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Bielsa gives honest appraisal of Leeds defeat; explains controversial decision to bench Raphinha

Marcelo Bielsa dejected Leeds United 2022 TEAMtalk1

Marcelo Bielsa had no issue with the result as Leeds crashed 3-0 to Everton and revealed he substituted Raphinha for tactical reasons.

The Whites were unable to build on an encouraging 3-3 draw with Aston Villa last time out. Seamus Coleman put the Toffees ahead in just the tenth minute before Michael Keane doubles the advantage 13 minutes later. The Merseysiders were good value for their 2-0 half-time lead.

And they made sure of the points when Anthony Gordon added a third with 12 minutes left on the watch. The result means Frank Lampard’s men are now just one point behind the Elland Road outfit having played one game fewer.

Leeds won back-to-back games against Burnley and West Ham in January. But they have stumbled of late, with only one point from their last three outings.

They were well beaten at Goodison Park and Bielsa outlined why his side deserved nothing from the game.

“It was a fair result. They established differences that justified their goals,” he told BBC Sport. “They are different games and in the one today it was very difficult for us to defend. If you watch the game you will see it was difficult for us to anticipate their forwards.

“They attacked better than us. In the second half we defended a little bit better but we couldn’t manage to attack.”

Bielsa clears up half-time decision

Leeds face a tough few weeks in their battle to avoid relegation. The West Yorkshire club are six points clear of the drop zone.

Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier wanted by Barcelona

Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier wanted by Barcelona

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier is wanted by Barcelona as they look for long term Andre Ter Stergen replacement

However, they may well struggle to take anything from their next three fixtures. Manchester United will come calling next Sunday before a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on February 23.

Tottenham will be the visitors on Sunday, February 26 before the Argentine takes his men to Leicester City. He will need his best players to be at the top of their game.

Raphinha certainly falls into that category. The Brazil international has scored eight of Leeds 27 top-flight goals this term.

Raphinha Leeds

But he was replaced by Tyler Roberts for the second period. There were fears that the South American might have picked up a knock but Bielsa made it clear that was not the case.

“I decided that Daniel James should take over his role on the right and Tyler Roberts take over in the centre,” he added. “He is not injured.”

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