Injuries force Marcelo Bielsa's hand, free-kick curse lifted and the away record continues - Leeds United talking points

Leeds United secured an important 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon - but what were some of the key talking points?

By Joe Urquhart
Sunday, 5th July 2020, 3:08 pm
Leeds United's Gjanni Alioski in action at Ewood Park. (Bruce Rollinson)
Leeds United's Gjanni Alioski in action at Ewood Park. (Bruce Rollinson)

Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich all struck for Marcelo Bielsa's men with Adam Armstrong getting on the scoresheet for the hosts. Leeds, though, couldn't be stopped in their quest for three points at Ewood Park.

Here, we take a quick look at some of the key post-match talking points.

Two changes... but no problem

Due to a quad issue for Stuart Dallas and a knee problem for Helder Costa, Bielsa was forced into two changes for the trip to Blackburn.

Barry Douglas and Gjanni Alioski stepped in for the injured duo and proved more than capable deputies.

Alioski had made his impact felt from the bench in recent games against Fulham and Luton Town while Douglas was making just his fifth start of the campaign.

The latter slotted in at left-back with the Macedonian on the wing in front of him as Jack Harrison moved over to the right hand side.

Douglas impressed as he looked sharp at Ewood Park, and his form wasn't lost on the boss who now has decisions to make ahead of Stoke City on Thursday.

"In defence he had a good match, an efficient match," Bielsa said.

"We were playing out, he is always correct. And even though he didn’t attack a lot, he chose the right moments to attack."

Bielsa also issued an update on Dallas and Cotsa post-match: "They were close to playing today. We will see if they can play on Thursday."

Free-kick curse is lifted

It has been a long, long time since Leeds United scored a free-kick - December 2017 to be precise.

Nearly three years have passed since Pablo Hernandez's strike against Burton Albion on Boxing Day and Kalvin Phillips' effort at Ewood Park was a thing of beauty.

The United midfielder curled his effort up and over the Rovers wall into the top corner from 30-yards leaving goalkeeper Christian Walton no chance.

Bielsa described the shot as a "beautiful goal" afterwards.

Impressive away record

Leeds United's victory over Blackburn Rovers saw the Whites equal their best run of away league victories in a second tier 46 game season with 11 wins.

Marcelo Bielsa's side set the record last season, and now have two away trips left (Swansea and Derby) to beat last year's exploits.

A nod to Andrew Dalton, a.k.a @lufcstats for this one.

One step closer?

Another game down, five left of the run-in to go.

Leeds remained in top spot with the victory in Lancashire and with Brentford's home win over Wigan the Bees kept the gap from first to third to six points.

United will now play their two games this week after Thomas Frank's men in what could be a season-defining seven days if either side were to slip up.

The Whites take on Stoke City at Elland Road on Thursday evening before a trip to Swansea City next Sunday afternoon.

Brentford host Charlton Athletic on Tuesday with a trip to Derby County on Saturday lunchtime.