Stuart Dallas stole the show at Elland Road on Tuesday night as Leeds United picked up a long-awaited victory in the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side narrowly defeated Crystal Palace thanks to a last-minute penalty from Brazilian winger Raphinha but it wasn’t the exciting dynamo who excelled most up in west Yorkshire.
It was the £12.5m-rated Northern Irish utility man – dubbed the Cookstown Cafu – who looked ever so impressive filling in at right-back in the continued absence of vice-captain Luke Ayling, contributing at either end of the pitch and having a major impact under the Argentine.
As per SofaScore, Dallas registered a match-high six tackles and also contributed in abundance defensively, with a team-most three interceptions and two blocks, whilst he even won a total of seven duels.
This level of performance meant that Wilfried Zaha and Odsonne Edouard had very little to say on his side and as such, they could not affect the game for Patrick Vieira’s visiting cast.
His influence wasn’t just in their own half, however, as the 30-year-old got up and down the wing to great effect, managing to deliver two accurate crosses, on top of creating one key chance and having 62 touches of the ball – the fourth-most of any Leeds player.
Dallas’ display earned high praise from those that witnessed him in action – for instance, TEAMtalk editor James Marshment claimed he “led the fight from the back” and was “immense”, whilst LeedsLive reporter Beren Cross graded him amongst United’s star performers.
Of course, Raphinha will take plenty of the plaudits but overall, his display was way off his usual standard as he lost possession a whopping 31 times – nearly double any other Leeds player – and made just one cross from eight attempts, per SofaScore.
“Not quite at his sparkling best,” is how Cross described it after full-time.
So forget the 22-year-old, it was Dallas’ night at Elland Road.