Marcelo Bielsa speaks of sense of doubt around team after Leeds United lose to Sheffield Wednesday

Marcelo Bielsa admitted it has become a familiar story to see his team dominate a home game only to fail to record a victory after two late goals condemned them to a 2-0 defeat to promotion rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Sunday, 12th January 2020, 6:00 am

In a classic smash and grab performance the Owls scored from their only two efforts on target after being content to frustrate Leeds and another big home crowd for much of the match.

On his return to Elland Road, Monk set out his team to sit back and rely on sporadic breaks. His players backed him up as they looked well organised and defended well, although the Whites missed a series of chances to let their opponents off the hook.

Bielsa was left to defend another frustrating afternoon that meant United have now only won one of their last seven matches.

Pablo Hernandez, who returned from injury when coming off the bench to play for Leeds United against Sheffield Wednesday, but could not inspire the team to victory.

He said: "It's a situation we have seen before. We have to learn that if we have some weak points in a performance we must work on these.

"We didn't risk losing the ball in our own half in the first 85 minutes and we created chances. We lost two balls in the last five minutes and the match was for them.

"This has happened a lot of times and we know we have to protect ourselves in those situations.

"Also if we don't get what we are looking for, it is like a sense of doubt around the team. When things go well, everything is positive, everyone is happy around the team, but when they are not in the way people are expecting, everyone is afraid.

"In the beginning of the second half we didn't manage the match well. After that we created enough to win the match and at the end of the match we conceded a goal we could have avoided.

“Even if we didn't play a brilliant match in attack we have an average of 10 chances a match and the attack is good.

"I think we have to focus more avoiding goals we can avoid.

"We controlled 75 minutes of the match. But the conclusion shouldn't have been that one team that concedes 15 minutes in one match and controlled the rest of the match, conceded 20 per cent, controlled 80 per cent because the way we have to take in the future, we cannot do what the opponent did to beat us. We cannot wait until the end to win.”

On signing a striker after the departure of Eddie Nketiah, Bielsa added: "There is a space, but this situation is not linked with the result of today.”

Leeds were never at their fluent best, but created enough opportunities to have won before Wednesday claimed their two late goals.

They got in their first effort in the fourth minute when Luke Ayling's 20-yard shot was saved low down by visiting keeper Cameron Dawson.

Helder Costa went close soon after with a shot from outside the box before the first really good chance arrived with Patrick Bamford played in by Jack Harrison only to hit a weak shot with his right foot straight at Dawson.

Jacob Murphy offered the first threat for Wednesday as he volleyed weakly wide after being found unmarked in the area from an Adam Reach cross that crucially just flicked off the head of Liam Cooper to make it a difficult chance for the visiting winger.

But it was soon back to the Whites on the attack with Harrison missing their best chance of the game, volleying wide from six yards out after getting on the end of a fine Kalvin Phillips free-kick.

Bamford did put the ball in the net from a Mateusz Klich cross following the move of the match, but the Polish midfielder was ruled offside as he ran on to Harrison's pass and replays showed it was a marginal decision with Leeds being unlucky.

Harrison was the next to be unlucky as his shot from the edge of the box was well saved low down by Dawson.

Chances slowed down for the rest of the half as the visitors began to come more into the game, although Bamford did get in behind the Owls' defence only to see his shot from a tight angle deflected onto the post by Dawson.

The opening half ended with Costa blazing over from Barry Douglas's pull back and not for the first time there was a real frustration that Leeds were goalless and had not put the game to bed.

Another good chance came early in the second half, but Bamford shot over from six yards after great play by Costa down the right.

Leeds had a let off soon after when Sam Winnall blasted over from close range after the hosts had not dealt with a corner.

It was a more even game now, but Costa shot over after cutting in from his wing and Klich's attempted curling shot was saved by Dawson.

Harrison headed wide from Luke Ayling's fine cross and as the game went into its closing stages Bamford sent a header wide from a corner and appealed for a penalty after appearing to be dragged down as he made contact with the ball.

Just when it looked like a frustrating draw was on the cards it turned into an even more frustrating loss as poor play gifted Wednesday with the opening goal.

A poor touch by Stuart Dallas in midfield saw United lose possession, the ball was played in behind a napping home defence and it looked impossible for Murphy to score from the tightest of angles, but Kiko Casilla – who had not had to save any previous shots in the game – let the ball somehow beat him to go into the net.

Worse was to come in injury-time when Wednesday were again presented with the ball after a pass was played to Dallas, who by this stage was limping and unable to move, and Reach's pull back gave Atdhe Nuhiu an easy finish to make it 2-0.

Match facts

Leeds United 0

Sheffield Wednesday 2

(Murphy 87, Nuhiu 90+4)


Attendance: 36,422

Leeds: Casilla, Ayling, White, Cooper, Douglas (Alioski 56), Phillips, Costa (Stevens 74), Dallas, Klich (Hernandez 66), Harrison, Bamford.

Wednesday: Dawson, Urhoghide (Hutchinson 85), Iorfa, Borner, Fox, Bannan, Murphy, Lee, Luongo (Pelupessy 77), Reach, Winnall (Nuhiu 68).

Referee: Oliver Langford.