Kalvin Phillips stood out as the star performer as Leeds United twice came from a goal down to hold Everton to a 2-2 draw at Elland Road on Saturday.
In what was a pulsating affair that saw Leeds dominate much of the possession only for Everton to grab the lead against the run of play when Liam Cooper brought Dominic Calvert-Lewin down in his own box. The Everton striker stepped up to take the penalty, making no error in converting from the spot.
Heading into half-time, though, Leeds were back on level terms thanks to a well-worked goal that saw Mateusz Klich score from close range after receiving the ball from Patrick Bamford. However, Everton went ahead for a second time in the game when Demarai Gray scored from an acute angle to make it 2-1 after some shoddy defending by Leeds.
Leeds, though, were not going down without a fight, and they duly levelled things up for a second time in the 71st minute when Raphinha produced a peach of a strike to make it 2-2. The result means Leeds are off the mark in the Premier League this season while Everton remain unbeaten at the onset of the season. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both the set of players.
Illan Meslier: 7/10
A game of hits and misses for Meslier, who should have stopped Demarai Gray’s effort but made a couple of solid stops along the way as well.
Luke Ayling: 6/10
There was a lot that Ayling left to be desired defensively, but he carried a fair bit of threat in the final third again. Needs to work on his defensive acumen.
Pascal Strujik: 7/10
The best defender by far for Leeds, Strujik fared decently for the most part and ensured Dominic Calvert-Lewin did not get out of hand.
Liam Cooper: 6/10
Unlike his partner at the heart of the Leeds defence, Cooper struggled quite a lot at the back. Inexplicably gave away the penalty that was converted by Calvert-Lewin and hardly ever appeared to be comfortable.
Junior Firpo: 6/10
Making his first competitive start for Leeds, Junior Firpo was extremely inconsistent. While he was solid for the most part defensively, he hardly posed a threat in the final third, and needs to work on his output.
Kalvin Phillips: 8/10
In what was the first start of the season for Phillips, he kept a check on his marker for the most part while ensuring that Leeds remained firmly in control of the proceedings. Solid effort.
Raphinha has played three games against Everton in his career:
He’s scored in every single one. 👌 pic.twitter.com/S4iq2u5unR
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) August 21, 2021
As ever, Raphinha was the danger man for Leeds, sending the Everton defenders back-pedaling on wave after wave of attacks. The Brazilian’s standout moment, though, was when he produced a brilliant finish to earn a point for the Whites.
Mateusz Klich: 7/10
There were moments wherein Klich just could not manage to get the better of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure. However, the Pole was in the right place at the right time to find the back of the net and level things up with a composed finish.
Stuart Dallas: 6/10
Dallas was typically hard-working in the middle of the park and cannot be faulted for a lack of effort. However, the Leeds midfielder just could not get going in the offensive phases and will be eager to do better next weekend.
Jack Harrison: 7/10
Harrison might not have a goal or an assist to show for his efforts. However, the former Manchester City man was a major reason why Leeds constantly bombarded Everton. Send in the looping ball that was eventually converted by Raphinha. Job well done.
Patrick Bamford: 7/10
Patrick Bamford has been directly involved in 25 Premier League goals since the start of last season:
◎ 40 games
◉ 17 goals
◉ 8 assists
Excelling under Bielsa. 🎓 pic.twitter.com/dZqi8cFOOa
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 21, 2021
A blow-hot-blow-cold performance by Bamford, who once again could not find the back of the net and will be itching to break his duck in the games to come. Nevertheless, the Englishman was involved in the move that finished with Klich’s goal and therefore played his part in earning a draw.
Tyler Roberts: 6/10
On for Klich, Roberts was hardly an upgrade over the incumbent and did not do much to trouble Everton in the final half an hour or so.
Jamie Shackleton: 6/10
On for Firpo, Shackleton got some much-needed minutes and provided an injection of energy late on. Alas, that was not enough to grab all three points.
Jordan Pickford: 6/10
Like Meslier in the Leeds goal, there was not a whole lot that Pickford had to do in between the Everton posts, only making a couple of saves. Could not have done anything to deny either Klich or Raphinha.
Seamus Coleman: 6/10
A frustrating outing for Coleman, who hardly carried a threat down the right flank. However, he did appear to be rather unassuming in defence and fare decently on that count.
Yerry Mina: 7/10
Patrick Bamford vs Yerry Minapic.twitter.com/IMGG6pD0hI
— ⚽ 🅘🅝🅐🅚🅘 ⚽ (@InakiFutbol) August 21, 2021
Yerry Mina was engulfed in a fascinating duel with Patrick Bamford all game long and appeared to have won it by the time the full-time whistle blew. After initially being linked with a summer exit, the Colombian appears to be here to stay.
Michael Keane: 6/10
Once again, Keane could not manage to impose himself at the back. While he was not tested as much as partner Yerry Mina, he still looked nervy whenever called into action and must improve.
Lucas Digne: 6/10
Like Coleman on the right flank, Digne was left exasperated by some of the happenings on the pitch. His output in the final third, though, was not quite at his best levels, although he did defend smartly for the most part.
Andoulaye Doucoure: 7/10
After a fantastic showing last weekend, Doucoure appeared to be brimming with confidence and even aimed a couple of dangerous-looking shots at goal. Did his job defensively, keeping Stuart Dallas quiet.
Like Doucoure, Allan was extremely solid in the middle of the park, ensuring Klich just could not overpower him or the Everton midfield in general for the most part.
Alex Iwobi: 6/10
A bundle of energy in the final third, Iwobi tried hard to make things happen but could never really get the better of Junior Firpo.
Demarai Gray: 7/10
Deployed more centrally for Everton, Gray endured a horrific game for the most part, barely managing a touch on the ball, with Kalvin Phillips being utterly dominant in midfield. However, he popped up in the right place at the right time to score Everton’s second. Needs to get more involved, though.
A game to forget for Richarlison, who could not really manage to pose a great deal of threat to Illan Meslier’s goal. Did not see the ball as much as he usually does as well, which affected his output.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: 7/10
Shush the home fans 🤫
Bust a move 🕺
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a menace 😎 pic.twitter.com/eE2B6TEPbw
— Goal (@goal) August 21, 2021
While Richarlison was barely involved, Calvert-Lewin saw a fair bit of the ball, although he never really looked like scoring from open play. Made no error in converting from the spot after being brought down by Liam Cooper.
Andros Townsend: N/A
On for Iwobi, Townsend did not see much of the ball in the final quarter of an hour.
Fabian Delph: N/A
On for the final ten minutes or so, Delph was solid enough in the latter stages of the game.
Moise Kean: N/A
A late introduction, Kean barely had any time on the pitch before full-time whistle blew.