In a game marred by a bad injury to Harvey Elliott, Leeds United endured yet another disappointing afternoon in the Premier League as they lost 3-0 at home to Liverpool.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side went two goals behind before Pascal Struijk was sent off for his challenge on Elliott, and Sadio Mane would later rub salt into the wounds in the dying embers of the game.
While Struijk’s tackle and whether it was deserving of a red card will no doubt the main talking point – Gary Neville on co-commentary for Sky Sports insisted that the severity of the injury swayed the decision – it was Jack Harrison’s performance that let Bielsa down the most.
The winger has endured a frustrating campaign thus far, failing to score or assist in the Premier League at all, and was once again well below-par at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon.
As per Sofascore, he lost four of the five duels that he was involved in, made just 15 passes (less than Illan Meslier) and conceded possession on ten separate occasions – only three others lost the ball more, but they all played the full 90 minutes.
Harrison also had no shots on goal and saw only one of his four crosses meet its intended target, and perhaps much more frustratingly, seemed to leave left-back Junior Firpo high and dry on many occasions.
Whether it was a ploy from Bielsa to have him stay upfield to try and keep Trent Alexander-Arnold back or not, it back-fired spectacularly, with Harrison failing to come back and help out his left-back – he made no tackles or interceptions as Firpo was left to deal with Liverpool’s rampaging right-hand side, and he didn’t really lay a glove on the excellent Mohamed Salah.
It was no surprise then that he was eventually hooked mid-way through the second-half – the second time he has gone off this season – with Dan James coming on, and with the former Manchester United now in the building, Harrison has a real job on his hands to keep his place in the starting XI.
And, writing in his post-match player ratings for Leeds Live, Beren Cross gave him a five, saying: “Did not give Alexander-Arnold a headache going in either direction throughout the game. Had the odd half-opening in the final third, but never found the delivery or final act to turn it into something dangerous.”
So while Struijk’s red card might open him up to some criticism, it was Harrison’s woeful performance on the left that arguably made him Leeds’ real villain on the day.