Leeds players ‘let Marcelo Bielsa down’ says pundit after Crawley Town FA Cup defeat
FA Cup 3rd round: Results from the weekend's action
Leeds United players let Marco Bielsa down in their 3-0 FA Cup exit on Sunday, according to former England captain Terry Butcher. The Whites went into the match looking to book their place in the fourth round of the competition. But that didn’t happen, with the League Two giants inflicting a shock defeat instead.
Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe all struck for Crawley against Leeds, on an afternoon where former TOWIE star Mark Wright made his debut.
It was quite a performance from the League Two side, who celebrated wildly at the final whistle.
For Leeds, however, it raises yet more questions over Bielsa and whether his decision-making is leading his side to becoming defensively vulnerable.
But former England captain Butcher, who was commentating for BBC Sport, has claimed Leeds players let their manager down though questioned the Argentine’s decision to bring on three substitutes at the break.
“Crawley took full advantage of Leeds trying to get back into the games after making three substitutions,” he said.
“People will say that Marcelo Bielsa treated it like a training game, but I don’t think he did.
“He was let down by his players, but to make three changes at half-time is a bold gamble.”
Butcher also claimed Leeds were left ‘bamboozled’ by Crawley on the day.
“We thought the first-half was good with Leeds’ creativity because they were great to watch,” he said.
“But Crawley were dogged and 0-0 was a good achievement for them.
“I do think the Leeds changes made a massive difference to their balance, and Crawley just kept getting at them down the sides.
“They got their rewards for their dogged performance and they were absolutely dominant in the second half, and Leeds were just bamboozled by the forward play and togetherness.
“Crawley have been magnificent and done everyone proud.”
Crawley goalscorers Tsaroulla and Tunnicliffe were understandably emotional in their post-match interviews, expressing their delight with the result.
“It’s been a long hard road for me with a couple of tough years, but what a moment for me,” said Tsaroulla.
“I sort of lost myself in the moment, it was all a bit of a blur. But I am buzzing.
“It’s been tough for me. Anyone can come back from everything and I just hope that I can inspire somebody else out there.”
Tunnicliffe was similarly happy, adding: “We knew if we were going to be in it then it was going to be really tight, and it was to be fair, but we got in at half-time and were told that if we keep doing what we’re doing we’ll get chances and the first two goals came quickly and we defended resolutely and I think we fully deserved to win to be honest.
“The lads were brilliant and I’ve been lucky enough to get on the scoresheet but that’s for all the lads and the fans that are watching at home and can’t be here.
“It means everything.
“Everybody is going through a tough time at the moment but we wanted to put a show on today to show everybody how much we care and want to do it for them.”
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