Marcelo Bielsa explains why he substituted Diego Llorente v Arsenal
Leeds United lost 2-0 against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup clash on Tuesday night at the Emirates Stadium.
Calum Chambers scored from the bench while Eddie Nketiah added another as Arsenal moved to the next round.
The Whites were brilliant in the first half, and they created some very good chances. They were the better team of the two in the opening 45 minutes.
Diego Llorente started the game alongside Pascal Struijk in central defence. The Spaniard was outstanding in defence and played out some brilliant passes from the back.
Llorente was taken off in the 59th minute, and he was replaced by skipper Liam Cooper. Marcelo Bielsa explained (as relayed by Phil Hay) that he was taken off because he wanted to protect him after recent injuries.
The decision backfired but the right one
The Argentine also made four other changes during the game. Adam Forshaw, who was looking good in midfield, was taken off at half time, and he was replaced by Mateusz Klich.
Likewise, Joe Gelhardt was introduced instead of Tyler Roberts, while in the 70th minute, he made two substitutions – taking off both Daniel James and Rodrigo.
Leeds lost their shape and allowed Arsenal to control the game after they went 2-0 up. The tactics backfired for Bielsa.
However, it was the right decision. The defeat comes as a big disappointment, no doubt, but Bielsa here took the decision keeping in mind their upcoming vital game this weekend.
His entire focus will be on the Premier League clash against Norwich City on Sunday. Llorente is a key player for the club, and Bielsa wants him to be fully fit for the game.
Norwich are rock bottom in the Premier League, while Leeds are 17th in the table. It’s a must-win game for the Whites.
In other Leeds United news, this big-name player faces being axed by Bielsa as his awful season continues.