Jurgen Klopp hails Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United as 'really special' and reveals awe at Manchester City win

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has described Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United as 'really special' - revealing he was left in awe at the Whites win over Manchester City.

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 17th April 2021, 3:19 pm

The Premier League's reigning champions travel to Elland Road on Monday night in top flight action for another hotly-anticipated encounter under the lights in LS11.

Leeds fell to a thrilling 4-3 defeat at Anfield on the opening day of the campaign in September and now see themselves seven points behind the visitors in 10th position with seven games to go.

The Reds have seen the title slip from their grasp following an up and down campaign and will finish the season trophyless after being knocked out of the Champions League by La Liga giants Real Madrid in midweek.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp greets Leeds United head coach at Anfield. Pic: Getty

Klopp's men currently sit sixth and are fighting to make the top four in a bid to qualify for Europe once again next term, remaining three points away heading into the West Yorkshire clash.

Leeds are fresh from a stunning 2-1 victory over this season's champions in waiting at the Etihad stadium, with Stuart Dallas scoring a 91st minute winner over the Pennines following club captain Liam Cooper's first half dismissal.

The Reds boss has hailed Leeds ahead of kick-off for the breath of fresh air they have brought to the Premier League as a newly-promoted outfit, adding praise for his opposite number in the dugout before their second meeting.

“This Leeds team is really special,” Klopp told reporters during his pre-match press conference.

“They are not the most experienced team in the world but they have a very experienced manager.

“Most of the players are playing the Premier League for the first time so they have to go through a process.

“Against City they could have scored seven, eight, nine (after going down to 10 men), on another day City score that, but they defended it really well. It was exceptional but Leeds are a really good side managed by one of the best and that obviously helps.

He added: “We just go for it, go and go and go and play our best football. We are of course under pressure [for results] as we want to finish in the top four but we don’t know in the moment if we will.

"We have seven games to prove that and we will try.”

Asked about the character shown and if he could learn anything from United's win over Pep Guardiola's side, Klopp added: “Man City played against 10 players of Leeds, so that’s not exactly the way Leeds usually play.

“It was an early red card, early 1-0 for Leeds. Leeds played an exceptional game from a passion point of view.

“The tactical stuff: there’s not a lot to take from. You see the character of the team, that’s obviously exceptional.

“They never gave up, they fought as hard as they could, they worked their socks off and they still had, with 10 men, counter-attacks.

“A lot of teams don’t have counter-attacks against City even with 11 men, but they had it with 10 and scored a late winner. I saw the game and it was really exciting to see what’s possible in football.

“Leeds were surprised as well. When they had a red card, nobody in the Leeds squad probably thought ‘okay, we are halfway through, now we will get the three points’ and in the end, they got it.

“With the passion they showed, they deserved it. That’s really nice that something like this is possible.”