After rescuing a point against one of the proposed European Super League’s founders last week, Leeds stopped another one of the potential breakaway clubs on Sunday when they held Manchester United to a goalless draw.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side grabbed a last-gasp point against Liverpool thanks to a late header from Diego Llorente, and while they couldn’t find a breakthrough against the Red Devils, they will no doubt be very pleased with another impressive result against one of the Premier League’s big six.
But, while much of Bielsa’s team put in a superb shift to deny the visitors at Elland Road, there was one man who really let his manager down: Helder Costa.
Once again starting in place of the injured Raphinha, who of course limped off towards the end of the historic victory over Manchester City a couple of weeks ago, Costa just made a mockery of his manager’s faith in him.
As per Sofascore, in the 72 minutes that he was on the pitch, the Portuguese ace could manage just 19 touches, far fewer than even goalkeeper Illan Meslier who had 49. In fact, Costa could only make a miserable five – yes, five – successful passes in the entire time that he was played. Even the man who replaced him for around 18 minutes, Mateusz Klich, made more.
Costa also made no attempted dribbles, provided no accurate crosses whatsoever, and registered no key passes either – it was about as anonymous a display as it could have been, and you would have been forgiven for thinking Costa just wasn’t playing at all.
And, in his post-match player ratings for Leeds Live, Beren Cross just gave him a six, noting: “No telling contribution in the final third aside from a shot deflected onto the roof of the visiting net.”
The Portuguese ace just struggled to get to speed with the game, and it was a performance that rather summarised his entire season – it’s now his eighth successive Premier League match without a goal.
It’s no surprise that former Leeds man Noel Whelan just recently called him a “massive flop”, and on the basis of his display against United on Sunday, Raphinha’s return just can’t come soon enough for Bielsa and the club’s fans.