Bielsa admission points to Leeds shortcomings and bumpy ride ahead

Date published: Saturday 16th October 2021 6:09 - Neil Foster

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Marcelo Bielsa felt his Leeds side did not deserve to take anything from their clash with Southampton and refused to make any excuses for the loss.

The Whites were never really at the races as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men dominated from start to finish. Leeds defended well and limited Saints to shots from distance. But the home side’s pressure eventually told as Armando Broja scored on his first Premier League start to settle the match.

It was Southampton’s first league success of the campaign and moved them above Leeds in the table. And Bielsa pulled no punches in his assessment of proceedings on the south coast.

“It was a fair result, we didn’t play well in any moment in the game,” he told Sky Sports. “The difference was produced in the first half and the second half the game was more even but the difference is that I was in their favour in the first half. It justified their win even if they scored in the second half.”

The Argentinian tactician set up his team to play the Leeds way. But he confessed that very few things went right during the 90 minutes.

“We tried to play the same as always. With two wingers and two attackers through the middle and two full-backs that get forward and Klich behind those players trying to organise the play,” he added.

“But it was very difficult for us to recover the ball and provoke mistakes in the opponent. And it was difficult for us to stop them getting from their defence to attack.”

Bielsa expected more from Leeds

The visitors were shorn of two of their best players at St Mary’s. England midfielder Kalvin Phillips is still recovering from a calf injury while Raphinha was not ready after playing for Brazil just 36 hours earlier.

However, the South American believes the 11 players he fielded should have been able to compete with Southampton.

“It is not common to miss six players but the team that started the game was formed of players that usually play,” he continued. “We were in condition to play a more even game and thought we could dominate and impose ourselves. That is clearly not what happened.

“To ignore the absentees would not be logical but with the players we counted on, we were in conditions to play a more even game and to take forward our style.

“We didn’t manage it and strangely in the second half when some modifications happened, the game wasn’t so unbalanced in their favour.

“It was more even. The difference was fair. It was produced via a goal that is justified by the differences in the teams in the first half.”

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