Murphy criticises Bielsa over Leeds ‘mistake’ against Everton

Joe Williams
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa looks disappointed

Danny Murphy was left unimpressed by Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to substitute Leeds United attacker Raphinha at half-time in their 3-0 defeat to Everton.

The Toffees went 2-0 up in the first half thanks to headers from Seamus Coleman and fellow defender Michael Keane in the 10th and 23rd minutes respectively.

Leeds striker Rodrigo struck the hosts’ bar in between and did so again late in the first half, before Richarlison’s 78th-minute shot went in off Anthony Gordon to wrap up the victory for Frank Lampard’s men, who moved five points clear of the relegation zone.

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Bielsa made the brave decision to substitute Raphinha at the interval for Tyler Roberts and was criticised by former Liverpool midfielder Murphy on Match of the Day.

Murphy said: “It was a mistake. He was playing alright, he was showing, he was causing [Jonjoe] Kenny a good few problems. Okay, he hadn’t scored or set up a goal but you’re 2-0 down in a game, you need your best player.

“Maybe he was setting an example for something he saw, an incident, but I didn’t see enough in that first-half performance to warrant him being brought off. It was a really strange decision.”

On the intense pressure from Everton during the match, Murphy added: “This is what Frank Lampard’s going to do, especially at home with Everton, they’re going to get the fans behind them by pressing high, committing men forward.

“It can be risky against good teams but time and time again in the first 20 minutes, they kind of did to Leeds what Leeds have done to other teams in the past with the high energy.”

Meanwhile, Bielsa described the result as “fair” and said he had made a mistake with regard to how he deployed midfielder Mateusz Klich.

“That was an error on my part,” the Argentinian said. “I put Mateusz Klich in front of our three centre-backs and he couldn’t do what he does best, which is make runs in attack.

“I assigned a task to him that was going to be difficult for him to do.”