This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Leeds United beat Huddersfield 2-0 on Saturday despite having a depleted squad.
The Whites were without Kalvin Phillips at the John Smith’s Stadium for the first time this season, yet they didn’t seem to miss his presence on the pitch, and that’s partly down to one man stepping up to the plate.
One thing that is rather underestimated is the creativity that Phillips brings to the Leeds team. In four of the midfielder’s last five games he’s played more key passes than any of his teammates.
Fortunately, someone took up the brunt of the creativity that Leeds have recently looked towards Phillips for.
Pablo Hernandez hasn’t had to be the creative force he has been in recent years over these past few weeks due to the amount of work Phillips has been doing in that area, but his stats show that he really stepped up last Saturday.
He played four key passes whilst also delivering five crosses, despite playing a more central role.
He wasn’t just making things happen either, he was integral to every facet of Leeds’ play in the Yorkshire derby as he had more touches than anyone else on the pitch at the weekend.
Alongside his creativity, he also provided a cutting edge that United desperately needed as he netted the Whites’ second goal that put the game to bed.
Hernandez stepped up massively in Phillips’ absence and he was vital in the club’s victory over the Terriers.