Marcelo Bielsa laments Leeds United's 'avoidable' mistakes in Tottenham Hotspur defeat

The Whites head coach reflected on a 3-0 defeat to Spurs on Saturday.

Saturday, 2nd January 2021, 3:24 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd January 2021, 3:28 pm

Avoidable mistakes cost Leeds United dearly on their first visit to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Marcelo Bielsa admitted.

The Whites lost 3-0 to Jose Mourinho's side, who took the lead from a Harry Kane penalty on 29 minutes and doubled it two minutes before the break through Son Heung-Min.

A sloppy pass from Illan Meslier led to the Spurs attack that brought the spot-kick, conceded by Gjanni Alioski, Leeds lost a battle for a second ball before Son's goal and the third, five minutes after the interval, came from a corner.

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

Bielsa drew positives from the performance, however, specifically the fact that Leeds created chances and controlled stages of the game.

"The first 30 minutes of the first half was positive," he said.

"The final 15 minutes of the first half were slightly more even. And in the first 15 minutes of the first half was our most difficult moment when they were better than us.

"In the second half of the second half we started to dominate again. We had a good offensive production."

He lamented mistakes and the ruthless forward play of the home side, which proved the difference between the two sides.

"For our opponents to create only a few more chances than us they came about through errors we could have avoided," he said.

"We lost some balls when we were building up from the back. We weren't winning the second balls on set-pieces, we also suffered a goal from a set-piece and in the game we created 10 and didn't score, they created 12 and scored three. For me the fundamental difference was efficiency obviously.

"The fact is that their offensive game came about through errors we could have avoided."

Avoiding errors is what Bielsa wants his side to improve.

"I think the capacity for our forwards to unbalance their defence and the capacity to defend from our defenders was also good," he said.

"We had possibilities to unbalance in attack and we showed we can defend against some top forwards. But the situations that came about from us that made it very difficult to defend in our own half. This is where we must polish our performance.

"The match is comparable to the ones against chelsea and Manchester United, in that sense we have improved and today we were in conditions to have a closer game so the margins weren't so big."

"We didn't manage it because we suffered some occasions where we made mistakes that can be avoided."

The issues faced by Leeds in London are not new, Bielsa acknowledged and they do not stem from inexperience but poor decision making.

"We have gone through similar problems to the ones we faced today," he said.

"It's not through a lack of experience or the need for a longer adaptation period to the league, we are in conditions to take better decisions than the ones we took."