BBC pundit makes big Illan Meslier claim after Leeds draw with Aston Villa
Matthew Kilgallon has told BBC Radio Leeds that Illan Meslier is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League when it comes to facing one-on-ones following his performance for Leeds United in their goalless draw with Aston Villa.
Sunday was an odd occasion at Elland Road. Leeds were able to hold out for a point against Villa after playing most of the second-half with 10 men following Luis Sinisterra’s red card.
Actually, Leeds had their openings to win the game. But there is no question that the dismissal quashed most of their hopes of snatching the three points.
Meslier the best in the league
Thankfully, the Whites were able to produce a colossal defensive performance to deny Villa. And when the visitors did manage to break through, Meslier was often there to make a big save.
The Frenchman came to Leeds’ rescue at one stage during the first-half. And he managed another superb stop from Ollie Watkins after the break.
It was not a flawless performance from Meslier by any means. He was extremely suspect from crosses, often coming for balls he had no right to get to. And he was fortunate that he was not punished.
But when he needed to step up, he managed it. And Kilgallon suggested that there is no one in the division who is better in that situation.
“Yeah he came out waving a few times, didn’t he. But do you know what I like about him, he’ll come out again,” he told BBC Radio Leeds.
“And he did, and he caught one in the second-half. That’s what I like about him. You can tell he’s a confident lad. His one-on-one saves, he’s probably the best in the league in my opinion.”
Meslier has already made a raft of hugely important saves this season. He set up the opening day win over Wolves with a couple of amazing stops. And he has been superb ever since.
He is still learning and perfecting his game. But Leeds had not kept their second clean sheet in the league until late November last season. So it is certainly an improvement to reach the same mark in the first weekend of October this time around.
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