Marcelo Bielsa says Leeds United allowed Wolverhampton Wanderers to grow in confidence - and beat them

GOAL: Wolverhampton Wanderers players celebrate their winnerGOAL: Wolverhampton Wanderers players celebrate their winner
GOAL: Wolverhampton Wanderers players celebrate their winner
Leeds United paid the price after allowing Wolverhampton Wanderers to grow in confidence when they failed to kill them off, said Marcelo Biela after his side's 1-0 defeat at Elland Road.

The Whites bossed the first half of the game but only had two shots on target and no goals to show for it.

Wolves made the most of their reprieve, taking over in the second half and scoring the game's only goal when Kalvin Phillips headed a Raul Jimenez shot beyond Illan Meslier.

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“Given how the game went we thought we did enough to create a lead,” Bielsa reflected.

“When an offensive team doesn't take their chances the opponent reads this and they start to grow in confidence.”

Explaining the turnaround in fortunes, he said: “We lost some offensive capacity.

“The game was very physical and there were many interruptions. It was difficult to find continuity in the game.”

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Liam Cooper was forced to selected by Leeds but was unable to take his place in the XI, pulling out in the warm-up. He had been a doubt for the game with an abductor injury picked up on international duty with Scotland. Pascal Struijk took the captain's place.

There was no update at full-time on the extent of Cooper's problem.

Bielsa's opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo was full of praise for his side's fitness levels after their victory.

“It's very difficult to play against Leeds, very difficult, it's an amazing team,” said the Portuguese coach. “The energy of the players, the manager, the idea, it's very difficult and in the second half we did better.

“Leeds started very well and caused us enormous problems.

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“But as the game went on we kept on going and the fitness was good. Until the end we defended well.

“We were better with the ball in the second half and created more chances.

“The character of the team was evident, especially in the effort of the players.

“Raul had chances even before. We had a goal ruled out (for offside) after a good combination before that and we got many players in the box.”

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Jimenez was perhaps fortunate to escape punishment for a petulant kick out at Robin Koch in the 90th minute but to his credit Bielsa, who could scarcely have had a better view, was unwilling to dwell on it.

“It wasn't important, it was nothing significant. Nothing to comment on,” he said. Nuno said he did not have a good view of the incident.

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