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The Chalkboard: How Bielsa turned agony into ecstasy vs Millwall

Leeds came from behind twice to put themselves back in the automatic promotion places on Saturday, and it was all down to a gutsy tactical tweak from Marcelo Bielsa.

While Sheffield United blew a 2-1 lead at home to lose 3-2 to Bristol City, Leeds did the opposite, producing a dramatic late comeback against Millwall.

Goals from Ben Thompson, Ben Marshall, Pablo Hernandez and Luke Ayling set up a nervy finish at 2-2, and Hernandez slammed home his second of the game to steal all three points.

None of it would have been possible without Bielsa though, who made one of the bravest substitutions you’ll ever see when the Lions were leading 2-1.

On the chalkboard

After Marshall’s 55th minute penalty, Leeds fans could be forgiven for thinking ‘here we go again’.

The Whites were staring down the barrel at the possibility of Sheffield United moving four points clear with just seven games left to play.

But while Chris Wilder’s team threw away their lead, Bielsa showed why he is considered one of the world’s best tacticians, withdrawing centre back Pontus Jansson for winger Jack Clarke with his team needing two goals.

The switch meant defensive midfield ace Kalvin Phillips moved back into the heart of defence, Mateusz Klich took Phillips’ spot deeper in midfield, and Clarke took Hernandez’s place on the wing.

Hernandez was thus left to roam free in the number ten position, and to say he wreaked havoc would be an understatement.

The Elland Road favourite was absolutely everywhere in the last 20 minutes, and by full time he had amassed seven shots, two key passes and seven successful dribbles, per Whoscored.

Withdrawing your best defender against a team who is notorious for being dangerous in the air was incredibly brave of the boss, even a little too brave perhaps, but it paid off and then some.

If the Whites do earn promotion ahead of the Blades, fans can look back at this decision as the one that quite literally saved their season.

Article title: The Chalkboard: How Bielsa turned agony into ecstasy vs Millwall

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