stoppage time, Clarke only had one more touch than Alioski with 21 but the winger made 13 passes, ten of which were accurate.
One shot at goal also threatened to produce the 18-year-old's first ever goal with Henderson getting down low at his right-hand post to keep out Clarke's low drive.
Defensively Clarke also won one aerial battle and made a successful tackle on Billy Sharp towards his corner flag.
Clarke was not dispossessed once with his only error being when failing to control a pass which bypassed him out of play for a throw.
But Clarke's crucial assist, coolness in front of goal and overall statistics again boosted his prospects of bagging his first Whites start.