Jermaine Beckford was full of praise for the performance of Rodrigo during Leeds United’s draw with Leicester, suggesting that the Spaniard was fantastic.

Beckford was speaking on BT Sport (broadcast on 25/4; 22:31) after Javi Gracia’s side were held to a 1-1 draw which leaves the Whites right in trouble in the Premier League relegation battle.

Beckford Rodrigo
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

Leeds can hardly have many complaints with settling for a point. The home side were under plenty of pressure for much of the game. Illan Meslier had his best game for a long time.

Beckford praises Rodrigo after first-half display

There were some excellent performances from the Whites. Weston McKennie was superb in the first-half. Luke Ayling ensured that Harvey Barnes was not able to continue his amazing record against us.

Beckford Rodrigo
Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

But it seems that Jermaine Beckford was extremely impressed by what he saw from Rodrigo. The Spaniard played alongside Patrick Bamford, but as more of a number 10.

And there was absolutely no question that Rodrigo was up for the game. He looked like a man possessed at times, celebrating challenges he won, booting the ball into the stands when he had the chance, and getting stuck in all over the pitch.

Unsurprisingly, he was shown a yellow card just before the break. But Beckford had absolutely no complaints with what he saw from the 32-year-old.

“You see Rodrigo here, we’ve highlighted him, the first-half especially, he was fantastic, full of energy, closed everybody down. But selfless as well,” he told BT Sport.

“He didn’t do anything wrong in terms of his work-ethic and work-rate. As soon as he won the ball back, what’s he doing? He’s looking to play the ball forward. Where’s Patrick Bamford? Can I play on him? Closing down, brilliant. And the fans reacted to that.”

The problem is Javi Gracia did not make the most of the opportunity to drag Leeds four points clear of the bottom three.

He made one change after half-time. And that was to bring on Brenden Aaronson for Rodrigo. Admittedly, Aaronson had one of his best games in some time, providing real energy and actually showing a willingness to get stuck in and fight.

Taking Rodrigo off made some sense. Calming him down appeared to be an impossible task. And a red card would have been a nightmare for Leeds.

This is not about Aaronson. But it did appear that Leicester were able to turn the screw after Rodrigo came off. Their own changes also shifted the momentum in their favour.

The situation now looks bleak for Leeds. But if we get 11 players showing the fight Rodrigo produced on Tuesday, we may have a little more reason for optimism.

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