Leeds continue to stumble in the Premier League after being narrowly beaten by Brighton this afternoon. This marks their third defeat in a row and sixth in their last ten games played.
They are in no real danger in terms of points, but things can rapidly go sour, as shown in England’s top flight countless times before.
It was an overall lifeless performance from the Whites, struggling to create much in the final third and disappointing with their end product. One player who will have pleased Marcelo Bielsa despite the result though is skipper Liam Cooper.
Leeds have struggled with their defensive options this season, with Diego Llorente making just one appearance so far and Robin Koch currently out with an injury. The manager has been forced to play Luke Ayling in a more central role after seemingly losing faith in Pascal Struijk.
Defence is arguably their biggest worry right now, but Bielsa will be looking ahead to pairing Cooper and Koch up again in what will hopefully be an effective centre-back partnership.
According to Sofascore, the captain made an impressive six clearances and four interceptions. He also won 83% of his attempted duels, which is more than any other Leeds defender on the pitch today.
He is notoriously known for his defensive input and was recently lauded as a “crucial” part of Bielsa’s team by Jack Collins, via the Ranks FC podcast. Cooper will undoubtedly also be feeling the effects of not having his usual centre-back partner alongside him recently.
Not a lot of positives can be taken from the Brighton loss, but Cooper’s strong performance across the backline brings hope that the Whites will soon bounce back to the side that were able to keep clean sheets against Everton, Arsenal and Wolves.
In other news, Bielsa must make ruthless call on Helder Costa…