Marcello Bielsa praises Leeds United players after impressive win at Stoke City
Marcello Bielsa praised his team after Leeds United produced their best performance of the season so far to demolish Stoke City by more than the final 3-0 margin suggested.
Goals from both full-backs Stuart Dallas and Gianni Alioski following flowing moves and a third by striker Patrick Bamford sealed the Whites’ fourth win in their first five Championship games.
The win left them two point clears at the top and although head coach Bielsa was predictably not getting carried away he could only hail the impact of his players at Stoke.
He said: “We are playing with the same ideas as last year, but losing the ball less.
“We are spending more time with the ball then without it and we are not losing the ball very easily. We are suffering less counter attacks.
“This is the same idea of the team, but maybe with more spontaneous behaviours in the team and more natural behaviours in the team.”
Bielsa added: “It is always positive to get points. But we have to have calm to analyse the future.
“It’s very difficult to predict what can happen.
“We have to show we are strong with the passage of games.”
Leeds took their time to show their superiority as it was still goalless for the first 41 minutes, but they ended up with 21 efforts on goal to their opponents’ seven and success was never really in doubt.
They will also be pleased with their clean sheet which was achieved without three first choice defenders with Liam Cooper joining Barry Douglas and Luke Ayling on the sidelines, Gaetano Berardi coming in for the injured skipper and centre-back.
The first real chance fell to Hernandez in the box, but he was denied by a fine stop from home keeper Adam Federici with the rebound saved more comfortably after Mateusz Klich followed up.
Dallas fizzed in a great strike from outside the box only for the ball to go just the wrong side of the post.
Bamford was then narrowly off target after turning well on the edge of the box to get a shot away.
When the opening goal came it was thing of beauty as a sublime first time pass by Hernandez inside the home left-back was put away by marauding right-back Dallas.
It was the other full-back’s turn to shine early in the second half with Alioski in the attack to finish from close range from Bamford’s cross following more impressive build-up play.
The one-way traffic continued with Klich and Hernandez combining cleverly and Jack Harrison hitting a shot inches wide.
It was 3-0 when another brilliant pass by Hernandez put Alioski away down the left and after his shot from a tight angle was turned away by Federici Whites striker Bamford netted from the rebound.
Stoke briefly threatened as Tom Ince’s shot had to be saved by Kiko Casilla, but it remained comfortable for United to the finish. They could have added another to their tally late on when substitute Helder Costa played a smart one-two on the edge of the box and saw his 20-yard shot well saved by Federici.
The keeper also kept out a deflected effort by Klich and denied Adam Forshaw when the midfielder was sent through with just the keeper to beat by Eddie Nketiah’s low cross.
Stoke City 0
Leeds United 3
(Dallas 42, Alioski 50, Bamford 66)
Stoke: Federici, Collins, Carter-Vickers (Allen 73), Lindsay, Edwards, Cousins, Etebo, Clucas, McClean, Duffy (Hogan 60), Gregory (Ince 73).
Leeds: Casilla, Dallas, White, Berardi, Alioski, Phillips, Hernandez (Costa 80), Forshaw, Klich (Shackleton 85), Harrison, Bamford (Nketiah 74).
Referee: Darren England