After a superb run of results against the Premier League’s big boys, Leeds were brought crashing back down with a timid 2-0 defeat to Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side had remained undefeated in clashes against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, even earning a win against Pep Guardiola’s league leaders.
But against the Seagulls at the weekend, the Whites looked nothing like their usual energetic selves, having far fewer shots on goal than the home side, and just looking off the pace.
One man who Bielsa would certainly have been fuming at is Patrick Bamford.
The striker has been one of the shining lights of the Premier League season for the Yorkshire club, firing in 14 goals and providing another eight assists in the top-flight alone.
But lately, he has just gone completely off the boil, and his latest blank against Graham Potter’s side now means he has gone five matches without a goal.
It wasn’t just his shooting boots that were missing on Saturday, however, with his all-round game also virtually non-existent coming up against a formidable Brighton back-line who completely overwhelmed him.
As per Sofascore, his 15 touches and 11 successful passes were both far lower than what goalkeeper Illan Meslier even managed, and a damning statement on just how anonymous he was – the forward just got snuffed out by the Seagulls’ back-three.
He also failed to register a single shot on goal, something even defenders Diego Llorente and Luke Ayling did, while he won just one out of the measly two duels that he contested.
Bamford just couldn’t get himself involved in the game, and it wasn’t even that surprising that Bielsa decided to take him off before the hour-mark for Rodrigo.
And, writing in his post-match player ratings for Leeds Live, Beren Cross gave him a 4/10, adding: “Barely had a kick. As he was in the first game, he was swamped by the three centre-backs. The latest in a long line of frustrating matches for the striker with any Golden Boot hopes long gone.”
Those thoughts were echoed by The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Graham Smyth who said: “No touches anywhere near the Brighton goal, no impact in the game. Much of that was down to a lack of service but he didn’t impose himself at all.”
Bielsa would have been livid with his centre-forward’s lack of involvement in the game, and would no doubt have been expecting far more from a player who has been leading the charge for Leeds this season.