Marcelo Bielsa highlighted Leeds United’s superior fitness and running power as his side overpowered Burnley to claim a resounding 4-0 win on Saturday lunchtime.
Two goals from substitute Rodrigo crowned a solid display from the Yorkshiremen at Turf Moor. It means Leeds are closing on a top-half finish and brought up an impressive goals stat in the process. It’s been a brilliant season back in the Premier League for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. It also means they have suffered just one defeat – at Brighton – in their last nine games.
Reflecting on the win, Bielsa insisted Leeds were made to work hard for the points.
“In the first half we insisted until we managed to score,” he told BT Sport. “We defended well, in the second half we didn’t defend as well but we were efficient and had chances at goal.”
Bielsa though admitted he was very happy with Leeds’ clinical nature on the counter attack and he felt that made the difference.
“Big spaces it’s easier to attack, and when the opponent is losing they take more risks,” he observed. “But as you can see we conceded chances in the second half that we didn’t in the first.”
Leeds brought on record signing Rodrigo for Patrick Bamford in the 58th minute. And his decision was vindicated when the Spain striker scored two excellent goals.
Explaining the substitution, Bielsa added: “Rodrigo drops a little bit deeper than Patrick. And in the beginning of the second half, we needed to link more the midfield and the attack.”
Talking about Leeds’ fitness proving telling, Bielsa told the BBC: “You can verify that [we are fit] by looking at the data. I never thought that could be the case. It would have worried me if we had finished the season in physical decline.”
Rodrigo happy with Leeds double
Two-goal Rodrigo also spoke to the media after the game and reflected on his ‘beautiful’ goals.
Dallas ➡️ Phillips ➡️ Harrison ➡️Rodrigo 💥⚽
Leeds in full flow, what a joy to watch!! 😍 pic.twitter.com/MqHGu0vTh2
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 15, 2021
“Very happy for the goal and the victory. We are having an amazing season, we are playing excellent games,” he told BBC Match of the Day.
“I try to get in behind the defenders. We know they are a tough team and a top defence so I’m happy to get the two goals today.”
On his goals: “Beautiful goal, the first one, good pass from Jack [Harrison], it was a tight space but found a way to get the advantage and get the goal.
“We have an amazing group, good atmosphere during the week, the whole season was amazing for us after we got promoted last season. Very happy for the team and for the club and I hope the fans are proud of us this season.”