Marcelo Bielsa laments Leeds United's inability to make superiority count against Lee Bowyer's Charlton Athletic

Marcelo Bielsa felt Lee Bowyer got enough out of his Charlton players to nullify Leeds United's superiority at The Valley.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 7:25 pm
Marcelo Bielsa saw a lot of the same problems that Leeds have encountered recently (Pic: Getty)

The Argentine head coach appeared exasperated that some of the same issues that have cropped up to cost his side recently were apparent again in today's 1-0 defeat.

The Whites had enough possession to control of the game, sent countless balls into the box and yet were undone by a first half set-piece.

They struggled to break down an Addicks side who packed the penalty area and defended manfully late on, despite coming under sustained pressure.

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"I should repeat the same argument," said Bielsa after the game.

"Obviously the difference between both teams was big.

"The fact that we didn't impose this superiority is the explanation of what happened.

"I say this to say something different and to focus more on the difficulties for us, because if not I should say what I say always.

"One shot, one goal. We had the possession, we controlled the game, the match was less clean than usual, our play.

"I say nothing new because nothing new happened."

Leeds, who now sit fourth in the Championship, were heavy favourites to beat the newly-promoted Addicks.

But Bielsa said ex Leeds midfielder Bowyer and his Charlton side stopped the visitors from making a telling difference with their superior quality.

"But one criticism for myself, our players are better than their players," he said.

"It is not that I am giving less value to the opponent. It is not that I underestimated the opponent but as we had more resources on the pitch, I couldn't impose this difference and the opposition manager, with less resources, he avoided us making a difference.

"The difference in resources was clear."

Bielsa made a pair of changes at the break, sending on Eddie Nketiah to play up front with Patrick Bamford and putting Adam Forshaw in defensive midfield, reverting to a back three.

With two strikers on the pitch he felt Leeds would have more presence in the area and capitalise on their numerous crossing opportunities.

Reflecting on how the game panned out, Bielsa lamented the lack of killer final ball in the middle of the park, while also recognising how difficult Charlton made it by defending in numbers.

"In the last 15 minutes of the first half we had a lot of capacity to cross, I thought with Eddie and Bamford together maybe we could obtain more presence in the box," he said.

"In the last 30 minutes, always we lost the ball in the last 20 metres, with 15 players inside the box. In this situation it is really difficult to play clear.

"Our set-pieces created some danger, our play decided that we had created some dangerous situations as well and we had shots from outside the box.

"The only resource that we didn't use, or maybe we could use more in the first half and not in the second, our passes in the centre of the attack.

"The last pass can be from the sides, it could be from the middle. We couldn't find this pass.

"But that is impossible to happen when the last men of the opponent is inside the box. With too many people in the box, it is very difficult to find accuracy and good passes.

"All our attacks would finish in their box. The opposite of finish our attacks in their box, is not build the play, don't move the ball before the last pass. And we developed this in the match.

"Maybe one conclusion could be, with a lot of time in possession and so many players in attack, maybe we could have created more easy chances, more clear chances."

The Charlton goal came on 32 minutes when a corner from the right wasn't dealt with. Although Kiko Casilla kept out Tom Lockyer's header, the rebound came off Macauley Bonne and found the net.

Bielsa didn't shy away from the problem Leeds are encountering when the opposition send corners into their area, but admitted it is a difficult one to address.

"There is a fact, we are conceding goals.

"When you concede goals from set-pieces you can explain it in two different ways. When you lose the one versus one in the box, or try that when the opponent wins the ball, the second ball is not there for the opponent.

"The goals in this season have more relationship with the flick on, than the one versus one.

"This is a situation that is very difficult to manage. We cannot say that our team loses concentration, and also we cannot say that we let the opponent free in the box, or that we are not adapting to set-pieces that the opponent prepares to do.

"But the reality is that it became the only resource of our opponent."