Soccer

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa frustrated with side after failing to beat 10-man Arsenal

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa believes his side should have been more clinical after they failed to find a winner against ten-man Arsenal on Sunday. Substitute Rodrigo was denied twice by the woodwork during the second half and Patrick Bamford also came close for the hosts, but they could not capitalise on their numerical advantage after Nicolas Pepe was dismissed for a headbutt on Ezgjan Alioski.

Leeds dominated throughout, causing Arsenal’s defence problems with their trademark pressing style and quick ball movement.

Their hold on the game grew even stronger after Pepe’s dismissal, with the hosts doing everything but scoring.

Bielsa told Sky Sports after the match that his side would have taken all three points on another day.

“The result could have been in our favour, the performance was satisfactory, 11 v 11 we played well,” he said.

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“With a man advantage we were more dangerous, it was a steady and valuable performance throughout.

“We missed a lot of chances, we arrived in different ways and I think there were three shots that hit the post. The accuracy wasn’t the necessary one.

“It is not more difficult, it is easier (to play against 10 men).”

The result means Leeds have taken just one point in their last three Premier League matches.

They went into Sunday’s encounter in search of a return to winning ways after two consecutive 4-1 defeats saw the Yorkshire outfit slip down the standings.

Winger Raphinha was handed his first Premier League start by Bielsa and looked threatening throughout, but lacked an end product having missed a number of opportunities to break the deadlock.

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“He worked a lot, he had the capacity to associate in his sector,” Bielsa said of the 23-year-old’s performance.

“We were able to get in behind down the right, it wasn’t necessarily him but he contributed.”

England midfielder Kalvin Phillips also started the match for Leeds after completing his recovery from a troublesome shoulder issue.

He appeared to pick up another knock midway through the second half, but dusted himself off and carried on with proceedings.

Arsenal’s best chance of the game fell to Bukayo Saka who was put clean through on goal during the closing stages, but Illan Meslier saved magnificently from the resulting one-on-one situation to keep the scores level.

Leeds will continue their Premier League campaign with a tough test against high flyers Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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