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Leeds stopper Illan Meslier was exceptional against Burnley

For one Leeds player, the clash against Burnley was pretty similar to the one against Manchester United.

Although the Whites conceded six in that match and kept a clean sheet on Sunday, Illan Meslier still endured a very busy afternoon.

The French goalkeeper suffered from a barrage on his goal in the closing moments of the encounter and was under what felt like constant pressure with balls into the area.

Yet, unlike against United, he came through it with flying colours. Meslier shipped six last time out but still made eight saves. This time, he didn’t concede at all on his way to producing six stops.

The tall ‘keeper did have some particularly nervy moments, passages of play where we really saw his age shine through. The 20-year-old lacks experience but makes up for it with plenty of courage and bravery.

He was very fortunate not to have conceded to Ashley Barnes. In the first half the Frenchman leapt into Ben Mee yet somehow the foul went Leeds’ way, rather than Burnley’s. The Clarets striker had stuck the ball in the net but it was swiftly ruled out.

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Fortunately, Meslier went from strength to strength from that moment onwards. He won 83.3% of the duels he contested in the air, meaning he lost just one. He also came up with some colossal moments when it really mattered, making five punches and producing four saves from efforts at goal inside the area.

Leeds’ goalkeeper was colossal and proved exactly why he’s the club’s number one. With the clock running down he stood firm and commanded his area to perfection.

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This was a display that proved exactly why he’s the club’s number one. It took courage from Bielsa to select such a young player over Kiko Casilla – a former Real Madrid goalkeeper – but his inclusion in every league match this season is more than warranted.

In the words of Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Graham Smyth, Meslier “feels almost illegal” because of his meagre £5m price tag. Considering his quality, he should have cost a lot more.

It was top drawer business from Leeds.

AND in other news, Leeds gem who made just 10 passes all day will have Bielsa raging…

Article title: Leeds stopper Illan Meslier was exceptional against Burnley

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