Marcelo Bielsa was again indebted to the brilliance of Pablo Hernandez after the Spanish star scored two top-class goals in Leeds’ 3-0 victory at Reading on Tuesday night.
Three first-half goals gave Leeds a comfortable win at the lowly Royals and moved them above previous leaders Norwich. In truth, Bielsa’s side should have won by a greater margin.
After a cagey opening, Leeds went ahead in the 14th minute through a calm finish from Mateusz Klich.
Hernandez increased the lead eight minutes later and, two minutes from the interval, he lashed from 25 yards for his 10th goal of the campaign.
Although Reading improved in the second period, Leeds still squandered a series of chances to make their win even more emphatic.
But all the praise after the game was reserved for Hernandez, who has had a hand in no fewer than 21 goals this season – scoring 10 and making another 11 – inspiring Leeds at the age of 33.
After the match, Bielsa said: “Pablo finds solutions that are above his technical skills. He reads the game and when he does this, he puts the ball in the right places. It’s something that’s very hard to teach and something that’s very hard to learn.
“Pablo is a very wise player but this performance isn’t linked to what I’m saying. He had a great game and a big performance but the answers he gave are one that common observers can see. Some of what he does is not that evident or easy to detect.”
Leeds next face arguably their biggest match of the season on Saturday lunchtime when neighbours and fellow promotion contenders Sheffield United visit Elland Road. Victors in the match will put themselves in pole position to secure a return to the Premier League.
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