Make no mistake about it, Leeds United’s 2-1 triumph against Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon was one of their greatest results of the modern era.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been involved in some eye-catching games against the Premier League’s elite this season, including the reverse fixture at Elland Road which ended 1-1.
After initially taking the lead through Stuart Dallas, and then seeing Liam Cooper sent off in controversial fashion, the Whites managed to seal all three points in the dying moments of the game thanks to their Northern Irish ace.
While Dallas will no doubt take the headlines for his match-winning brace, spare a thought for Gjanni Alioski, who put in a superb shift at left-back.
Ahead of the game, there were serious doubts about just how well he would do coming up against Pep Guardiola’s much-vaunted City side, and even here on Football FanCast, there were calls for him to be dropped from the starting line-up.
However, to his immense credit, the £15,000-a-week earning stuck to his task diligently and produced the kind of impressive display which will have sent Bielsa huge message about whether he could still be a decent performer at this level. His contract at Elland Road comes to an end this summer, and reports have even suggested that Turkish giants Galatasaray have him offered him a deal.
Alioski was at his best today, showing some defensive discipline to try and handle City’s outstanding right-flank of Ferran Torres and Joao Cancelo – the latter being one of the top full-backs of this season with two goals and five assists to his name.
Stopping them was no easy task, but Alioski was strong in the tackle and didn’t take too many unnecessary risks with the ball. As per Sofascore, his tally of three tackles were the second-most of any Leeds player on the day, while his five clearances were the highest bar none.
The left-back didn’t shirk any of the 50/50s either, winning nine of his 17 total duels – that figure was the highest of any player on both sides.
Alioski was also crucial in Dallas’ winner of course, providing a superb pass for the 29-year-old to run onto and fire home past Ederson in the City net.
While one game certainly doesn’t make a player, Alioski’s superb performance away at the Premier League’s runaway leaders has surely given Bielsa some food for thought about his future at Elland Road.