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Leeds United are enjoying a pretty good festive period.
Although they were beaten by Manchester United at Old Trafford, they have responded excellently.
Marcelo Bielsa’s team faced the robust challenge from Burnley a few days ago, winning 1-0 and then demolished West Brom on Tuesday night.
The Whites were relentlessly forceful in their 5-0 win at the Hawthorns, playing the kind of clinically impressive football we’ve grown used to seeing in Bielsa.
Jack Harrison ran erratically down the left side and combined with Raphinha and Rodrigo, the Baggies couldn’t live with Leeds.
However, Kalvin Phillips was just as important as the dynamic attackers on display. The England international has been used as a center-back in recent weeks, but was back in his preferred position on Tuesday.
Who was the Leeds MOTM vs West Brom?
It was a position in which he prospered and absolutely dominated the opposition. To coin the YES Graham Smyth, was playing in full “cruise control”, dealing passes and breaking the game on a regular basis.
Phillips won 83.3% of his duels, ten in all, as he absolutely intimidated West Brom every time they tried to escape.
All the praise will go to those in the final third, but Phillips set the pace and the platform from which Leeds could go and play freely. The 25-year-old completed 92% of his passes and was unsuccessful with just one of the 11 long balls he played during the contest.
This was a full performance by the midfielder, one that saw him perform. two he dribbles as he had all of Albion’s team on the ropes.
Phillips’s display was exactly the kind that should earn him more recognition from England. After sustaining an injury that kept him out of the last Three Lions games, it will be encouraging for both the club and the country that he is now in such good shape.
This was a demonstration that he showed that it’s not just about the defensive end, but that he can also show that he makes a difference down the road.
He is truly the heart of this Leeds team.