Gary Neville has back Leeds United to “scare the living daylights” out of teams in the Premier League this season.
The Whites were sunk by a late Mo Salah penalty in a thrilling 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on their long-awaited return to the top flight over the weekend, but have garnered universal acclaim for their high intensity approach and willingness to take the fight to the champions.
And Neville believes that there is plenty of reason to be believe that Marcelo Bielsa’s men will be an effective and entertaining addition to the division.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, he said: “I think they’ll do really well. I think they’ll scare the living daylights out of teams. I think they’ll take some teams, as they did with Liverpool’s defenders, to a really uncomfortable play.
“I don’t think that group of players could’ve been managed by anyone else and gained that outcome like they did on Saturday where they took Liverpool to the point of conceding three goals, [Virgil] van Dijk was unnerved, [Trent] Alexander-Arnold was unnerved – these are some of the best defenders in the world.
“I have to say, I thought it was a thing of beauty to watch, I really did.
“Exceptional games, I think Leeds fans are going to get this season, particularly when they get back in the ground. The atmosphere will be absolutely electric.”
On the basis of what we saw on Saturday evening, how could anybody disagree with Neville?
Leeds did more than just bloody the champions’ noses, they came within a whisker of taking a point away from the most fearsome fortress in English football.
Perhaps people will be asking why there is so much fuss about a newly-promoted side losing their first game of the season, but this performance from the Whites was something special.
To go to Anfield, go toe-to-toe with the Reds, enjoy a greater share of possession, and nearly steal something to top it all off is some achievement.
Theoretically, there shouldn’t be too many games harder than this one for Bielsa’s men this term, and if they can put in that kind of display on a regular basis, they’ll blow most sides out of the water.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay shares why Barry Douglas missed the 4-3 defeat against Liverpool
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