By Mark Smith

23rd Dec, 2019 | 7:30am

Journalist reveals how Bielsa reacted to touchline incident in Leeds defeat at Fulham

The frustration was clear to see on Saturday afternoon as Leeds United tasted defeat for the first time in a long while at Fulham.

Goals from Josh Onomah and a questionable spot-kick from Aleksandar Mitrovic handed the Cottagers all three points. That decision to award the penalty was the first incident of many in London.

One of the more questionable ones was Luke Ayling’s decision to go through Fulham captain Tom Cairney in front of the dugouts even though the ball had gone out.

Journalist Beren Cross revealed that Bielsa helped the Fulham captain, dusting him off before sending him on his way at Craven Cottage.

“During the first half, as the Whites broke away from a Cottagers’ corner, the ball was sprayed left and went out for an away throw-in,” he wrote for Leeds Live.

“Cairney was first to collect the ball from in front of the dugouts and as he blocked Ayling off from retrieving the ball quickly, thus quickening the counter, he was shoved in the back.

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“Ayling, steaming in at pace, sent the stationery Cairney flying into the feet of Bielsa, sat on his bucket. Ever the Good Samaritan, Bielsa ensured Cairney was okay, dusted him off and helped him to his feet.”

We all know the merits that Bielsa has and this reaction from the South American makes total sense. It could have been easy for the game to spill onto the touchline and see the two coaching staffs get into a frenzy, but that wasn’t the case.

Even the Leeds boss will have questioned the referees’ performance in his head, but as ever he didn’t allow that to be a root cause of the defeat and instead blamed himself.

In other Leeds United news, Luciano Becchio reacts on Twitter to controversial moment in Leeds defeat v Fulham