8 interceptions, 5 tackles: Leeds star’s display against Southampton went under the radar
Leeds United’s excellent season continued with a 2-0 win away to Southampton on Tuesday, and the performance of Liam Cooper perhaps went under the radar.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are guaranteed a top-10 finish in the Premier League after earning three points away to Southampton, with Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts on the scoresheet.
Aside from more eye-catching attacking football from Leeds, their defence had to stand firm for spell of the game.
Cooper, 29, returned to the Leeds starting XI after having to be patient on the bench following his comeback from injury.
The centre-back is the club captain who’s such a commanding figure when he plays, but the competition for places in his area of the pitch is tough within the squad.
He certainly justified Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to recall him though against Southampton, and his display deserves more recognition.
The Scotland international managed eighth interceptions, as well as five tackles (Who Scored).
Cooper was authoritative alongside Diego Llorente against the Saints, and he’s very much an old school defender with the way he puts his body on the line.
It will be interesting to see if the £25,000-a-week centre-half can nail down his starting role going into next season with pressure on others around him, but he sent out a mini statement that he’s still got plenty to give on the pitch.
If you look at how comfortably Leeds players such as Cooper have stepped up to the top flight, you’ve got to give immense credit to Bielsa.