Frightening Kalvin Phillips stat highlights Leeds dominance at Wigan

Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United applauds after the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at the DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday 17th August 2019.

Leeds United moved themselves to the top of the Championship with a 2-0 victory on Saturday, with Patrick Bamford scoring both goals.

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford celebrates scoring his and his side's second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at DW Stadium on August 17,...

With Patrick Bamford scoring first against a Wigan side that had already been reduced to 10 men, Leeds fans would be forgiven for feeling a little uneasy about their lead at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

It was the Latics who put a significant dent in the Whites' promotion hopes on Good Friday last term. Marcelo Bielsa's side had led through Bamford minutes after Paul Cook's men had had a man sent off, but two goals from Gavin Massey provided the Elland Road faithful with the match that they now painfully reflect upon as the key turning point in the automatic-promotion race.

 

There was to be no implosion this time around however, with Bamford scoring again after the break to send Leeds to the top of the table after three games. 

There are plenty of statistics from the game which left Leeds looking dominant. United had more than three-quarters of possession, and had 20 attempts on goal - more than three times what Wigan produced. But perhaps the most damning stat from the game centres around the contribution that Kalvin Phillips made.

Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United applauds after the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at the DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday 17th August 2019.

Whoscored.com shows that Phillips won more challenges than anyone else on the pitch, while only two players won more aerial duels. But it was Phillips' passing numbers that really catch the eye.

Phillips made 71 accurate passes during the game, which was more than the 10 outfield players who started for Wigan combined managed. In total, Leeds made 486 accurate passes in the victory, while the Latics managed just 92, with goalkeeper David Marshall providing 16 of those.

Marcelo Bielsa, manager of Leeds, during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at the DW Stadium, Wigan on Saturday 17th August 2019.

Leeds would have been aided in their quest to dominate the ball by Joe Williams' early dismissal. But Wigan would have known how dangerous Phillips could be if he is allowed to pull strings and dictate play. 

Leeds still have a lot of prove after the season they enjoyed and endured last year. But it certainly looks fair to say that the team is showing that it has evolved after another summer working under Bielsa, and Phillips' remarkable passing statistics perhaps exemplify that fact almost as well as the scoreline does. 

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