Leeds United oblivious to tension in Bristol City win, says Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa said his Leeds United team played like they were oblivious to the tension around them in their 1-0 win over Bristol City this afternoon.
Luke Ayling's 16th minute winner separated the teams, although the Whites should have added insurance from one of their many chances.
Daniel Bentley saved brilliantly from Helder Costa, twice, while the crossbar denied both Stuart Dallas and Jack Harrison.
The longer it stayed 1-0, the more edgy Elland Road was always going to become, particularly when Nahki Wells ran through on goal on 80 minutes for Bristol City's only clear-cut chance. The relief as he blazed wide was palpable.
But Bielsa's men comfortably saw out the final minutes, attacking right to the end. He was pleased with the performance
"We attacked well, we missed a lot of chances," he said.
"We defended well, they created few chances. We ran a lot. We fought for every ball. The performance in general and collectively was very positive.
"The team controlled the match, defended very well, attacked very well, we scored just one goal [but] you saw all the chances the team had. We ran a lot. We recovered a lot of 50:50 balls."
Aside from that one Wells opportunity, which came after a rare heavy first touch from Jack Harrison in the middle of the pitch, Leeds managed the game well after going ahead and Bielsa feels they have learned from their experiences over the 81 Championship games he's been in charge.
He admitted the horror-show against Cardiff City in December, when they gave up a three-goal lead remains a cautionary tale for his Leeds players, but today - backed by a boisterous home crowd - they showed their ability to keep a tight grip on proceedings and character to see it through.
"We have experienced every type of situation in the Championship and I feel that we have more resources to manage the different kind of matches we face," he said.
"But I can not forget in this season we were winning 3-0 [against Cardiff] and drew the match.
"Every player recovered the ball a lot of times. Technically the team showed a good level as well. We didn't lose important balls. We imposed as a team in the one v ones, the dribbles, the balls in behind. From the first minute we felt the support of our fans and that was throughout the match. I agree that the team showed character on the pitch and if there was tension the team didn't realise that."