Bielsa highlights key thing Crawley did that Leeds failed to in FA Cup shock

Date published: Sunday 10th January 2021 4:53 - Samuel Bannister

Marcelo Bielsa admitted that Leeds did not do enough with the ball to overcome Crawley after falling to a shock defeat.

Leeds became just the second ever top-flight side to lose to a club from the fourth tier of English football by three goals as Crawley claimed a 3-0 win in their FA Cup third round tie.

It means Leeds have lost every game they have played in the FA Cup during Bielsa’s three seasons in charge. The manner of their exit made this one particularly painful for their supporters.

Playing in the competition as a Premier League club for the first time since 2004, Leeds failed to assert their dominance over their opponents from League Two.

It wasn’t for a lack of possession – Leeds had 71 per cent of the ball. However, they struggled to create things, and Crawley ended the game with more shots, shots on target and – crucially – goals.

Bielsa was disappointed that Leeds could not punish their opponents when they were on top, whereas that is what Crawley did to them.

“We couldn’t unbalance them when we attacked,” he told BBC Sport. “We had the ball for a long period of time but we couldn’t do much with it.

“In the first half it was a first half where we played better than the opponent and the game was played how we wanted it to be played, even if we didn’t create much danger.

 

“And in the second half, the game was played how the opponents wanted to play and they did create danger to deserve the goals that they scored.

“The result generates a lot of sadness and disappointment for us.”

Bielsa denies ‘surprise’ at result

Losing to a team from three divisions below was not expected of Leeds, but Bielsa had been preparing for the game like any other.

Hence, he denied that he was surprised by the upset, as he knew Crawley’s strengths.

“It’s not a question of surprise,” he said. “We know the characteristics of their players and the opponents, just like every other opponent.”

READ MORE: Leeds rival Prem duo as second Derby youngster is added to targets

 

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