Leeds boss Bielsa on Kalvin Phillips’ half-time substitution and Struijk not starting vs Brighton
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has spoken out over his somewhat peculiar selection decisions during the club’s meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion earlier today.
The Peacocks were of course back in action earlier this afternoon.
After slipping to a first defeat in four at Tottenham last weekend, Bielsa and co. made the trip to the Amex Stadium, eyeing a bounce-back performance up against the aforementioned Brighton.
And though, in the end, such a display failed to materialise, Leeds did manage to avoid a 2nd-straight defeat.
A hard-fought 90 minutes, during which Brighton, on more than one occasion, should have bagged an all-important opener, ultimately played out into a disappointing 0-0 stalemate.
Solly March almost scores with his first contribution for Brighton…
📺 Watch #BRILEE live on Sky Sports Premier League pic.twitter.com/HPH0pqSNaa
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 27, 2021
As alluded to above, though, amid an otherwise largely forgettable evening for his side, a couple of noteworthy updates were provided by Marcelo Bielsa in the aftermath of Saturday’s south coast clash.
Speaking to the media in his post-match press conference, the Leeds boss was drawn on both his surprising decision to haul off midfield fulcrum Kalvin Phillips at half-time, and choice to opt for Junior Firpo over Pascal Struijk at left-back, to altogether costly effect.
When asked whether the former’s premature exit from proceedings was down to an injury problem, Bielsa simply confirmed that:
‘No, he’s not injured.’
This would of course insinuate that the move was little more than a tactical one.
Regarding Struijk, meanwhile, who was introduced at the interval in place of the struggling Firpo, Bielsa added that the versatile Dutchman was simply not fit enough to play all 90 minutes, owing to a recent spell on the sidelines.
Bielsa said Phillips wasn’t injured when he came off. Struijk wasn’t fit for 90 mins which is why he didn’t start and why Firpo did. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) November 27, 2021
Wolves dealt midfield blow before Burnley clash
Remarkable stat again confirms Liverpool front-three as Premier League’s best after Southampton drubbing