Why Pascal Struijk was absent for Leeds’ meeting with Chelsea
An explanation for the absence of Pascal Struijk from Leeds United’s matchday squad to face Chelsea this afternoon has been provided.
Jorginho decides it
The Peacocks, of course, returned to Premier League action earlier today.
Boasting a timely 3-game unbeaten streak, Marcelo Bielsa’s men made the trip to Stamford Bridge, no doubt keen to spring a surprise on their stuttering heavyweight hosts.
And, to their credit, Leeds ultimately came within just minutes of managing exactly that.
After Joe Gelhardt pulled the visitors level inside the closing ten minutes in west London, referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot for the 3rd occasion deep into time added on.
From here, Jorginho stepped up to slot home in typically confident fashion, securing all three points for Chelsea, and sparking chaotic scenes at Stamford Bridge in the process:
Scenes at Stamford Bridge as Leeds and Chelsea players clash at full-time
Rudiger is having to be pulled away by his teammates 🤬 pic.twitter.com/scBLJP8cRP
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 11, 2021
In turn, on the back of the full-time whistle sounding on Saturday, it should come as little surprise to hear that Leeds boss Bielsa was in defiant mood.
Despite the absence of a number of the club’s star performers, the Whites gave as good as they got in the English capital, amid the widespread agreement that Chelsea were rather lucky to emerge on the right side of the eventual scoreline:
Bielsa’s reaction: “We would have deserved a draw.”
On the penalties/mistakes: “Errors are part of the game, unless they are unjustified or impudent. I wouldn’t class either of those penalties as that.”
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) December 11, 2021
One such member of Leeds’ squad to have missed out this afternoon came in the form of Pascal Struijk.
whilst the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford were expected to miss out, the absence of versatile midfielder Struijk came as something of a surprise, with boss Bielsa, in turn, questioned on the situation during his post-match media duties.
And the Argentine went on to confirm that Struijk’s omission came owing to a last-minute injury problem picked up in training on Friday:
Bielsa confirms Pascal Struijk was injured on Friday. “Yesterday, [in] training [he] picked up a knock. Pain is difficult to tolerate. Inflammation did not go down from yesterday to today and last minute could not play.”
🚑 Table: https://t.co/cckOHhGs0b#LUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) December 11, 2021
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