Danny Higginbotham suggested on Sky Sports (broadcast on 7/12; 13:57) that Kiko Casilla’s save during the second-half of Leeds United’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town was absolutely magnificent.
Leeds ultimately extended their advantage over the chasing pack in the Championship with the win at the John Smith’s Stadium. Gjanni Alioski and Pablo Hernandez both found the back of the net during the second-half to ensure that the visitors secured the three points.
However, Marcelo Bielsa’s side were grateful to Casilla for producing big saves either side of the break to ensure that they did not fall behind or concede an equaliser after Alioski’s superb volley.
The first stop was impressive. But the second was arguably even better. Huddersfield got the ball in from the left flank and it looked like Elias Kachunga had a fairly simple task to head home from inside the six-yard box.
However, Casilla stuck out his right hand as he headed to ground in the opposite direction. And the Spaniard managed to swat the ball away to ensure that Leeds remained ahead.
And Higginbotham insisted on commentary that it was a piece of brilliance from the Whites goalkeeper.
“It’s an incredible save. Absolutely magnificent,” he told Sky Sports. “He’s had his critics, but he has no right to save that. He was second favourite by a distance. It’s a wonderful ball in, the header’s great, everything is done correctly. But Casilla, what a save that is, the instinct.”
Leeds have been able to rely on Casilla a lot more this season. There have still been a couple of shaky moments – including on Saturday – but the former Real Madrid man appears to have stepped up dramatically from last term.
He cannot take all of the credit for Leeds’s outstanding defensive record. They have conceded just 10 league goals and have kept three clean sheets in a row. But his improvement has certainly vindicated Bielsa’s decision to keep faith with him in the summer.