Kalvin Phillips makes Leeds United admission after Chelsea setback but hails Whites trait

Kalvin Phillips made a frank admission about Leeds United making life even harder for themselves as lightning struck twice in Wednesday night's Elland Road defeat to Chelsea.

By Lee Sobot
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 4:45 am

Just three days after a similar tale in Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Arsenal, United fell a goal behind in just the fourth minute against the Blues as Mason Mount found the top corner from the edge of the box.

Leeds were then reduced to ten men for the second game in a row 20 minutes later as Dan James was issued with a straight-red card for a late challenge on Mateo Kovacic.

A dominant Blues side finally bagged a second goal ten minutes after the restart when Christian Pulisic applied a neat finish from the edge of the box and Romelu Lukaku netted a third Chelsea goal with seven minutes left.

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TOUGH NIGHT: For Leeds United and Kalvin Phillips, left, pictured batting it out with Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, right, in Wednesday evening's 3-0 reverse at Elland Road. Picture by Tony Johnson.

The result kept Leeds in the relegation zone with just two games left and Phillips pulled no punches in his post match assessment but felt his side deserved credit for fighting on until the end.

"It was very difficult," said Phillips to LUTV.

"You can see from our performance that we were very tired after Arsenal and we were a man down early in the first half again which didn't make it easy.

"But there's nothing we can do about it now, we tried our best and we have to do that in the next game.

"It must be something where maybe we are not quite concentrating early on in the game and obviously the challenge happens and we get a red card and it just makes it even more difficult from there.

"But we dug deep and it shows everything about us that even with ten men we are still try to play, we still try to get close to people and we will have to do that in the last two games."

James now joins Sunday's red card victim Luke Ayling in being banned for the rest of the season as his dismissal will land the Wales international forward a three-match ban.

Asked what was going through United's minds as James was dismissed, Phillips admitted: "Just try not to concede.

"Early on in the second half we did that but we are against a world class team like we were last week and with a man down it makes it a lot more difficult to try and create chances or stop them from scoring.

"All we can do now is look forward to the Brighton game and try and rest and get ready to go out there and try and get three points."

Leeds will be relegated if they fail to pick up at least a point from Sunday's home clash against Brighton or their season finale at Brentford the following weekend but Phillips played down suggestions that United were suffering because of nerves.

"I don't know whether it's nerves," he said.

"I just think the pressure is on, we know that, we try to go out and not show it and sometimes maybe it does look like that.

"But from inside the camp it's always been positive, we have always tried to stick to our game plan and you have to adapt when things like that happen."