Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa on an 'intense, beautiful' game against Manchester City

When the full-time whistle went at Elland Road and Leeds United's game against Manchester City somehow ended 1-1, Marcelo Bielsa sat on his haunches in a moment of reflection and rest.

Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 8:41 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 8:44 pm
BEAUTIFUL GAME - Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola look on as Leeds United and Manchester City went to war in a 1-1 Elland Road draw. Pic: Simon Hulme

The Argentine found it difficult to enjoy what was a magnificent spectacle of a game, in which Leeds fell behind and looked distinctly inferior early on before recovering to gain a foothold, dominate and level through the impressive Rodrigo. Both sides had chances to win it but City came on strong towards the end and had a number of penalty appeals turned down.

Last week Bielsa felt his team picked up a 'just' result when they beat Sheffield United, but this week a victory would not have been the correct outcome he felt.

"It wouldn't have been fair if we had won this game," he said.

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"It was possible to win the game but it wouldn't have been fair to have won. We had to put in an immense physical effort to be able to be on even terms or slightly better than City for half the game. We had to survive the beginning of the first half and the end of the second half.

"In the beginning we weren't able to take the ball off them and they were taking it off us very easily. After we were more aggressive in the duels and as a whole, apart from defending better we could attack well. In the end of the game we defended well as well as attack but the constant back and forth was more natural for them.

"In the beginning of the game it was very clear domination from City, in all aspects. In the final 15 minutes when they started to dominate again we managed to produce a different response to the beginning of the first half."

Bielsa said his pause on the touchline at full-time was a moment of much-needed rest after an 'intense game.'

As difficult as he found it to enjoy while it went on, he admitted it was beautiful and waxed lyrical on the qualities of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

"During the game it is difficult to enjoy what you're watching but after you watch back the game, if there are good things to take then you give them value," he said.

"We played our part for the game to be a beautiful one. City also played a huge part in making the game beautiful.

"It's a very powerful team, physically, mentally and technically. They play with a natural inclination to attack, they're the type of team that always goes out to win the game."