Pascal Struijk signals Leeds United intent after Marcelo Bielsa's Whites hold Europa League winners Villarreal

Leeds United held Europa League holders Villarreal to a 2-2 draw, after which Pascal Struijk said there was more to come from Marcelo Bielsa's Whites.

Sunday, 8th August 2021, 9:27 am

Leeds signed off from this summer's pre-season friendlies with a 2-2 draw against La Liga outfit Villarreal in Saturday evening's friendly, played behind closed doors at York City.

United fell behind after just nine seconds through a Robin Koch own goal but the Whites quickly recovered and led 2-1 at the break through strikes from Mateusz Klich and Patrick Bamford.

Villarreal rallied after the interval and ensured the contest ended all square as Dani Raba converted a Yeremy cross in the 81st minute, after which Illan Meslier produced a fine save to deny Boulaye Dia an even later winner.

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MORE TO COME: Says Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk, right, pictured during the pre-season friendly against Real Betis. Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images.

But Leeds had earlier gone close to boosting their tally further - particularly when Bamford hit the bar - and Struijk said his side could improve further ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

Leeds will begin their second season back in the Premier League with next Saturday's lunchtime kick-off against arch rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

"I think we showed good bits at times," Struijk told the YEP, assessing the Villarreal display.

"Of course there are things that we can do better but I think we showed pretty good things and improvement from the last game so that's good."

Leeds have faced stern opposition during this summer's friendlies and the Villarreal clash came three days after United were beaten 4-0 at Ajax.

The Whites faced Real Betis at Loughborough University last weekend and slipped to a 3-2 reverse.

Asked if results mattered in friendlies, Struijk smiled: "You don't mind winning those!

"But still pre-season is mostly about getting fit, getting ready for the first game because that really counts.

"Playing the big sides is only good for us so we can really test ourselves and see where we are."

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Thank you Laura Collins