Marcelo Bielsa refuses to criticise referee after 10-man Leeds United lose at Millwall, but highlights three big decisions

Marcelo Bielsa refused to criticise referee James Linington for sending off Gaetano Berardi 14 minutes into today's 2-1 defeat at Millwall.

By Graham Smyth
Saturday, 5th October 2019, 6:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th October 2019, 7:02 pm
Marcelo Bielsa would not give an opinion on whether or not Berardi should have been sent off (Pic: Getty)
Marcelo Bielsa would not give an opinion on whether or not Berardi should have been sent off (Pic: Getty)

The Leeds United head coach makes a point of not giving his opinion on the performance of referees and today was no different, despite replays suggesting Berardi made little if any contact with Tom Bradshaw, who was awarded a spot-kick.

READ: Match report from The Den.But Bielsa did allude to a penalty shout at the other end shortly after Berardi departed, albeit without suggesting Linington got it wrong.

Regardless of the officiating, Bielsa felt his side were superior even with 10 men and did not deserve to lose at The Den.

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"The result should be different," he said.

"Each time that we lose, always I find logic, reasons to justify the defeat. But for me it is always a shame to explain why we lost.

"I think that with 10 men we were better than them.

"But always we are trying to explain why it doesn't happen, what we want to happen. Maybe that impacts the tolerance of those who want to listen.

"There were three important situations in the match. The penalty, the red card and the next situation with Harrison.

"Those three actions you can judge it, watch it on the television. I prefer to analyse the game and not what the referee did."

Bielsa's analysis instead focused on his own decisions.

Not for the first time this season or even in the past week, he held his hands up and admitted fault.

"The second goal of theirs has an impact in the match," said the Argentine.

"After the first half I took some decisions that improved the structure and organisation of the team but I should have taken those decisions in the first half.

"But even if I didn't take those decisions in the middle of the first half, we were better with one less player.

"But maybe we realised more this superiority in the second half than the first half."

The reshuffle after the 14th minute red card didn't work as well as Bielsa would have liked.

"When Berardi was sent off we made a line of four with Dallas, Ayling as centre-back.

"We lost the presence of Dallas in the middle behind Klich.

"For this reason Bamford had to come a little bit deep.

"It wasn't a good decision.

"In the second half Phillips shared the middle of the pitch with Klich and Bamford went to his position.

"This positional change had an impact in the match, it was better for us.

"We played without a free man in defence, for this reason the second goal was important for them because I was waiting for the second half to reorganise the team. But I could have taken the decision before."

Leeds United were dominant in the second half despite the numerical disadvantage, Gjanni Alioski scoring within 15 seconds of the restart.

A second goal just wouldn't come, however, Leeds struggling to make their superiority count.

"What matters was what happened in the second half," said Bielsa, who was pleased with the contribution of every player.

"In the second half they played with energy, with excitement, with domination.

"It is difficult to find a low point in the team. We can find players at one normal level, in the high level and no one low in their performance."