Football

Leeds’ Roberts sent Bielsa a message v Chelsea



In what was only their third draw of the Premier League season, Leeds earned a creditable point at home to a rejuvenated Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.

Thomas Tuchel’s men have been on a roll since the German’s arrival at Stamford Bridge and came into the game off the back of a couple of impressive wins against Liverpool and Everton respectively.

However, despite a couple of scary moments – not least when a ball ricocheted off a Leeds defender and hit the crossbar in the first half – the Whites came through it unscathed and kept things tight at the back.

While he wasn’t able to break the deadlock, Tyler Roberts was a standout performer for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

The £9m-rated dynamo delivered one of his more impressive displays of the Premier League season, and what a time to do it given some of the speculation over his long-term future at the club.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay revealed in the last few days that, depending on the Whites’ summer activity, both the 22-year-old and Helder Costa could be one of the fall guys of the club’s revamp.

However, on the basis of Roberts’ display against Chelsea, Bielsa may start to have second thoughts – although of course, one good performance doesn’t automatically change everything.

It was his goal which was ruled out for offside in the opening period after Patrick Bamford had strayed off earlier in the move, while his stunning effort took some heroics from Edouard Mendy to deny him from opening the scoring.

He was a real livewire for Leeds, with most of the Whites’ best attacking play coming through him. He completed three of his four attempted dribbles, which was the most of any player on the pitch, and considerably more than his season average of 0.6 per match in the Premier League.

As well as being more direct in his play, Roberts didn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities either, winning five of his duels on the day – again, far more than his season average of 2.9 per match.

Writing in his post-match player ratings for Leeds Live, Beren Cross gave him a seven, adding: “Had his moments of frustration, but did serve up some quality in the second half as Chelsea’s defence splintered. Forced a fingertip stop out of Edouard Mendy in the first half.”

Hay dubbed Roberts’ performance as “impressive” on Twitter after the match, and it was a display which sent a reminder to Bielsa perhaps there is still a quality player there to be nurtured and developed.

Meanwhile, this Leeds man let Bielsa down with a shocking display vs Chelsea…





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