Leeds United secured an emphatic win on Sunday after snatching all three points from title hopefuls Leicester City. Despite the home side’s opening goal, they couldn’t defend against the hunger and skill that the Whites showed from the get-go.
Just two minutes after Harvey Barnes struck in the first half, Leeds found an equaliser through Stuart Dallas. This set the tone for even more goals to come from the Championship title winners, with Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison on song to deliver the other two goals for Leeds.
Bamford contributed a goal and two assists and was undoubtedly Marcelo Bielsa’s Man of the Match, but another player who shone for his side was the skipper.
Despite Leeds’ troublesome defensive problems right now, they look like they are starting to make the best of a bad situation. Bielsa is without both centre-back signings from the summer, Diego Llorente and Robin Koch. Both have been a miss since they were sidelined with their respective injuries, but Liam Cooper has massively stepped up for his team in their absence.
According to SofaScore, the captain made an impressive four blocks, six interceptions and three tackles against Leicester. He also completed seven out of his ten attempted duels, asserting his dominance at the heart of the Leeds backline.
Compared to his performance against Newcastle, he made more tackles, more interceptions and more blocks against the Foxes. He also gave away fewer fouls and lost the ball fewer times too. This is a huge positive for the captain, who has been heavily relied on during Leeds’ injury crisis.
Bielsa will be hugely pleased with Cooper’s performances and his ability to be unwavering in defence. The 29-year-old has been noticed by plenty of people too. He was recently labelled a “crucial” part of Bielsa’s squad by Jack Collins on the Ranks FC podcast.
Cooper is a vital asset to the Whites and it will undoubtedly fill Illan Meslier with confidence knowing that he has a strong centre-half operating in front of him.
After a rough patch, Leeds look to have hit a good bit of form, which is partly due to the performances of their captain.
In other news, Leeds must revisit transfer swoop for Divock Origi…