After tasting back-to-back defeats in the Premier League, Leeds United got back to winning ways with a superb 3-0 win over Southampton on Tuesday night.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side sealed all three points thanks to goals from Patrick Bamford, Raphinha and Stuart Dallas, and it was arguably the latter who stole the show for the Argentine.
While Raphinha may take most of the headlines for his wonderful free-kick, Dallas’ energetic contributions set the tone for the contest, and once again reaffirmed why Bielsa seems to be such a massive fan of his – he’s played the full 90 minutes in every single Premier League this season, bar one, and even in that he only came off with ten minutes to go.
As per Sofascore, Dallas completed both of his attempted dribbles – the best success rate of any Leeds player versus the Saints – while he was one of only two players to provide at least one key pass and create one official big chance.
His fine attacking work was eventually rewarded when he scored (toe-poked) with just less than 15 minutes to go, arriving on the scene to take a touch from a Helder Costa cross and then firing into the bottom corner.
But it wasn’t just offensively that the 29-year-old really caused problems for Southampton. Defensively, he was a beast too. He made a game-high five tackles (more than double his season average of 2.3 in the top-flight), while he also won seven of his nine total duels (again, far more than his season average of 4.7).
In their post-match player ratings, Leeds Live gave Dallas the joint-highest of eight, writing: “Yet another goal to add to his tally. Was one of the best outlets United had in the first half with his link-ups with Raphinha down the left. So dependable in every position and always an option arriving on the edge of the box from deep.”
And, after the game, The Athletic’s Phil Hay delivered his verdict on Leeds’ Mr Reliable, saying: “Had Dallas down as player of the year last season (granted, Hernandez ambushed proceedings at the death). I’d say Dallas has been even better this season. It’s like constant evolution for so many in this squad.”
Though Leeds’ sparkling Brazilian, Raphinha, may be the name on everybody’s lips after another goal-scoring display, it was Dallas who really proved himself to be Bielsa’s key man on the night.