Marcelo Bielsa has admitted his Leeds side struggled to contain two Manchester United players in particular – but insists he’s unlikely to alter his approach in matches.
Sunday’s 6-2 thrashing at Manchester United means Leeds have conceded 30 goals in their 14 games so far. That’s more than any of their Premier League rivals.
Looking in detail at the defeat at Old Trafford, Bielsa admits there were two players in Scott McTominay and Fred, who his side struggled to cope with.
“To respond, I have to take the base of the last game. I can tell you the data we collected from the last game,” Bielsa said. “From a physical aspect, Manchester United played their best game of the season and Leeds were superior in this aspect.
“In possession, we were superior, which does not signify anything, but within a context it starts taking some value.
“There was no clear dominance in the game. We were dominated and dominated in a similar manner. The players who unbalanced from the opponent were 17 Fred and 39 McTominay. It wasn’t [Marcus] Rashford or Bruno Fernandes, nor [Daniel] James who participated mainly to defend.
“With this decision, Man Utd were superior to me in the way I imagined the game because it helped balance the defensive system of Manchester United and I didn’t think the key would be with the two central midfielders.
“If you look at the game in detail the unbalance comes from those two players. Offensive production from both teams was pretty similar.
“We created 11 chances at goal, scoring two. Man Utd created eight chances at goal and scored six. They needed 14 chances to score six goals, we needed 13 to score two.
“The errors Man Utd made in defence were the same to the ones Leeds made. To be sincere and to be fair, the sensation of danger from Man Utd was higher than from Leeds. But what is true is we created danger in a proportional way to Man Utd.
“They managed to finish better than we were able to. As another aspect should be highlighted, the duels and disputes. In the duels, disputes and one-v-ones we were not superior to them. We can read this in two ways. In the physical aspect where we were better than them, you have to evaluate the concentration, explosivity and aggression. Also the technical aspect which they were superior to us in certain situations.
“You asked how we attack how we attacked, but defend better. What you are proposing is abandon ingenuity and allow them to be superior to us. This is not something new because this has always been the idea the media portrays to the public.
“That the evolution only works if it gives immediate results. Forces us to improve, it never tolerates or accompanies. Leeds were consistent for two years in the Championship. There were few opportunities for the press to demand change as everything was going well.”
Bielsa avoided serious scrunity in Championship
Biela admitted his side are now getting more attention in the Premier League with every performance analysed in great detail.
“In the Championship whenever there was any turbulence, it was what you wrote. You must understand the process to compete on an even keel is the same in every league.
“With respect to my mentioning they needed 14 chances and we needed 13, five of their situations were generated in three minutes. The [the others] in 84th, 85th and 86th minutes, when we ingenerously tried to convert 6-2 to 6-3.
“I feel it was less humiliating to lose 6-3 or 6-4 rather than 6-2. I will always gamble for the hurt to be a smaller one even if there’s a risk of it getting better.
“This is why I say English football is one of the few altars where it is valued, in the attempt to be better, even if the opponent ended up being superior. ”
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