Leeds United continued their fine start to the 2019/20 Championship season and ensured they returned to the top of the table after the latest round of matches.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side, once again, dominated their opponents on Wednesday night and finally managed to find the breakthrough against a resilient Brentford side late on into the game (Sky Sports).
Eddie Nketiah managed to get the only goal of the game after coming on as a late second-half substitute and opened his Championship goal scoring account in front of a packed out Elland Road.
The result, arguably, came when Bielsa decided to switch things up on the pitch and go with the pairing of Patrick Bamford and allowed the Arsenal loanee to lead the line, whilst reverting his defence into a back three once Gaetano Berardi was on the pitch.
Credit where credit is due – the Argentine would surely have earned plenty of plaudits for his decision to break away from his tried-and-tested system of 4-1-4-1, however one man on the pitch appeared to go largely unnoticed despite having a rather solid night in front of the home support.
Adam Forshaw’s game appears to have gone up another level in recent weeks and the midfielder continued to go through the gears on Wednesday night.
Fans were left praising his display against Nottingham Forest almost a couple of weeks ago, whilst Leeds Live had noted that game was the best they had seen him in a while.
Looking at his performance against Brentford (a former club of his), the experienced 27-year-old looked to be in the thick of the action, as data collected by Twitter account LUFCDATA appears to suggest.
Adam Forshaw vs. Brentford:
95% pass acc.
52/55 successful passes
12/13 attacking third passes
3 duels won
2 switches of play
2 aerial duels won
2 times fouled
1 shot on-target
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) August 21, 2019
Forshaw had 95% pass accuracy as he completed 52 of 55 attempted passes, with 13 of those in the attacking third (12 completed), 64 touches, won three duels and recovered the ball three times – leading to praise for his positioning, distribution and movement on the night.
Fansite Through It All Together were also pleased with his performance, stating: “Can only remember him losing possession a couple of times so he must have been good on the ball. Got forward well and was heavily involved just like he was at Wigan Athletic. If he keeps playing like this he will hopefully break his duck for the club soon. 7.5/10.”
The Yorkshire Evening Post also rated him highly, providing him with a score of seven and said: “Has started the season in fine form and it continued at Elland Road. The only thing he’s missing is a goal, which is a frustration to him as much as anyone.”
Having made just 30 appearances in the league last season (Transfermarkt), and going based off of his early form, it would appear the midfielder was missed hugely in the 2018/19 campaign when he was unavailable.
Forshaw appears to be going through the gears with each game, having averaged a 91.2% pass success rate in his four Championship matches so far (WhoScored) which has resulted in one assist. Perhaps, he is just missing a goal to his name at the moment, but he is showing how vitally important he will be to Bielsa and Leeds over the course of the campaign.
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