Bielsa names crucial Leeds tactic gone missing; shuts down Meslier probe

Date published: Saturday 16th January 2021 5:49 - Jonny Whitfield

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa said that his side’s lack of desire and determination to win the ball back proved costly in their defeat to Brighton.

Neal Maupay’s first-half goal proved enough to hand the Seagulls a 1-0 win at Elland Road on Saturday. What’s more, the French striker handed the visitors their first victory in nine Premier League matches.

However, Leeds suffered yet another home defeat in the process. The Whites have also lost to Wolves, West Ham and Leicester in West Yorkshire this term.

But Bielsa showed more concern for his side’s recent run, with Leeds now having lost three in a row after 3-0 defeats to Tottenham and Crawley – the latter in the FA Cup.

“We didn’t defend as well as we could, especially in the capacity to recover the ball,” Bielsa told Match of the Day.

“We always had to recover in the moments that the opponents tried to attack and not in the final 30 minutes, we didn’t attack with the fluidity that we usually do.

“Those two aspects meant our performance wasn’t a good one.

“Given how the game played out I felt we could have managed a different result.”

Neal Maupay, Leandro Trossard Brighton

Asked about his side’s hat-trick of defeats, the Argentine said: “Yes, of course, it worries me.

“These were three games that could have resulted in a different matter so it worries me – the game against Tottenham less – but the game in the cup and today worries me.”

Leeds stuck with Kiko Casilla in goal ahead of Illan Meslier. Bielsa confirmed that Frenchman Meslier is unwell.

However, when asked if the 20-year-old is suffering from Covid-19, he said: “You shouldn’t be asking this question.”

Potter proud of Brighton

Graham Potter Brighton

Meanwhile, Brighton boss Graham Potter expressed his delight at his side’s win.

As well as ending their run without victory, Brighton broke a bad habit having lost 12 Premier League points from losing positions before this game.

“Yes, very proud of the players,” Potter said (via Leeds Live). “Tremendous effort after a tough and good week.

“Two hours at Newport, we came back, recovered for [Manchester] City and then come here against a fresh Leeds team with their physicality.

“Clean sheet and conceding few chances, couldn’t be happier for the players. Great quality and personality.”

Leeds return to action when facing Newcastle, while Brighton face Blackpool in the FA Cup fourth round next Sunday.

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