After a surprising defeat to Brighton last time out in the Premier League, Leeds United bounced back in style with a comprehensive 3-1 victory against Tottenham at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side looked at their supreme, energetic best and got their just rewards thanks to goals from Stuart Dallas, Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo.
While the trio will no doubt grab the headlines for their strikes, it was Gjanni Alioski who arguably stole the show and was the real hero for Bielsa.
Before the game, there were calls for him to be dropped from the starting line-up, including here on Football FanCast, but the left-back produced one of his finest displays of the season to help his team to victory.
Going forward, Alioski was a real livewire, constantly looking to get up in support of Jack Harrison in front of him and always providing him with an option. That’s exactly what happened for Bamford’s goal, with the defender going on the overlap before pulling it back for the striker to sweep home at the near post.
Perhaps just as impressively, the versatile ace looked as good as ever defensively, despite coming up against the likes of Gareth Bale, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane.
While he may have been slightly responsible for Son’s strike in not following the run, Alioski shut down Bale with ease, eventually forcing Ryan Mason to haul off the Wales international midway through the secondhalf.
As per Sofascore, he had the second-most touches of any Leeds player with 74, and was one of only two players along with Raphinha to create one official big chance. He also won five of his seven duels on the ground, while Bale lost possession nine times and could only muster 12 successful passes in the time that he was on the pitch, with Alioski just too quick to snuff him out.
The 29-year-old earned some reviews on Twitter, not least from former England left-back Graeme Le Saux, who said: “Alioski has been superb for @LUFC this afternoon. The willingness of the players to work for each other is commendable. The 3rd goal is a great example of all of them working hard to give the man on the ball an option. Great team goal.”
Major Canadian YouTuber and renowned Leeds fan Nick28T tweeted: “Does anyone wanna do some scientific tests on @ezgjanalioski? Surely the man had 8 lungs or something?!? The fitness levels of these Leeds boys is mental. The work rate is so impressive.“
While the Leeds scorers, and Sky Sports‘ man of the match Jack Harrison, will take a lot of the plaudits, it was Alioski who arguably emerged as Bielsa’s main man.
In other news, Leeds must avoid a potential transfer nightmare over this “dreadful” England international.