Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa on Jurgen Klopp's superior game plan as Liverpool win at Elland Road

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa said his game plan for Liverpool was bettered by the one Jurgen Klopp came up with as the Reds won 3-0 at Elland Road.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 7:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th September 2021, 7:32 pm
HOME LOSS - Leeds United fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Elland Road as Jurgen Klopp got the better of Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Tony Johnson

The Whites struggled to contain their visitors in the first half and went 1-0 down to a Mo Salah opener. Liverpool were 2-0 up on 50 minutes thanks to Fabinho's goal from a corner, before Pascal Struijk's red card left Leeds playing with 10 men. Sadio Mane added a third in stoppage time as Leeds continued to attack in search of a route back into the game.

Bielsa felt Klopp was able to get more from his strikers due to a better strategy.

"Evidently how I planned the game didn't allow for our forwards to shine," said Bielsa.

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"The opposite happened with what the opposition manager planned because they managed to get their forwards into the game to create danger and chances.

"In the first half every time we lost the ball our opponents created danger. We did have some balls in the first half you thought would have created more danger or risk for the opponent. I'm sure that the way both teams planned to play, what Klopp decided and what I decided facilitated the balance of his forwards.

"What I chose didn't allow our very good forwards to be able to create danger, unbalance and shine in the game. In the second half it's not that we played better. The goal they scored quickly and the sending off it made us drop back and with the rush not to concede more danger we were more prudent but we attacked very sporadically."

Bielsa felt his side's inability to turn attacking situations into efforts on goal and Liverpool's ability to hurt Leeds going back the other way, having won the ball back, were key.

"I don't think it was difficult to attack them in the first half because there were some very advantageous situations but when you lose the ball before you finalise an action, first of all it decreases the amount of attacks and also what conditioned the first half was what would happen after we'd lost the ball," he said.

"Two things happened to us, if you put them together complicate the performance of a team - losing the ball before finalising the attacks and that these losses the opponent can take the ball and create advantageous situations for themselves. That's why I said what Klopp planned favoured his forwards shining and what I proposed didn't give the same options to our men. I think that the differences between the offensive players of Liverpool and ours in the game today was more linked to the design Klopp put out that made his forwards better and the design I put out didn't make our forwards better."

Bielsa lost Diego Llorente to a first half injury and was without midfielder Adam Forshaw, who has picked up a knock in training.

"Llorente has a muscular problem, the severity I don't know," said Bielsa of his centre-half.

"Forshaw suffered a muscular issue and he is recovering himself."