Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa says Crawley FA Cup loss ‘not a question of surprise’
FA Cup 3rd round: Results from the weekend's action
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has expressed his unhappiness with his side’s performance in their 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Crawley Town on Sunday afternoon. The League Two side secured victory courtesy of goals from Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe. And that means they’ll be in the hat for Monday’s draw for the fourth round of the competition.
Leeds went into their match against Crawley Town widely expected to blow the League Two team away.
But that didn’t happen, with Bielsa’s side instead slipping to a crushing defeat.
Crawley took the lead in the 50th minute through Tsaroulla, with Nadesan then notching three minutes later.
And Tunnicliffe found the net with 20 minutes left on the clock to ensure Crawley put themselves in the draw for the fourth round.
For Crawley, it was one of the biggest victories in their history, with players celebrating wildly at the final whistle.
And Bielsa was unhappy after the game. When asked if the defeat was a surprise, he said: “It’s not a question of surprise, we know the characteristics of their players and the opponents, just like every other opponent.”
He slammed his side for their poor showing, too, by saying: “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 it was a first half where 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. And in the second half, the game was played how the opponents wanted to play and they did create danger to deserve the goals that they scored.
“The result generates a lot of sadness and disappointment for us.”
Leeds midfielder Ezgjan Alioski was unhappy as well, describing Bielsa as ‘sad’ in the aftermath of the contest.
“I can’t find my words right now,” he said.
“We are really disappointed and it wasn’t the result that we wanted. Especially me I’m really sad, we took the game really seriously and we wanted to win and go on a run so it is disappointing.
“Crawley played the game of their lives, and congratulations, and to beat us 3-0, I still can’t believe it.
“The manager said what he wanted to say. It’s important for every player to know what this means. He is sad, and the players are sad.”
Crawley goalscorers Tsaroulla and Tunnicliffe were emotional in their post-match interviews.
“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 from them.”
Their manager, John Yems, said: “You have to enjoy these games – you work hard enough for it. It was a really good team performance and it’s clear that we’ve got 11 star men.
“These players have got a lot to prove to the clubs who have released them and we’ve showed what we can do against a really good side in Leeds.”
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