With the busy Christmas schedule well under way, Leeds suffered a disappointing defeat to fellow promotion rivals Fulham on Saturday afternoon. Having seen his side net an equaliser early in the second-half, Marcelo Bielsa’s men watched on as Josh Onomah struck the winner with just over 20 minutes to go.
And whilst the Whites as a whole weren’t at their best, Stuart Dallas in particular had an afternoon to forget at Craven Cottage. The 28-year-old has been a reliable performer for his side this season, filling in gaps whenever needed (he has played in five different positions already), and still playing well. As per Whoscored, his 6.98 average match rating is only bettered by five of his teammates.
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But against Fulham, the make-shift left-back struggled to adjust to the pace of the game, and when looking at the numbers behind his performance, it is clear to see where his troubles were.
As per Sofascore, his 6.4 match rating was the second-lowest of any Leeds player who started the match, above only Kiko Casilla. Dallas’ use of the ball was particularly questionable against the Cottagers, registering a measly 60% pass accuracy – another stat that left him second-bottom amongst his teammates, with Patrick Bamford the only man to do worse.
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His difficulties in the position Bielsa played him in no doubt affected his more natural game, and it was little surprise to see him turn over the ball at such a high rate. Over the course of the 90 minutes, he lost possession on 21 separate occasions, whilst his attempts to try and redeem himself and win the ball back also saw him commit two fouls.
All in all, it was a performance that perhaps typified Leeds as a whole. Just not at the races, and a struggle to get a strong enough foot-hold in the game. Bielsa will simply be hoping that the dependable Dallas just had a rare off-day on Saturday.