Bielsa admits feeling 'sadness and disappointment' after Leeds' FA Cup

Marcelo Bielsa admits feeling ‘sadness and disappointment’ after Leeds’ shock FA Cup exit to Crawley means he’s still NEVER won a game in the competition – but should the Premier League side have been given a ‘clear as day’ penalty?

  • Leeds were left humiliated after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Crawley 
  • The hosts impressed and progressed after a three-goal salvo in the second half
  • Marcelo Bielsa admitted to feeling ‘sadness and disappointment’ due to the loss
  • The Premier League outfit looked to have been denied a clear penalty, however 

Marcelo Bielsa admitted to having been left with ‘sadness and disappointment’ after Leeds crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of League Two side Crawley.

The experienced tactician is yet to win a tie in the historic competition and was once again left reeling after the hosts, positioned 62 places below his team, mustered a jaw-dropping three-goal second half salvo.

Bielsa may also have been left stung by a ‘clear as day’ penalty appeal, as claimed by Jermaine Beckford, which was waved away with the scores locked level.

Marcelo Bielsa has admitted to feeling ‘sadness and disappointment’ after Leeds’ FA Cup exit

Nick Tsaroulla, left visibly emotional after the triumph, had netted the opener – with his superb solo dash capped off with a finish goalkeeper Kiko Casilla should have kept out.

Just three minutes later, Ashley Nadesan doubled Crawley’s lead, with Casilla again culpable after a strike from an acute angle skewed horribly through his body. 

And soon after Jordan Tunnicliffe delivered the killer blow, Bielsa admitted his team were unable to make the most out of their lengthy periods of possession.

Nick Tsaroulla scored the first of Crawley’s three goals in their shock victory over Bielsa’s side

Jordan Tunnicliffe netted the final goal with Crawley downing their Premier League opponents

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘We couldn’t unbalance them when we attacked. We had the ball for a long period of time but we couldn’t do much with it. 

‘In the first half we played better than the opponent and the game was played how we wanted it to be played, even if we didn’t create much danger. 

‘In the second half the game was played how the opponents wanted to play. They did create danger to deserve the goals that they scored. 

‘The result generates a lot of sadness and disappointment for us. It’s not a question of surprise – we know the characteristics of their players and the opponents, just like every other opponent.’

Bielsa rued Leeds’ failure to effectively make use of their long periods of possession on Sunday

The context of the tie may have been drastically different, however, had Leeds been awarded a penalty in the first half.

A first-time cross from Helder Costa looked set to fall for Rodrigo inside the box, but the Leeds man was instead sent tumbling to the turf.

Replays quickly showed Crawley defender Tony Craig appearing to haul his opponent’s right shoulder back – but any shouts from the visitors fell on deaf ears.

Beckford, who played for Leeds between 2006 and 2010 and scored 85 goals, believes his former club should have been given the spot-kick.

Leeds saw a penalty appeal in the first half turned down after Rodrigo was felled inside the box

Rodrigo’s right shoulder looked to have been held back by Tony Craig but play was waved on

‘Looking at it back, it was a great first-time cross from Helder Costa,’ he said.

‘Rodrigo had his right shoulder pulled back by Craig. 

‘Because there are no VAR cameras here, the referee is in a position where he can’t really see it from that angle. But, you know, it’s clear as day in my opinion.’

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