Leeds United 0-0 Chelsea - what Tyler Roberts needed, Rodrigo's long walk, a legend in attendance and off-camera moments

There were no goals but it was still a good day for Leeds United attacker Tyler Roberts.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 11:43 am
LONG WALK - Rodrigo, the substitute, was substituted, but as Bielsa explained, the attacker had given his all and is still short of match fitness. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

The Welsh international put in his best performance of the season against Chelsea and should be full of confidence heading into the Fulham game. It wasn't a good day for everyone in white, however.

Good day

Tyler Roberts

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While Illan Meslier and Luke Ayling pushed him for Man of the Match, Tyler Roberts really needed this performance. A run of games might just be what he needs and this was his best display of the season to date. Dangerous on the ball, hard working off it. Much more like it and more of the same needed against Fulham.

Pascal Struijk

Imagine if someone had said, after the Cardiff City horror show last season, that Pascal Struijk would go on to make Premier League defending look quite easy. The 21-year-old is having a fine season and excitement about his potential is rightly growing. Leeds United appear to have a tremendous prospect on their hands, a triumph of youth recruitment and a product of Marcelo Bielsa and his staff's coaching. He was very good against Chelsea, a side who boast a world class attack.

Bad day

Patrick Bamford

A goal was what Bamford needed to get off and running again, but before he really got a sniff he was limping off. The knock appeared to happen when he landed after an aerial challenge. Leeds are not blessed with a plethora of experienced goalscorers so all concerned will hope this is a minor problem. If he's to miss Fulham, it might hand an opportunity for Joe Gelhardt or Sam Greenwood to get into the squad, which would at least be an exciting development.

Number of the day

44

Rodrigo the substitute was himself substituted after a 44-minute appearance. He didn't look best pleased but Bielsa explained that the effort the Spaniard produced was beyond what he should be capable of given his current level of fitness. Leeds need him fully fit and back to the sharpness he was just beginning to show. It's been a frustrating first season at Elland Road for the attacker. If he can at least get up to speed in time to play a chunk of games before the end of the season, it will give him and everyone at Leeds a lift.

Off camera

The long walk

Rodrigo was next to the far touchline in the Chelsea half of the pitch when his number went up. The substitute opted not to walk the short way, behind Mendy's goal, but instead took himself back down the touchline towards the Norman Hunter South Stand. He went straight down the tunnel, too.

Klich playing through pain

Mateusz Klich wore the look of a main in some discomfort as he walked straight off at full-time and down the tunnel. As he went, he caught the eye of one of the Leeds' medical team and pointed to his hip area. The Polish international was revealed to have been playing with an injury recently by head coach Marcelo Bielsa, who appreciated the midfielder's sacrifice. He was soon back out on the pitch with fitness coach Benoit Delaval doing laps of the pitch as team-mates conducted their media work.

Raphinha's wait

Raphinha was plucked from the dressing room for post-match media duties, presumably with an international broadcaster. The media requirements for the Leeds players and Bielsa are much more involved than when they were a Championship club. A number of players are needed for interviews and Bielsa has to conduct a series of pitch-side chats before his press conference. Sadly for the fed-up looking Raphinha, the broadcaster was tied up with another interview and the winger endured a lengthy West Stand wait in the freezing Yorkshire cold. Bless him.

A legend in attendance

It was excellent to see Eddie Gray in attendance at Elland Road. The man lives and breathes Leeds United and has done since he was a youngster. Seeing Leeds back in the Premier League must be a treat for the Revie Boy and club legend, but he like everyone will be desperate for the stands to fill up once again.