Leeds United, under the iconic Marcelo Bielsa, enjoyed a blistering start to the new Championship season with a stunning 3-1 win over heavyweights Stoke City but they were expecting a fierce fight on the road today against Derby County.
New Derby boss Frank Lampard grabbed a breathtaking injury-time victory over Reading in the opening fixture. However, a win on his managerial debut is marred now as the Rams suffered a 1-4 humiliation at home versus the Whites who are now a rejuvenated and resilient force emerging as a prime promotion contender.
Leeds had the perfect start when Mateusz Klich picked up from where he left off against the Potters and earned his side an early lead with a decent finish.
The lead did not last long though as in-form Tom Lawrence’s thumping free-kick secured the hosts an equalizer. Young Whites custodian Bailey Peacock-Farrell could not judge the strike properly and paid the price but was a relieved man when Kemar Roofe’s glancing header restored the lead minutes later. United maintained their superiority even after the break and extended the margin when Roofe struck again.
Lampard looked completely baffled when his side conceded the fourth as Ezgjan Alioski also joined the party to stretch it to 4-1.
Leeds United players rated in their dominant victory over Derby County
Bailey Peacock-Farrell: 5.5/10
Misjudged Lawrence’s free-kick and conceded a goal but the young custodian showed great confidence with his outings, dealt with the crosses efficiently and maintained his decent distribution traits despite not being troubled much barring that one early error.
Luke Ayling: 8/10
Was excellent going forward and was denied once by Fikayo Tomori who got his body in the way to deflect it over. Performed his defensive duties as well while containing the impressive Tom Lawrence on most occasions.
Gaetano Berardi: 7.5/10
Was solid defensively as he kept on making tackles and challenges right until the very end. He has slotted in really well in a central defensive role under El Loco.
Liam Cooper: 7/10
Was clumsy at times with his tackling but did a decent job aerially and made some crucial interceptions along with no-nonsense clearances. Won the duels and never allowed Martyn Waghorn to cause problems inside the box.
Barry Douglas: 8/10
Continues his impressive form as he played a crucial part in Leeds’ second of the evening and did well to contain Harry Wilson who could not offer much down the right flank.
Combined well with Alioski while making overlapping runs and created major problems for Derby throughout the game.
Kalvin Phillips: 7/10
Once again impressed as a blocker right in front of the back four. Lost some duels and got dispossessed a couple of times, but the youngster delivered another steady display in a new role and countervailed all limitations with his hard work and willingness to win the ball back.
Pablo Hernandez: 8.5/10
The veteran once again exhibited his quality from the right flank as he assisted Klich in the early minutes and also floated the ball in from the byline for Alioski who headed home to make it 4-1 for the visitors.
Samuel Saiz: 8/10
Was stunning with his footwork and dribbling skills as his swift movements and tricky runs caused problems in the Derby midfield creating acres of space for his teammates to open up the defensive line. Was replaced by Lewis Baker in the closing minutes.
Mateusz Klich: 8.5/10
Klich, the forgotten man, has redefined himself under Bielsa this season and clicked once again after his stunning outing last week against Stoke City.
His sublime finish earned Leeds an early lead and he also set it up for Roofe to make it 3-1 around the hour mark. Was replaced by youngster Jamie Shackleton late in the game.
Ezgjan Alioski: 8.5/10
Looked impressive once again as the Macedonian international found Roofe with a sublime cross from the left in the build-up to their second goal and struck one in the second half to make it 4-1.
Kemar Roofe: 9/10
Was picked upfront despite the arrival of marksman Patrick Bamford and the forward scored two stunning goals to ensure three points for his side.
He was denied a hattrick after seeing his shot saved from point-blank range.
Was replaced by Patrick Bamford late in the game.
Jamie Shackleton: 6.5/10
A promising display by the youngster who mostly played his passes right and won a few duels in the middle of the park.
Patrick Bamford: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.
Lewis Baker: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.