Marcelo Bielsa warns Leeds they still have many Premier League tests ahead


Boss Marcelo Bielsa has warned Leeds against thinking they have made it in the Premier League after they demolished West Brom 5-0 at The Hawthorns following a first-half four-goal blast.

Ezgjan Alioski, Jack Harrison and Rodrigo scored three in nine minutes after Romaine Sawyers’ comical own goal gave the visitors the lead.

Raphinha’s fine strike made it 5-0 in the second half as Leeds earned their biggest win in the top flight for 17 years.

They rose to 11th in the Premier League table but Bielsa has urged caution after Tuesday’s rampant win.

He said: “We have only been in this league for 16 games and there are still many challenges and many tests we have to pass before we can legitimately say we belong.

“Every game in this league is a challenge, all the teams have secrets and capacities. There are few games you can think of where there are very few difficulties to resolve.

“We have to keep doing the same and keep doing it over a longer period of time. We have had a lot of highs and lows. Only two games ago we had an important defeat and our idea is to play in a consistent manner.

“The team was very efficient – from eight chances we scored five goals and we managed to score five, even if one of the goals was not through our own doing.”

Albion, with just one win this season, collapsed once Sawyers’ own goal gave Leeds the lead after nine minutes.

The midfielder played a blind backpass but failed to notice Sam Johnstone to the left of his goal and the ball rolled into the empty net.

Alioski made it 2-0 when he drove in off the post after 31 minutes and Harrison scored a third five minutes later, turning Darnell Furlong to fire in.

Rodrigo then added a fourth when his shot deflected in off Dara O’Shea just before the break.

Leeds produced 662 passes to the Baggies’ 155 and their dominance was underlined when Raphinha curled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area with 18 minutes left.

Baggies boss Sam Allardyce admitted his side never recovered from Sawyers’ own goal and blasted his flops.

He said: “I expect us to overcome that disappointment. It’s a huge blow when you see something like that happen – particularly with the position we are in (second-bottom).

“The lads think ‘oh no what’s next, what can happen now’? You have to dismiss it from your mind and have more fight and determination.

“You have to play your way back into the game and we failed to do that at every level. We let Leeds overrun us and didn’t show any of the fight, determination and quality defending we showed at Liverpool.

“What the players have to realise is, whatever they think they are at this moment is not enough.

“I said on day one they had to individually work harder, not only at the club but look after themselves better away from the club. I’m yet to see that, whether they have dedicated themselves more.

“Tonight put a lot of doubt in my mind about their dedication. Leeds didn’t only play us off the field, they ran us off the field.”

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