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Marcelo Bielsa explains decision to drop Raphinha to bench for Leeds vs Man United


 

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has, on Sunday, provided an explanation for his surprise decision not to start star man Raphinha in the club's meeting with Manchester United.

The absence of Brazilian international Raphinha from the Whites' starting XI of course proved the headline talking point ahead of kick-off between the two long-time foes at Elland Road this afternoon.

This comes with the 25-year-old having enjoyed a fine season to date, acting as one of few bright spots in an otherwise struggling Leeds squad.

Speaking to the media on the back of the action coming to a close in west Yorkshire, it therefore came as little surprise when the subject of Raphinha's snub was put to manager Bielsa.

The Argentine, though, assured that the decision came simply for tactical reasons, in an evident attempt to play down the situation:

Fred amongst the goals

Raphinha, of course, was ultimately introduced from the bench versus Manchester United, and went on to find the net within ten minutes of his arrival, to level the scoreline at 2-2.

Leeds' comeback efforts, however, in the end proved to be in vain, as the quality boasted by Ralf Rangnick's visitors simply proved too much for the Whites to handle.

After Fred restored the Red Devils' advantage twenty minutes from time, any remaining hope of a Leeds comeback was extinguished once and for all with just minutes remaining in proceedings, as fellow substitute Anthony Elanga slotted calmly beyond Illan Meslier.

Leeds, in turn, remain just five points clear of the Premier League relegation zone, on the back of a draw and three defeats across the club's last four outings.

 

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Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.



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