Marcelo Bielsa described his team’s need to get points in every game as an “extreme necessity”, while Kalvin Phillips shut down murmurs of discontent between he and the Leeds United boss.
Leeds produced a high intensity display that for much of the contest appeared on course to go unrewarded. The Elland Road crowd were vociferous from first minute to last, helping to lift the spirits of Bielsa’s men in the effort stakes.
Christian Benteke spurned a glorious opportunity to put Palace in front soon in the second half soon after Rodrigo had done the same at the other end.
The match remained goalless entering injury time until Marc Guehi’s inexplicable handball gifted Raphinha the chance to snatch three points in the final moments.
The talismanic Brazilian held his nerve, earning a critical victory that lifted the Whites up to 15th in the table.
Speaking after the match, Bielsa said: “The win was very necessary. We really hoped we could win this game because the results we’d been getting weren’t good enough.
“The start of the second half was very good. The first half in general was balanced in our favour and the second half we also started well. There was a segment where they created danger, but we finished the game well.
“To have a penalty in the last minute in such an important game is not easy. You have to have character and personality to be able to score it.
“In every game we play, all the points are important given the start to the season we’ve had, which hasn’t been good. In every game it’s going to be an extreme necessity for us to get the points.”
Bielsa provides long-awaited positive Bamford update
On Patrick Bamford who was again sorely missed throughout the contest, Bielsa concluded: “He played 90 minutes yesterday.
“Perhaps for this weekend not, but definitely for the following one.”
Bamford has been absent since picking up an ankle injury in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle in September.
Phillips emphatically shuts down Bielsa murmurings
Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips also spoke to the press, saying: “Massive relief, I think we deserved the win, created some good chances in the first half. We got a little bit lucky in the final minutes with the handball. Very happy.
“There is always concern when you are creating chances and not scoring. We started struggling this season so we are happy to get the three points.
“Rapha is a very good player and oozes with class, so I didn’t expect anything else.
“It is a massive win for us, we are very happy and have to try and go on a run of games now – we have a tough run of games before Christmas.”
After his comments at the weekend when noting he had no idea why Bielsa deployed him as a centre-back drew attention, Phillips was quick to shut down any murmurings of discontent with his manager.
“I’ll play any position the manager asks me – if he wants me to play centre back I will play centre back, if he wants me to play goalkeeper I’ll play goalkeeper,” added Phillips. “I respect him so much I will never fall out with him.
“I saw a lot of things on social media and TV that me and the manger had fallen out, it’s never been the case and I wanted to put that to bed.”