Liam Cooper stat will surprise many after Leeds loss
Liam Cooper is one of a number of Leeds United stars with a point to prove after a poor showing in their opening game of the new Premier League season.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were thrashed at Old Trafford. It proved to be a sickening afternoon for the Whites, who found themselves 5-1 behind less than 20 minutes after equalising.
There was some good football from the visitors. Mateusz Klich and Raphinha caused a couple of problems going forward, particularly during the first-half. Tyler Roberts also looked bright after coming on.
But defensively, Leeds seemed to be all over the place. It was a performance that highlighted just how much they missed arguably their best defender in Diego Llorente and their most important player in Kalvin Phillips.
The likes of Pascal Struijk, Cooper or Robin Koch will struggle to take many positives from their displays.
But perhaps, there is one statistic concerning the captain that will come as a major shock to many.
According to Whoscored, Cooper won all seven of the tackles he contested. Raphinha was the only other player on the pitch to win more than two. The Brazilian won four.
Liam Cooper leading Premier League stats for opening weekend despite Leeds loss
Remarkably, no player anywhere in the top flight could better Cooper’s tally. Sergi Canos was the only other player to manage seven.
And with the Brentford man contesting eight, Cooper is the one with the better success rate.
Of course, that does not excuse all of the problems the Scotland international had.
But perhaps it does help highlight that there was not always a lot between the two teams.
Leeds were ruthlessly punished when they made mistakes. And Bielsa now needs to work out how the Whites move forward from here.