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Bielsa admits his major Leeds worry after home defeat against Brighton


Marcelo Bielsa’s magic is fast disappearing with Leeds heading into a tail-spin.

Dumped out of the FA Cup by League Two Crawley and now well beaten by a Brighton side who hadn’t won since November – it’s turned into a disastrous start to 2021 for the revered Argentinian boss.

Defeat by Graham Potter’s excellent Seagull’s on a ropey pitch inflicted a third straight defeat on Bielsa – the first time that’s happened since his arrival at Elland Road.

And on a day when his stars were out-manouvered by a clever and skilful Brighton performance, the deep-thinking South American professor will need to dig deep to find a way to stop the rot.

Bielsa admitted his stars are struggling – and he’s worried.

“We didn’t attack well, we didn’t defend well and we also didn’t play well but the result could still have been different.



Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa
Bielsa reacts as Leeds struggle to break down Brighton

“Even while playing below our capabilities we still could have aspired to a better result. The lack of chances worries me.

“The fluidity to attack is not the same in the last two games to what we have been used to.”

Leeds – without suspended Kalvin Phillips – were missing their usual high tempo intensity and creativity was in short supply from players who charged out of the Championship and made a instant impact in the Premier League.

But that shouldn’t detract from a mightily impressive Brighton display that makes it baffling why Potter’s stars have been struggling in the lower reaches.

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Potter said: “To come here for our third game in six days, against this team and keep a clean sheet is a great result. I’m so proud of the players.

“We were smart in defence, if you open up too much you make it a game that favours Leeds and it’s a third game in six days so we have to manage that situation.

“I’d rather have a second, but 1-0 wins always show a lot about the character of a team, especially with the week we’ve had including 120 minutes and penalties against Newport in the Cup.”



Neal Maupay celebrates his winner at Leeds
Neal Maupay celebrates his winner

Their football was accomplished, intelligent and full of invention – and featured one of the best team goals surely seen so far this season as they registered their first League win in ten games.

With 17 minutes gone Brighton carved through Leeds defence with a rapid passing move Bielsa would have been proud to claim himself.

Ben White – imperious on his return to the club he helped get promoted to the Premier League – played a key role picking out eye-catching Argentinian Alexis Mac Allister.

He played a one-two with Leandro Trossard before pulling the ball across goal for Neal Maupay to tap in the game’s only goal.

If anyone expected Brighton to sit back they were wrong as they confidently took control leaving Leeds looking ordinary.

Leeds have now lost six of their last nine games and seem to have hit a brick wall.

That obstacle was in the shape of Brighton’s formidable back three – Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Dan Burn.

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When the Leeds fight-back eventually whirled into action second half they repelled everything Bielsa’s stars threw at them – even though in terms of chances that wasn’t much.

Leeds had started as if they had a point to prove after last weekend’s humiliation at Crawley.

Ezgjan Alioski delivered a killer cross into the heart of Brighton’s six yard box but Rodrigo couldn’t connect.

Brighton quickly took charge of the half with an impressive mix of razor sharp passing and fluid movement in the final third.

Their goal should have sparked an onslaught from the home side but Leeds were leggy, lethargic and off the pace.

It could have been worse too with the crossbar saving Leeds from conceding a second after 25 minutes with Trossard’s attempted cross to scorer Maupay flicking off Ayling’s boot on to the woodwork.

Leeds were better after the break but only Jack Harrison came close to an equaliser with a left foot shot that curled wide.





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