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Junior Firpo a silver lining in Leeds’ defeat to Man Utd

Junior Firpo was Leeds United’s silver lining in their 4-2 defeat to Manchester United, and he didn’t even start the match at Elland Road.

The 25-year-old, signed in a £12.8m deal from Barcelona in the summer, had missed the Whites’ last three league outings with injury but returned to action just half an hour into Sunday’s encounter.

With centre-back Robin Koch being forced off with what looked to be a serious concussion, manager Marcelo Bielsa tinkered his backline so the Dominican Republic native could slot right in at his natural left-back role.

Soon after his introduction, the visitors romped away to a two-goal lead after Harry Maguire headed home Luke Shaw’s corner and Bruno Fernandes soon did the same from Jadon Sancho’s cross.

Did Firpo have a good game against Man Utd?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

Bielsa used his last two substitutes at the break and the Yorkshire giants got back into it, thanks to Firpo for providing the assist for their first. He found Rodrigo in space before his cross somehow found its way in past David de Gea. Fellow substitute Raphinha then poked home the equaliser.

But the Red Devils would go on to snag another two strikes late on to seal all three points.

Defensively, Leeds were really appalling but Firpo can come away with his head held high, unlike some of his teammates like Diego Llorente and Luke Ayling.

As per SofaScore, he won a whopping ten duels and also registered four tackles, – only bettered by the starting Adam Forshaw (five) – two clearances and one interception.

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Meanwhile, further up the pitch, Firpo looked to be a major creative outlet for the side as he created four key chances, delivered 100% of his crosses accurately and successfully pulled off 100% of his dribbles.

He was an absolute threat against Aaron Wan-Bissaka down that left-flank for the hour he was on the pitch.

The £10.8m-rated machine got a bit leggy as the game went on but that was understandable considering his lack of game time over the past month or so. As LeedsLive reporter Beren Cross claimed in his post-match column, ‘Firpo was good’ as he ‘Put his foot in and competed.’

If there’s any positive from the defeat, then it’s certainly the return of the left-back to the side.

AND in other news, Raphinha snubs fresh Leeds United contract talks

Article title: Junior Firpo a silver lining in Leeds’ defeat to Man Utd

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