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Leeds: Kalvin Phillips put in surprisingly sluggish performance vs Newcastle

Leeds United made easy work of brushing aside Premier League rivals Newcastle on Wednesday night in a thrilling 5-2 victory. All five goals were scored from different players, with the likes of Jack Harrison and Ezgjan Alioski impressing.

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Robin Koch

Robin Koch

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Diego Llorente

The Whites may have shipped two goals but Marcelo Bielsa won’t be focusing on that. He will hope that his side can carry their attacking masterclass forward into the weekend when they take on Manchester United.

However, one Leeds player who had perhaps a disappointing day out was the usually solid Kalvin Phillips.

Kalvin Phillips stats vs Newcastle

In a match like this, it’s difficult to say anybody had a poor game. And whilst Phillips didn’t necessarily make any errors, he was uncharacteristically off his usual defensive input.

According to Sofascore, the midfielder committed three fouls and failed to win a single aerial duel. Indeed, he lost a total of 65% of his attempted duels throughout the 90 minutes he played. Phillips was also dispossessed on eight occasions and was dribbled past three times.

Usually, the opposition finds it different to get past the £50,000 per week Whites machine. He is known for his strength in front of the defence and was recently labelled a “destroyer” by Steve McClaren.

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Adam Forshaw

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Whilst the 25-year-old did have a better game than most defensive midfielders this week, Bielsa will be looking to tighten any loose bolts in his squad. This emphatic win should set the tone for the rest of the fixtures this year and hopefully see them finish within the top ten.

They have been a little hit and miss in their returning Premier League season, suffering back-to-back defeats recently to Leicester and Crystal Palace. But Leeds have also been capable of punishing the likes of Manchester City and they opened up their campaign by firing three goals past the reigning champions.

The Whites certainly have the firepower in their squad to build on their season, it’s just a case of fine-tuning the smaller errors that more dangerous sides can easily exploit.

In other news, Raphinha was Bielsa’s unsung hero against Newcastle…

Article title: Leeds: Kalvin Phillips put in surprisingly sluggish performance vs Newcastle

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