Leeds United’s woes continued on Wednesday night as manager Marcelo Bielsa publicly admitted his side were “fighting relegation.”
The Yorkshire outfit were thrashed 6-0 by Liverpool at Anfield, making it eight defeats from their last 11 outings across all competitions, in which they have leaked a whopping 36 goals – nearly 3.3 goals per game.
But as poor as the Whites were defensively once again, it was Raphinha’s shocking outing that caught the eye.
After all, there was only one senior centre-back named in the starting XI in Pascal Struijk as the likes of skipper Liam Cooper, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente were all missing through injury.
“He’s not been on it at all,” said YEP journalist Graham Smyth of the Brazil international during the game, whilst LeedsLive reporter Beren Cross graded the 25-year-old his worst performer on the night in his post-match column.
‘Continues to look a shadow of himself. Teammates asked questions as he let Andy Robertson run away from him in the run-up to Dallas’s handball. A lack of discipline in straying offside for his disallowed goal and then a petulant kick out at Robertson in a later phase of play. Attacking play did not make up for his defensive failures,’ he wrote.
As written there, the winger appeared to play a damning role in a few of the Reds’ many goals and even displayed his disappointing attitude. Of course, there is always going to be an element of frustration when you’re being trounced but there’s a line and he crossed it.
His demeanour has looked a little awry ever since he returned from the international break and after a January transfer window full of speculation, you could argue that his head has been turned.
The £36m-rated dynamo was also graded unfavourably by SofaScore, who handed him a 5.9. Hardly a surprise, given he managed only 33 touches across the 90 minutes, some 21 fewer than goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
But that doesn’t tell the full story of his ineffective he was as he also registered only one shot, made just 55% of his 20 passing attempts and he failed to create a single key chance.
Elsewhere, he was hugely lightweight, winning only one of six duels (14%), being dribbled past four times and losing possession 14 times, meaning he handed the ball back to Liverpool once every 2.4 touches, also via SofaScore.
On the above evidence, it was an absolutely disastrous outing from the Brazilian. It’s no wonder he was dropped from the starting XI at the weekend. His place may well be at risk ahead of their clash with Spurs on Saturday.
The Whites lightweight was shocking at Anfield.