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Marcelo Bielsa tells Leeds to stay focused after returning to the top

Marcelo Bielsa tells Leeds to stay focused after returning to the top
By PA Sport

01/03/2019 at 22:42Updated 01/03/2019 at 23:59

United turned in an emphatic performance at Elland Road.

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa has warned his players that they must keep their focus after a 4-0 drubbing of promotion rivals West Brom took them back to the top of the Championship.

Pablo Hernandez gave United a dream start, opening the scoring after just 16 seconds, before Patrick Bamford doubled the advantage in the 28th minute during a brilliant first half from the hosts.

Albion came out fighting after the break and nearly pulled a goal back when Hal Robson-Kanu headed inches over.

But Bamford deservedly wrapped the points up just after the hour mark when his deflected effort beat Sam Johnstone.

And Ezgjan Alioski rubbed further salt into the visitors’ wounds when he tapped home a fourth three minutes into injury time.

It was Leeds’ biggest win over West Brom in 49 years, and Bielsa said: “We have to focus on our own games and not on the events elsewhere with our rivals.

“We are interested in what the others do, but our position is to focus on what we are doing.

“I have to praise the efforts of all the players. It was a great effort and we did not give them a second to rest.

“The attitude of the players gave us the chance to win, even if we hadn’t scored after 16 seconds.

“This is probably the first time this season that every player was consistently impressive throughout.

“There was a continuous connection between the players and the fans. We didn’t have one single minute where the fans didn’t respond to the efforts.”

Bielsa was left deflated on Tuesday night when Leeds missed the chance to move top of the table following a flat 1-0 defeat to QPR in their game in hand.

But he said: “We didn’t need the performance of tonight to see that we don’t lack energy.

“On Tuesday I shouldn’t have shown myself to be that disappointed. I don’t think I should be very happy tonight either.”

Frustrated West Brom boss Darren Moore felt his side never recovered from their woeful start.

“We got caught cold by the early goal and it is a hard one to take on the chin, but we have got to take it,” he said.

“Coming here to Elland Road to play in front of a passionate crowd is always going to be a really tough game.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb by conceding an early goal. We didn’t get close enough and we did not get tight enough. We never recovered from that early goal.

“We needed to show a bit more impetus and I thought the players did at the start of the second half.

“The deflected shot then went in and it is hard to come back from 3-0 behind.

“It is how we react and how we respond to conceding early as we did tonight that I am going to have to look into. We just have to focus on our next game.”

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