Despite a mistake in midweek, Luke Ayling kept his place at right-back in the Leeds United side as Jesse Marsch’s men returned to Premier League action with a clash against Brentford.
The Whites will definitely be the side more frustrated with the goalless draw at Elland Road. David Raya had more saves to make. And it seems that most of the game was played in Brentford’s half. However, at the crucial moment, Leeds failed to find that final pass or moment of quality.
But the Bees were dangerous on the counter. Thankfully, Leeds defended superbly. And the visitors also struggled to make things happen.
Ayling quietly excellent against Brentford
Robin Koch arguably had his best game for some time. But given that he was up against Ivan Toney, it will be no surprise to see him receive some real plaudits in the days ahead.
The display which may perhaps go under the radar is that of Ayling. The 31-year-old started ahead of Rasmus Kristensen at right-back.
He had the challenge of trying to contain Rico Henry. And while Henry had his moments, Ayling will definitely be pleased with his display.
According to Whoscored, no player on either side won more tackles than Ayling, who won five. Meanwhile, he also topped the Leeds list for aerial duels won, with six.
Max Wober was excellent, and led the way with three interceptions. And it was Ayling who was just behind on two.
Ayling showed glimpses of the marauding right-back who shone in the Championship following his £750,000 move. Like many of his teammates however, the final pass was just a little off.
Of course, we cannot pretend that Ayling is the long-term answer at right-back. His form over the last 18 months has been mixed. And he is unlikely to improve again after giving so much for the Whites in recent years.
But if that is what we are going to get from Ayling for the rest of the season, then Leeds can feel a little more relaxed about the right-back situation for the time-being.