Leeds United

Leeds United: Graham Smyth drops verdict on Illan Meslier in friendly win over Cagliari

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Journalist Graham Smyth has said that Illan Meslier was ‘hung out to dry’ for the goals Leeds United conceded in their recent pre-season friendly match.

The Whites took on Italian outfit Cagliari over the weekend and managed to claim a thrilling 6-2 victory thanks to goals from Rodrigo, Patrick Bamford and Robin Koch.

Leeds took a three-goal lead before conceding twice to tighten up the scores momentarily. And despite the win, it seems as though those goals didn’t reflect too well on the defence.

While writing his match ratings for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Smyth outlined what he thought of Meslier and the goals he conceded, while giving him a 7/10 for his efforts.

He wrote: “Hung out to dry for both goals, the second of which was an absolute beauty. Made a smart save with his only real first-half involvement. A bystander for the most part.”

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Evidently, Meslier wasn’t to blame for the goals and actually put in a good display, making one notable ‘smart save’ which was also noted by Smyth in his ratings.

And so it seems as though the defence were not able to provide adequate protection for the Frenchman when it came to the goals – which could be of concern to Jesse Marsch ahead of the new Premier League season.

Indeed, Gianluca Lapadula was allowed to race through on goal unchecked for the first Cagliari strike as he calmly chipped Meslier. After that, Zito Luvumbo ran 30 yards or so unchallenged before blasting the ball home.

All in all, it looks as though there is still a little fine-tuning to do in the Leeds backline if they want to be at their best while playing in England’s top flight this term.

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