Bielsa talks Euro 2020 chances for Phillips; hails Leeds trait in big win

Marcelo Bielsa, Gaetano Berardi Leeds v West Brom May 2021

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa hailed his side’s “special” performance as they ended their season with a win over West Brom.

Fresh from setting the Premier League record for points in a season after promotion, the Whites ended their first campaign back in the top flight with a flourish. Rodrigo opened the scoring and celebrated with the returning fans, while Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips added further goals.

Indeed, Phillips’ free-kick was his first goal in the Premier League.

Bamford, meanwhile, added his 17th of the season, with this and one other the only ones coming from the penalty spot.

Elsewhere, departing duo Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi got standing ovations. Furthermore, the latter left the field in tears before the 10,000 returning fans to Elland Road chanted Hernandez’s name.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, Bielsa said: “It was a special game. I’m happy that we have won and that Pablo and Berardi could get such a generous send-off.

“The game could have had a smaller difference, when a team is relegated and almost everything goes against them. But especially in the second half we had chances that were well elaborated.”

However, there was big concern for Phillips at the end. He suffered a nasty-looking injury just before full time.

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The midfielder has been one of his side’s standout players this term and will be a firm candidate for England’s Euro 2020 squad if fit.

“I couldn’t tell you if the injury is severe or not but we hope he can go to the Euros.”

There is also more uncertainty over Bielsa’s future. The Argentine has signed new one-year deals in every season since moving to Elland Road.

He has yet to commit to a new season but despite there being widespread acceptance that he will, he insisted again to look out for an official Leeds announcement.

Bielsa keeps quiet on Leeds future

Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds at Burnley

“I have a lot of gratitude for the moments I’ve been here and I’m very grateful.

“As soon as it’s resolved the club will announce it.”

Leeds ended the season in ninth and the wait will now be on for updates on Bielsa’s future and Phillips’ fitness.

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