Leeds United proved they won’t go down without a fight following an improved second-half performance against Manchester City today, but it still wasn’t good enough as they were defeated in Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge.
They found themselves 2-0 down at half-time following a quickfire İlkay Gündoğan double, and having managed just two shots and keeping 16% possession during the half, it looked as though it could be a humiliating scoreline come the end of the game.
But to their credit, Leeds showed more fight during the second period, and following Rodrigo’s goal with only five minutes left, they wanted to find an equaliser. Unfortunately, it didn’t materialise, and they currently occupy 17th spot in the Premier League table.
Rodrigo played just 32 minutes, yet he was a clear goal threat judging by his effort in the dying minutes of the tie, while he managed five touches, won one duel and made one tackle.
However, it was Weston McKennie that was Allardyce’s real bright spark against City, who delivered in the centre of midfield as he aimed to impress the new manager.
How did Weston McKennie perform for Leeds United?
The American received the second-highest rating on the pitch via Sofascore with a 7/10 effort, just behind Rodrigo, and he was impressive alongside Marc Roca as they looked to try and disrupt City whenever possible.
He played the full 90 minutes and managed 34 touches – joint-second of any outfield Leeds player – while also making one key pass, delivering one accurate cross and being successful with both of his long ball attempts, clearly proving his passing ability was a key strength today, despite the defeat.
The midfielder has previously been described as “incredibly underrated” by football talent scout Jacek Kulig, and he may go under the radar at times, yet Allardyce would have been pleased with his display today.
Defensively, he was as good as could be against a side which has now scored 89 goals in the league this term – winning two out of five duels contested, making two clearances, one tackle and one interception, along with losing possession 13 times throughout.
It was a promising display from him and the manager will be looking for more of the same during the final three matches of the season as Leeds aim to fight tooth and nail to preserve their top-flight status.