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Kemar Roofe Shines – The Best And The Worst Rated Leeds United Players Against Liverpool

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The teams shake hands before the match

Championship side Leeds United travelled to Merseyside as they faced the daunting task of restraining Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. A 7th successive season in the second division of English football is a fair enough assessment that Leeds United’s glory days are way behind them. Liverpool vs. Leeds United – a fixture that once carried a much historic significance has merely been reduced to a heavyweight versus underdog battle.

Under Garry Monk, Leeds’ seventh manager in less than 3 years, things are starting to improve bit by bit as the Whites find themselves fifth in the championship table with a win in 4 of their last 5 fixtures. But the odds were stacked heavily in favour of the home side even before the ball was set rolling.

Monk took a leaf out of Sunderland’s book, a team that had frustrated the Anfield crowd to no end just 3 days ago, and shored up by the numbers in the midfield. Defending as a collective unit, Leeds squeezed out several decent opportunities against a disjointed Liverpool side. An early defensive lapse put Hadi Sacko one-on-one against Simon Mignolet, but the Belgian keeper pulled off a fine save to save his side the blushes.

Ultimately Leeds lost 2-0 thanks to goals from Divock Origi and Ben Woodburn, but not before giving a good account of themselves. The score-line flatters the story of how the match progressed, and of course, the result could’ve been very different had Kemar Roofe’s spectacular curler had gone in after the break, rather than slamming into the outside of the far post.

The reception received by the 5500 travelling Leeds supporters at the full-time whistle displayed the kind of effort put in by Garry Monk’s side. Here’s a lowdown of how each individual player fared on the night:

Marco Silvestri

Leeds’ second choice goalkeeper had his first appearance since his penalty shoot-out heroics in the previous round. Performed admirably whenever called into action, denying Wijnaldum with a very important save in the first half. Can’t be faulted for Woodburn’s goal but will be very disappointed to have conceded at his near post for the opener.

Liverpool's Divock Origi scores their first goal

Rating: 6/10

Gaetano Berardi

For someone making just his third appearance for Leeds this season, Berardi put in a disciplined performance at right-back and was able to nullify Alberto Moreno’s offensive influence. Ran out of steam in the latter stages of the second half as Liverpool exerted more pressure.

Rating: 7/10

 Kyle Bartley

For an opposition central defender playing at Anfield has turned out to be quite nightmarish at times, but Kyle Bartley managed to deal with the Liverpool forward line’s threat for a vast majority of the night. An early miscommunication with his own keeper Silvestri almost handed Liverpool an early goal but he was able to keep Origi quiet up until the 76th minute.

Rating: 7/10

Liam Cooper

Remained comfortable during his stay of 45 minutes on the pitch and was hardly troubled by Liverpool’s rotating attacking line of Mane, Origi and Ejaria. Unfortunately, his stay on the pitch was cut short by an injury and had to be substituted at half-time for Luke Ayling.

Rating: 6/10

Charlie Taylor

Liverpool's Divock Origi in action with Leeds' Charlie Taylor

Leeds’ Player of the Season once again showed why he is so highly regarded among Premier League club scouts. He was Leeds’ chief attacking outlet, providing width down on the left flank and putting in some delightful crosses. Was hardly fazed by the threat of Sadio Mane and certainly showed his readiness for Premier League football.

Rating: 8/10

Eunan O’Kane

Looked composed and assured in a midfield partnership with Ronaldo Vieira for a good part of the first 26 minutes before an injury meant he had to replaced by Kalvin Phillips.

Rating: 6/10

Ronaldo Vieira

One to watch out for in the future? Definitely! Dominated Emre Can and bossed Liverpool’s midfield time and again. Calm, composed and nonchalantly went about his business in front of a crowd that huge. A superstar in the making, completely at home on the big stage.

Rating: 8/10

Hadi Sacko

Leeds' Hadi Sacko shoots at goal

Should have scored the opener when he was one-on-one against Simon Mignolet just three minutes into the match. Failed to put any of his other chances and was often guilty of giving the ball away cheaply with a poor close control.

Rating: 6/10

Stuart Dallas

It was Dallas’ first game following a two-month injury layoff and it showed. He worked hard and helped Leeds keep their shape intact, but was hardly a threat in front of the goal. The signs of fatigue were obvious around the 60-minute mark and he was replaced by Chris Wood.

Rating: 6/10

Kemar Roofe

Kemar Roofe, the League Two Player of the Year last season, showed just why Leeds went out of their way for his signature. His pace was a constant problem of concern, carving the Liverpool defence open time and again to create decent opportunities for his side. His first-half effort was safely pouched by Mignolet, but was unlucky to hit the post with a beautiful curling shot. Lucas and Klavan’s headache all night.

Leeds' Kemar Roofe reacts after hitting the post

Rating: 8.5/10

Souleymane Doukara

A surprise selection to lead the line at Anfield ahead of last season’s top scorer Chris Wood. Looked lively but failed to make the most of the opportunities. Unsure of how to approach him, Doukara imposed his physical presence higher up the field but lacked the tactfulness in the final third. Looked a much better player when he was paired in a front two alongside Chris Wood.

Rating: 6/10


Kalvin Phillips (on for O’Kane 28’)

Was called into action halfway into the first half due to an unfortunate injury picked up by Eunan O’Kane. Showed signs of nerves at first as an early touch almost resulted in conceding a goal, but he was quickly able to grow into the game. A dominant, energetic and gritty display that is undoubtedly worthy of praise.

Rating: 7/10

Luke Ayling (on for Cooper 46’)

The second forced substitution for Garry Monk on the night. Luke Ayling was brought on to replace the rather comfortable looking Liam Cooper due to another injury and he definitely showed early signs of being behind the game. Settled down as the half progressed, but Divock Origi’s movements did pose a problem or two.

Rating: 6/10

Chris Wood (on for Dallas 62’)

Chris Wood’s introduction did make an impact as his partnership upfront with Souleymane Doukara kept the Liverpool defenders busy. Had a goal correctly disallowed for offside with 10 minutes left on the clock, but Leeds’ fate had already been sealed by Woodburn by then.

Rating; 6/10