Leeds United were brilliant against Arsenal on Monday despite losing 1-0.
The Whites’ first-half performance was described as a battering by journalist Graham Smyth and despite being the away side against Premier League opposition they had more shots and more possession than the Gunners.
However, aside from all of Leeds’ brilliant play, something very interesting happened in the game.
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Indeed, Marcelo Bielsa betrayed one claim he made at the back end of last season as Ezgjan Alioski put the ball out of play when Alexandre Lacazette went down injured in the 35th minute.
Now, someone putting the ball out of play when an opposition player is down is nothing rare, but it’s something Bielsa said we wouldn’t see at Leeds after their controversial incident against Aston Villa last term.
The Argentine spoke about the decision to not put the ball out of play in the future a few weeks on from the Villa match.
“We have reached the common decision with the players, we decide to adapt 100% to the rules and we understand if we have one player [down] we don’t have to put the ball out,” said Bielsa.
“We also think that if a player from the opposing team is down, we shouldn’t interrupt the play and put the ball out.”
It seems as if Bielsa has reneged on that idea as Alioski didn’t hesitate to put the ball out when Lacazette went down.
Perhaps it’s because it was such a high-profile clash and Leeds didn’t need the media circus that would have followed if they scored while an Arsenal man was down injured. Either that or perhaps Bielsa had a change of heart.
Nonetheless, it was interesting to see the Whites going back on Bielsa’s words from last term.