True to form Marcelo Bielsa declined to criticise controversial refereeing decisions that proved costly for Leeds United on their travel to Millwall, but owner Andre Radrizzani has had his say.
The Whites went down to a defeat in London for the second successive Saturday as they lost 2-1 at The Den and felt aggrieved at a decision for an early penalty for Millwall that was coupled with the sending off of defender Gaetano Berardi.
While this was Berardi’s eighth red card in his time at Leeds he could feel unlucky this time as he did not appear to make much contact with home striker Tom Bradshaw and there were other defenders in the area so it was not a clear sending off even if the Swiss player had made contact.
Leeds fans were angered further when Jack Harrison appeared to be tripped inside the Millwall area, but no penalty came the Whites’ way.
After the game Radrizzani took to Twitter to say: “It s frustrating to see how many points we miss because of wrong decisions against us.
“We will fight hard and come back stronger ...we can’t just wait for VAR to reach our goal.”
Bielsa would not be drawn on criticism of the match official, saying: “There were three important situations in the match. The penalty, the red card and the next situation with Harrison.
“Those three actions you can judge it, watch it on the television. I prefer to analyse the game and not what the referee did.”
On the game itself when Ezgjan Alioski’s goal in the opening seconds of the second half gave United hope after they had been trailing 2-0 at the break Bielsa felt his side should have been bringing points home.
He added: “The result should be different.
“Each time that we lose, always I find logic, reasons to justify the defeat. But for me it is always a shame to explain why we lost.
“I think that with 10 men we were better than them.
“But always we are trying to explain why it doesn’t happen, what we want to happen. Maybe that impacts the tolerance of those who want to listen.”
The Berardi sending off clearly had a big impact on the game, but Leeds also paid for a slow start as their opponents, whose manager Neil Harris quit less than 48 hours earlier, were given the early boost of creating the first chance as Mahlon Romeo brought a first save from Kiko Casilla.
Stuart Dallas, playing in midfield with Jamie Shackleton and Adam Forshaw both injured, hit two long range efforts wide before the hosts took the lead with the controversial spot kick put away by Jed Wallace after Bradshaw fell in the area.
It took United time to reorganise after their player loss with just a tame Jack Harrison shot to show for the rest of their first half efforts.
Millwall could have added to their lead as Ben Thompson went close twice and Shaun Williams headed wide.
They did make it 2-0 just before the break as Bradshaw got ahead of Luke Ayling to convert Shane Ferguson’s low cross.
Leeds were quick out of the blocks for the second half, scoring less than 20 seconds in when Alioski sneaked in at the far post to put away Harrison’s fine low ball into the box.
Mateusz Klich was unable to make the most of a further chance, but for all their domination of possession even with 10 men the Whites failed to create much in the way of clear opportunities.
It was Millwall who had the best chance in the remainder of the game as Bradshaw was just off target while Wallace’s free-kick had to be saved by Casilla.
(Wallace 16, pen, Bradshaw 45)
Leeds United 1
Millwall: Bialkowski, Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, M Wallace, J Wallace, Leonard (Williams 28), Thompson (Bodvarsson 80), Molumby, Ferguson, Bradshaw.
Leeds: Casilla, Ayling, Berardi, White, Alioski, Phillips (Roberts 76), Klich, Dallas, Costa (Douglas 45), Harrison, Bamford (Nketiah 62).
Referee: James Linington