Raphinha was the star man for Leeds United as they secured a narrow 1-0 win over Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton on Saturday.
Leeds United finally bounced back to winning ways by securing a narrow victory over Everton at the Goodison Park on Saturday, in what turned out to be one of the most eventful matches of the season.
While the 1-0 scoreline might suggest a cagey affair, neither of these teams failed to create chances with the game seeing a total of 38 attempts on goal from both sides combined. Everton, in the first half, had even scored twice, but both of them were chalked off due to offside decisions.
On the flip side, however, the Toffees also gave away numerous goalscoring opportunities for Leeds United, who were once again wasteful in front of goal. In fact, for all their clear cut chances, it needed a clinical effort from Raphinha from outside the box to break the deadlock, with just ten minutes remaining on the clock.
The Whites naturally had a nervy to the proceedings as Everton pushed forward for an equaliser. But they did just enough to see out their slender lead, thus securing their first victory at the Goodison Park since 1990 while also ending a run of three games without a win in the Premier League.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides following this highly entertaining match-up in Merseyside this weekend.
Jordan Pickford: 8/10
Everton will be indebted to Jordan Pickford as the Englishman made a host of saves throughout the game that kept the Toffees in the contest. He was by far the best performer for the hosts in this game.
Ben Godfrey: 6/10
Ben Godfrey made a key goalline clearance to deny Kalvin Phillips in the first half but was culpable for a mix-up with Michael Keane that led to another opportunity for the visitors.
Michael Keane: 5/10
Keane did not provide a great deal of solidity in the Everton backline and looked overwhelmed at times by the intense attacks of Leeds United.
Mason Holgate: 5/10
Mason Holgate wore the captain’s armband, but barely managed to justify the honour as he struggled to deal with the threat of Raphinha and company.
Tom Davies: 6.5/10
Tom Davies deputized for the injured Seamus Coleman at right wing-back and did a good job as well. He rotated possession comfortably and looked much better than his defensive teammates.
Abdoulaye Doucoure: 5/10
Abdoulaye Doucoure never really managed to get going against the intense Leeds United press. His passing was not up to the mark and the ex-Watford midfielder simply could not contain the opposition.
Allan was much better than any of his teammates against Leeds United. The Brazilian was a key outlet in the double pivot, often winning possession back for his team and launching counter-attacks. It was evident that he had the equality to take on the opposition.
Alex Iwobi: 6/10
Alex Iwobi failed to continue his excellent run of form, perhaps due to the fact that he had to switch flanks due to absence of Lucas Digne. He lacked inventiveness going forward, often getting occupied by Raphinha.
James Rodriguez: 7/10
James Rodriguez tried his best to make things happen in the final third, using his ability to craft opportunities and link up with teammates. Unfortunately, his efforts were not reciprocated by his teammates.
Everton have had two goals ruled out for offside and James Rodriguez is ready to throw hands 😅
— Goal (@goal) November 28, 2020
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: 6.5/10
One of the most in-form strikers in the Premier League this season, Dominic Calvert-Lewin offered the physical and aerial presence in the box, but it was not enough to break the deadlock.
Richarlison scored a goal in the first half that was ruled out while his influence completely faded in the second half. The Brazilian often looked clumsy in possession and was arguably the worst attacker for Everton in this game.
Fabian Delph: 5/10
Replaced Davies around the hour-mark, allowing Iwobi to move to the right. Did not make too much of an impact, however.
Andre Gomes: 5/10
Came on for Iwobi midway through the second half, but failed to provide the creative substance in the final third.
A late sub for Holgate. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Illan Meslier: 7.5/10
While Pickford was the better of the two goalkeepers, Illan Meslier was not a long way off either as the Frenchman made a couple of excellent saves to prevent Everton from finding the back of the net, although he nearly gifted James Rodriguez a goal too. A well deserved clean sheet.
Luke Ayling: 7/10
Luke Ayling was influential down the right flank as well, providing ample offensive support to Raphinha while also dealing with the threat of Iwobi and Richarlison.
Robin Koch: 8/10
Robin Koch was by far the best defender for Leeds United in this match. The German international was a rock at the back, providing cover for an otherwise inconsistent Liam Cooper.
👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 for Raphinha!
Marching on together! 🔵🟡⚪️ pic.twitter.com/mU9v9KcIvK
— Robin Koch (@RobinKoch25) November 28, 2020
Liam Cooper: 6.5/10
Cooper was extremely lucky to get away with a defensive moment that saw him fail to intercept or clear a pass led to an excellent opportunity for Everton, which they failed to convert. Looked solid with Koch in central defence.
Stuart Dallas: 7.5/10
The presence of Ezgjan Alioski allowed Stuart Dallas to venture forward – something he is quite good at. And it was evident in his performances against Everton as the Northern Irishman linked up well with his teammates in the final third.
Kalvin Phillips: 8.5/10
It was a clinical performance from Kalvin Phillips, whose majestic passing and composure in the middle of the park was essential in helping Leeds United prevail in this game. The midfielder also looked quite lively off the ball as well, epitomising Marcelo Bielsa’s footballing philosophy.
As we had predicted in our preview, Raphinha turned out to be the game-changer for Leeds United with a sublime finish in the 79th minute. The Brazilian was a source of creativity and inspiration on the right flank.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 28, 2020
Mateusz Klich: 7/10
Mateusz Klich did what he does best – attacking the opposition and playing a key role in the second line of press. His passing also led to a couple of chances for the away side.
Jack Harrison: 8/10
Jack Harrison operated in an unusual attacking midfield role, but that did not deter him from making an impact on the proceedings. The on-loan Manchester City winger was a livewire in the final third, crafting a host of opportunities for his team throughout the game.
Ezgjan Alioski: 6.5/10
Alioski may not have been the most influential performer for Leeds United in this game. But, his positioning and aggression were critical in keeping Everton occupied with or without the ball.
Patrick Bamford: 6/10
Patrick Bamford once again missed a couple of excellent opportunities to find the back of the net. The forward won’t be too happy with his performances as his deterioration continues, following an excellent start to the campaign.
Ian Poveda: N/A
Made one excellent opportunity after coming on for Raphinha in the 85th minute. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Helder Costa: N/A
A late sub for Harrison. Missed a late opportunity to score, but did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Rodrigo Moreno: N/A
A late sub for Bamford. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.