Bolton 2-3 Leeds Player Ratings: Phillips shines

Phillips celebrates –

Leeds’ 3-2 win at Bolton was a thrilling game, the stark contrast in styles providing the perfect reminder of why we love the Championship. How did players on both teams do? Here’s our ratings.

Bolton Wanderers

Mark Howard – looked a liability with poor positioning for all three goals. 2

Dorian Dervite – often got drawn out of position, attempting to cover for Darby. Did little to win over his pre-season doubters. 3
David Wheater – Had a costly lapse in concentration that led to Leeds’ third goal. Wheater was consistent last season, but this display raises the question as to whether he can maintain performance levels against higher-quality opposition. 3
Mark Beevers – didn’t cover himself in glory, but chief culprits for the poor defensive display perhaps lie elsewhere. 4

Stephen Darby – Clearly not a wing-back. Lacked the pace required for the role, as well as the positional awareness. 2
Josh Cullen – fared ok after a sloppy start, looking more composed in possession than his teammates. Enjoyed a positive second half. 6
Josh Vela – asked to play wider than usual, which restricted his licence to press behind the front two, as he did so effectively in League One. 4
Jem Karacan – whether due to mobility issues, the need for more discipline or improved opposition, he was unable to join attacks as well as he did at the end of last season. 4
Andrew Taylor – struggled defensively against Hernandez and Roofe’s combination play, especially in the early stages. Deliveries could have been better too. 3

Adam Le Fondre – Had little influence in the first half, but pressed with more vigour after the interval and scored from the spot. 6
Gary Madine – Bolton’s best player by a country mile. Caused problems with his power all afternoon and deserved his goal. 8

Reece Burke (on 53) – Trotters fans can take heart from his 37-minute appearance, during which the team did not concede and rarely looked like doing so. 8
Will Buckley (on 64) – The team appeared more of a threat when he came on, three-minutes after which Le Fondre netted the pen. 7
Adam Armstrong (on 84) – Like Buckley, made a brief case to start at Crewe and worm his way into Parky’s plans. 6

Leeds United

Felix Wiedwald – showed impressive distribution with both feet, but needs to be a lot more commanding at set plays and crosses into the box. 4

Luke Ayling – On this evidence, he has the intelligence required for Christensen’s universal tactics. 7
Matthew Pennington – On occasions he struggled to contend with the physicality of Madine prior to his injury, but always kept his positional bearings. 5
Liam Cooper – made some important interventions. Most of them were to limit danger though rather than completely snuff it out, which suggests he could be a little more aggressive. 5
Gaetano Berardi – picked up an injury in the first half – Leeds fans hope it isn’t too serious. 5

Eunan O’Kane – did the simple things well and provided balance. Easy to see why fans liked him in the early stages of last season. 7
Kalvin Phillips – an excellent performance in which he deserved his two goals, which were backed up with some fine first touch passes. 9

Kemar Roofe – played a key role in the best chances Leeds created and was a constant threat in the first half. Less effective after the break. 7
Pablo Hernandez – Excelled in the pockets of space available when too many Bolton players dropped into the defensive third. 7
Ezgjan Aliosky – had his moments, but wanted to cut inside a lot of the time rather than attack the flank. 6

Chris Wood – a very Wood-like performance. Quiet for long spells but scored the second goal and set up the third, showing predatory instincts when it mattered. 7

Vurnon Anita (on 38) – the fact he’s not a standard left-back, perversely, worked in his favour. He had the instinct to drift into central areas and play right-footed passes inside, which suited Christensen’s system. 7
Conor Shaughnessy (on 64) – decent passer but with limited professional experience, he was not the ideal defensive player to bring on when protecting an important lead. 4
Hadi Sacko (on 85) – chased things but didn’t have the time to show his attacking qualities. (N/A)