View: Elland Road fightback will fill Leeds United with hope
The second half reaction from Leeds United in their 4-2 defeat against Manchester United will fill everyone with hope as they look to lift themselves as far away from the relegation zone as possible.
The Whites currently sit 15th in the table but they could have seen themselves as low as 17th if their relegation rivals, Newcastle and Everton, managed to win over the weekend.
The mood at Elland Road was grim going into the second half with Ralf Rangnick’s team comfortably 2-0 up.
However, the second half fightback aided by Marcelo Bielsa’s substitutions will breed confidence into the players and fans.
The Whites scored two goals in as many minutes to peg their rivals back but unfortunately couldn’t hold on to the lead.
It was certainly the biggest positive to take from the game. The fans in the ground obviously weren’t happy with the result but they made sure to credit the players for their admirable fight back.
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The decision made by Bielsa to drop Leeds’ best player against one of the supposedly better teams in the league was mental.
It didn’t make sense before the game and it still doesn’t now. Raphinha showed almost instantly why he should have started with the impact he made as well as scoring the equaliser for the Whites.
The same can be said for Joe Gelhardt. He was brilliant when he came on – he stretched the United defence, gave the centre-back’s something different to think about and continuously tried to test David De Gea.
It goes without saying that Raphinha should be a starter, but the 19-year-old added to his impressive performances for Leeds this season and Bielsa needs to consider starting the striker.
The next game is likely to be much harder against title hopeful Liverpool but the Whites haven’t got the luxury of being given the benefit of the doubt in these games. They have to start putting some points on the board and fast before they are dragged even further into the relegation battle.
In other Leeds United news, Martin Tyler and Gary Neville have shared a ‘huge’ transfer issue for the club.