Leeds United bounced back from their loss against Everton with a convincing 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League last night. Goals from Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford ensured the Whites banked all three points and are now into tenth place in the table, ahead of the likes of Arsenal and Southampton.
Bielsa will delighted with the result, which puts his side in good stead as they prepare to face the Gunners next time out and vie to put more daylight between the two clubs.
The Yorkshire outfit kept an impressive 68% of ball possession and created four big chances, along with their seven shots on target compared to Palaces’ three, as per Sofascore. It was a solid performance from all involved, but Liam Cooper stood out across the backline.
Leeds are currently fielding a mismatched defence due to their several injury problems. Summer signings Robin Koch and Diego Llorente are still sidelined and it has put a lot of strain on the captain and his backline. However, Cooper was a standout performer against the Eagles, showing just why Bielsa has so much faith in him.
According to FotMob, the 29-year-old completed the most accurate passes (97) out of anyone else on the pitch and he also made the most tackles (3) and won the most duels (9). This is a strong improvement on his performance against Everton, in which he managed 83 passes and two tackles. It shows that when the whole team is clicking, he is almost unbeatable at centre-back.
Cooper is a player that has been heavily relied on this season. He has missed just six matches this Premier League season and he will take huge pride in knowing that his side will be sailing into next season without any relegation worries.
Bielsa will be counting his lucky stars that even whilst having two new signings out of action, he can lean on his £45,000 per week skipper to ensure results are still positive moving forwards.
In other news, Leeds must look to cut their losses on Helder Costa…