Rio Ferdinand has told BT Sport (broadcast on 10/4; 14:43) that he has to give Kalvin Phillips a special mention following Leeds United’s win over Manchester City at the weekend, while he also praised Stuart Dallas.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side arguably produced their best performance of a hugely impressive campaign on Saturday. Despite playing more than half of the game with 10 men, the Whites beat the soon-to-be champions 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
It was Dallas who got both of the goals. But his winner only came after a heroic defensive display from the visitors.
Phillips was at the heart of their colossal performance. The midfielder read the game superbly, often leaving City with no way of getting through the middle as they looked to make the most of their numerical advantage.
And following the game, Ferdinand suggested that Phillips and Dallas were the two standout performers for Bielsa’s men.
“You’ve got to give Leeds credit because to come here, you do need to ride your luck a little bit. But at the same time, you’ve got to make your luck with the way you energise, the way you commit to your tackles and your personal duels. And people ran themselves into the ground,” he told BT Sport.
“Kalvin Phillips, I’ve got to give him special mention in midfield because I thought he got through a hell of a lot of work today. And Dallas, again, being at the other end when they won the ball in the transition, had that energy to get beyond.”
It was somewhat fitting that the win was the result that ensured that Leeds would be guaranteed of a place in next season’s Premier League.
The Whites have been a revelation since their return to the top flight. Nevertheless, few would have given them a chance – particularly when Liam Cooper was sent off, or when Ferran Torres equalised.
But Leeds clearly had little doubt about their ability to win the game. They had issued a couple of warnings before Dallas beat Ederson for a second time.
And in truth, if either side was going to win it in the final moments, it arguably looked set to be Leeds.