Marcelo Bielsa pinpoints his first-half mistake, as Leeds assess Raphinha injury

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa believes the last-gasp 1-1 draw with Wolves could be a turning point and admitted he preferred the “natural position” of Dan James in the second half.

Marcelo Bielsa pinpoints his first-half mistake, as Leeds assess Raphinha injury

Marcelo Bielsa pinpoints his first-half mistake, as Leeds assess Raphinha injury

Leeds looked to be heading to defeat until Rodrigo held his nerve and converted a stoppage-time penalty. Leeds substitute Joe Gelhardt had won the penalty after Wolves defender Nelson Semedo’s challenge.

Bielsa’s depleted Leeds had laid siege on Wolves’ goal for much of the match after Hwang Hee-Chan had given the visitors a 10th-minute lead.

And Bielsa was sure his side had done enough to win the game at Elland Road.

Bielsa told Sky Sports: “We deserved something more than the draw. Apart from some things at the start of both halves, we had the control of the game.

“Progressively we started to get closer and closer to the goal and to have won the game would have been more in accordance with what happened on the pitch.

“Apart from the initial minutes in both halves we could control the game. We created not too dangerous and not too many, but sufficient chances to win the game.”

On sub Joe Gelhardt’s impact, he said: “In the initial minutes of the 30 he played he had very few contacts with the ball, but in the final 15 he got the penalty and had options to score one or two goals. I have the impression he, alongside Rodrigo, had enough chances to win the game.”

Leeds also had to deal with the second-half withdrawal of Raphinha. The Brazilian was caught by a late challenge from Romain Saiss, who was lucky not to see red.

Raphinha limped off down the tunnel.

“He received a knock and we don’t know the extent of the injury yet,” said Bielsa, who hailed his players who took charge.

“I don’t think there were players who didn’t take responsibility. Llorente, Cooper, Pascal were very present.

“The youngsters made a big contribution. Dallas in the second half unbalanced. Rodrigo changed the course of the game in the final 30. He took responsibility for the penalty. General lines none didn’t take it. The first half of Cooper is very significant.”

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‘I liked James more in his natural position’ “It was a step forward. Compared to the game last week, the game was without shine. This was a lot more like what the team is capable of.

“Even if so, if we maintained from last week, a series of players who are not present the feeling is the group is sufficient to play the way we want to play and try to resolve every game. That applies only to the game today, and every game is an opportunity to express yourselves once again.

“I think as the game wore on our insistence started to fatigue or waste their defence. And as the second half advanced, we started to generate presences with Dallas and James and Shackleton, Summerville and Gelhardt and Rodrigo.

“We could worry the opponent. As such I thought that result was insufficient as I thought we could’ve scored more than one goal.”

Bielsa had started Dan James in a central attacking role, but he changed the winger to a wider role in the second half.

“I liked Pascal today. He gave a lot of presence to the midfield and consistency and I liked James more in his natural position of left winger compared to the role I assigned to him in the first half.”

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