David James has told Optus Sport that Illan Meslier was truly outstanding for Leeds United in their dramatic win over Liverpool on Saturday, insisting that the Whites would not have won without the Frenchman.
Jesse Marsch’s men produced a colossal effort to take the three points from Anfield. Goals from Rodrigo and Crysencio Summerville saw Leeds take a big stride up the table.
Rodrigo got Leeds off to a flyer. However, supporters would have probably feared the worst when Mohamed Salah equalised shortly after.
Meslier truly outstanding
Ultimately however, that would prove to be the only other goal up until the moment Summerville poked the ball home in the 89th minute to send the away end into a frenzy.
Leeds were brilliant at times. And most could hardly argue that they did not deserve the win. However, James felt that one player was particularly responsible for keeping Leeds in the game.
“What a fantastic finish… but the man of the match, (Illan) Meslier, if it wasn’t for him then this celebration wouldn’t be going on,” James said on Matchday Live on Optus Sport.
“Liverpool (have) done everything with one goal through Mo Salah, but Meslier was truly outstanding tonight.
“(Leeds have) gone to Anfield, everyone talks about Anfield under the lights, you’re there as a side who expects to get beat by five or six. And without (Meslier) it probably would have happened.”
James’ assessment incredibly unfair on several Leeds stars
Meslier was the player of the match. And he made some brilliant stops and interventions. However, for James to suggest that Leeds would have lost heavily without him seems incredibly unfair on the rest of his teammates.
Meslier would not have been happy had he not made the large majority of those stops.
Meanwhile, Rasmus Kristensen had his best game in a Leeds shirt, Pascal Struijk strengthened his grip as first-choice at left-back, and Liverpool simply could not handle Brenden Aaronson.
Tyler Adams was something of a joke in midfield. And Summerville proved why Marsch has shown faith in him with a superb display before getting the goal.
Everything had to fall into place for Leeds to win. Meslier stepping up was certainly one piece the Whites needed. But it also took a number of amazing performances out on pitch to give Leeds a chance of taking the three points.