Leeds United got off to a flying start in their 2017/18 Championship campaign today with a 3-2 win away at Bolton Wanderers. It was a dream start for new manager Thomas Christiansen with a brace from Kalvin Phillips and a goal from Chris Wood being enough to claim the Yorkshire side all three points.
However, there will still be plenty for Christiansen to ponder ahead of his team’s next outing. Gary Madine and Adam Le Fondre found the back of the net for Wanderers and both goals were very much avoidable for the away side.
We take a look at how each player performed for the Whites throughout the game at the Macron Stadium.
Felix Wiedwald – 4
It was a poor performance on debut from the 27-year-old keeper who joined the club from German side Werder Bremen this summer. He had several nervy moments throughout the match, most notably for Bolton’s first goal where he was caught under a corner which allowed Madine to head into an empty net. It was surprising to see him included in the starting line-up for this one due to how well Rob Green performed in net last season.
Luke Ayling – 7
It was a solid performance from the 25-year-old right-back. He got up and down the right-hand side of the pitch all game and was very effective both defensively and offensively. His energy will prove very handy to Leeds throughout this season.
Matthew Pennington – 7
The Everton loanee impressed on his debut for the club in the centre of defence alongside Liam Cooper. The duo had to deal with an aerial bombardment all afternoon and formed a good partnership. It was unfortunate that his afternoon ended early after being forced off through injury.
Liam Cooper – 9
The central defender was made captain for the day and certainly put in a performance worthy of receiving the captaincy on a full-time basis. He led by example and dealt with a number of difficult situations at the Macron Stadium. He will be a huge player for Leeds this season if he can replicate this type of performance on a regular basis.
Gaetano Berardi – 7
The left-back only managed 38 minutes on the pitch before being forced off with a dislocated shoulder but performed well during this time. The 28-year-old looked determined to claim the left-back position as his own following the departure of Charlie Taylor, and his injury is certainly a blow to new boss Christiansen. However, he was replaced by Vurnon Anita who equally did very well at left-back considering it is not his natural position.
Eunan O’Kane – 7
The midfielder can often go unnoticed in the middle of the park for the Whites as he rarely grabs the headlines for his performances. However, he put in a very impressive performance for his side today as they dominated possession throughout and dictated the game. O’Kane was a key reason behind this.
Kalvin Phillips – 8
It was a surprise to see the 21-year-old perform so well at the Macron Stadium having only scored once for the Whites last season. He got his side off to a flying start after just seven minutes with a superb goal albeit via a deflection. He was then in the right place at the right time to pass Wood’s square ball into the back of the net to restore his side’s two goal advantage before half-time. He looks like a real prospect.
Kemar Roofe – 7
The winger looked a threat all game for the visitors and produced quality at vital moments throughout. He had a key involvement in the lead up to the first goal from Phillips. However, one negative aspect of his performance was how easily he was beaten in the air by Madine for Bolton’s first goal. This is an area of his game he could look to improve on.
Pablo Hernandez – 9
The 32-year-old Spaniard oozed class throughout and was one of Leeds’ standout players in their opening day victory. He played a great ball through to Wood in the lead up to Leeds’ third goal which beat the offside trap. He was a constant threat throughout and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself in the second-half as his shot rattled the crossbar.
Ezgjan Alioski – 7
The Macedonia international performed reasonably well on his debut for Leeds but equally could have done better. His main contribution was his assist for Wood’s goal as his header back across the danger area kept the attack alive and caught the Bolton defence off-guard. However, he did have several chances to score himself but could not find the back of the net.
Chris Wood – 8
It was not his best performance for Leeds, but once again he did what he is in the team to do, and that is score goals. The fact he is off-the-mark so early will help his confidence, and Christiansen will be hoping that he can replicate his goalscoring form from last season. If he does, Leeds have a great chance of challenging at the top of the league again.