Patrick Bamford registered one goal and two assists as Leeds United earned retribution over Leicester City after the 4-1 humiliation back in November.
The Premier League title race got more interesting as Leeds United dealt a huge blow to Leicester City’s hopes, registering a 3-1 win at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was an entertaining game to watch – as one can associate with any match that involves Leeds United. It was the hosts who were the more exciting to watch in the early phase of the game, though, with Harvey Barnes scoring the opener with a truly wonderful goal in the 13th minute.
The Whites were exceedingly quick to respond, immediately levelling the score through Stuart Dallas. It was a turning point of what was an evenly contested fixture. Both the sides scored one more goal each before half-time but they were disallowed due to offside, with VAR later confirming those decisions.
Leicester City were the better side once again, early in the game second-half, thanks in part to a host of tactical changes made by Brendan Rodgers. Yet, it was Leeds who scored the goal and a great one too by Patrick Bamford in the 70th minute.
The ex-Chelsea starlet then turned provider in the 84th minute as Leeds took full advantage of the acres of space left behind by the Foxes in search of an equaliser. He fed Jack Harrison in front of goal for an easy tap in, with the on-loan Manchester City attacker sealing all three points for Marcelo Bielsa’s men.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at how these two sides performed in this shock result in the context of the league table this weekend.
Kasper Schmeichel: 8/10
Kasper Schmeichel was arguably the best performer for Leicester City in this game, making multiple saves and keeping his side in the contest for the large parts of the proceedings.
31' #LUFC have a goal ruled out. Schmeichel makes a superb save to deny Bamford, Klich gets the rebound but it's judged offside. 1-1
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 31, 2021
Timothy Castagne: 5/10
Timothy Castagne’s afternoon was cut short as Rodgers took him off within the first half due to tactical reasons. Couldn’t really impact the game.
Wesley Fofana: 6/10
It was one of those rare occasions where Wesley Fofana struggled to perform. His decision making was questionable, with the defender failing to keep Patrick Bamford quiet.
Jonny Evans: 6/10
Jonny Evans also endured a bad game against Leeds United. He failed to cope with the pressure exerted by the opposition and was beaten way too easily for the first and second goals.
James Justin: 6/10
James Justin struggled in dealing with the threat of Raphinha out wide. A rare bad game for the brilliant youngster, who needs to further improve his defensive skills.
Youri Tielemans: 6.5/10
It was a quiet afternoon for Youri Tielemans. The Leicester City midfielder couldn’t manage to impose his authority in the middle of the park and had trouble dealing with the high intensity of the opposition.
Nampalys Mendy: 6.5/10
Nampalys Mendy looked decent during the early stages of the game. However, he couldn’t sustain his solidity in the holding midfield position, especially when Leeds hit the hosts on the counter.
Marc Albrighton: 5/10
Marc Albrighton was a misfit in this Leicester City XI right from the beginning. He had his problems making an impact on the right-hand channel and was replaced by Caglar Soyuncu at half-time.
James Maddison: 6/10
James Maddison looked lively during the first phase of the game. His brilliant pass to Barnes even led to the opening goal for the Foxes. Unfortunately for the hosts, his influence waned as the game progressed, though the opposition deserves credit for defending well against him.
Harvey Barnes: 6.5/10
Harvey Barnes has now been directly involved in 10 Premier League goals this season:
◉ 7 goals
◎ 3 assists
Hitting some serious form. ? pic.twitter.com/rUmdARF0Fe
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 31, 2021
Barnes was virtually unstoppable during the twelve minutes of the games, which was followed by equally ineffective display in the final third. Things weren’t really working for him this afternoon.
Ayoze Perez: 6.5/10
Ayoze Perez got into good positions and even scored a goal that was ruled out offside. But, the pace, aggression and clinical nature of Jamie Vardy was missing in his game.
Ricardo Pereira: 6/10
Ricardo Pereira was introduced in the first half, at the expense of Castagne. The right-back couldn’t really impact the game, though, as the Leeds United backline stood strong.
Caglar Soyuncu: 6.5/10
Soyuncu’s introduction did help Leicester dominate possession, and it was a rather unfortunate evening for the centre-back, whose aggression and imposing presence will be needed in coming matches.
Cengiz Under: N/A
A late replacement for Fofana. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Illan Meslier: 7.5/10
Illan Meslier had a slow start to the game, notably getting beaten by Barnes’ effort. But it was followed by a solid performance in goal that saw him make multiple saves and keep Leicester at bay.
Luke Ayling: 8/10
Starting in his preferred right-back position, Luke Ayling offered those signature runs forward – making life difficult for the opposition. He also kept Barnes quiet after the initial stages of the game.
Pascal Struijk: 8/10
Pascal Struijk produced his best ever performance in his fledgeling professional career. The youngster was a rock at the back, and his decision-making was just perfect.
Liam Cooper: 8.5/10
— Liam Cooper (@LiamCooper__) January 31, 2021
The captain led the team by example, providing solidity and composure in the Leeds United backline. It was almost impossible to get past him at times, especially in the second half.
Ezgjan Alioski: 7/10
Ezgjan Alioski had a busy game on the left-hand side, where he had to be careful with Albrighton’s runs in the first half. The Macedonian star did an excellent job throughout the course of the game. Interchanged positions with Dallas too – making his side more unpredictable.
Stuart Dallas: 8/10
Stuart Dallas played a key role in central midfield, aiding Kalvin Phillips in the second line of press. His forays down the final third also paid off as he linked up with Bamford to score the equaliser. Shifted to the left-back position later in the game.
Kalvin Phillips: 7.5/10
Phillips was tasked with the responsibility of seeing out the threat of Maddison. After an initial flurry from the Leicester City playmaker, the Leeds United star kept him quiet while also providing those signature cross-field passes.
Raphinha showed once again why he could be the next big superstar in the Premier League. The Brazilian forward looked promising in his dribbles forward, while his passes in the final third were simply far too dangerous for the opposition. Unlucky not to score a goal himself, but did assist Bamford’s second-half strike.
? The pass from Raphinha
? The finish from Bamford
? Leeds score a wonderful goal as they upset the odds by winning 3-1 at Leicester!
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) January 31, 2021
Rodrigo had a slow start to the game and his night was cut short after picking up an injury. He was subbed off within the first quarter of the proceedings. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Jack Harrison: 7/10
Jack Harrison may not have been as lively as Raphinha. But, the winger was influential whenever he had the ball and scored the crucial third goal that sealed all three points for his side.
Patrick Bamford: 9/10
It was a complete display from Patrick Bamford, whose playmaking qualities saw him register two assists. The striker also looked sharp and scored the goal that put Leeds ahead. His return of form is a promising sign for the Whites.
Leeds United have now scored 22 Premier League goals away from home this season, only Man Utd (24) have more on the road.
Patrick Bamford has scored or assisted 11 of them. ? pic.twitter.com/FTKFwqTLHc
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 31, 2021
Mateusz Klich: 8/10
Mateusz Klich replaced Rodrigo early on in the game and made an instant impact. His urgency and quality in passing forward saw him become the architect of Leeds’ forward play. He is certainly much more effective than Rodrigo in the creative side of the game.
Helder Costa: N/A
A late replacement for Raphinha. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.