Leeds United: We deserved a clear win says Marcelo Bielsa after Nottingham Forest draw

Leeds United's .Jack Harrison takes on Nottingham Forest's Ben Watson. Picture: Simon Hulme
Leeds United's .Jack Harrison takes on Nottingham Forest's Ben Watson. Picture: Simon Hulme

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa felt aggrieved at seeing his side fail to win their opening home game despite dominating possession against Nottingham Forest.

The Whites had to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw as they paid the price for not taking their chances and opportunities to create more.

They were also left to complain at referee Robert Jones who failed to point to the spot on two huge penalty shouts, the second of which came in the last minute.

In many ways it was like last season as Leeds enjoyed 68 per cent possession and played some good football without finishing it off. But a draw was all they got as they were unable to back up their first day victory.

Afterwards Bielsa said: “It was disappointing. With the performance showed today we deserved a clear win.

“The team controlled the game. We created 10 chances, enough to clearly win the game.

“We didn’t make many mistakes to allow them to attack.

“We lost two points so we are disappointed with the result, but the team is growing and not losing the ball easily. We didn’t receive counter-attacks.

“We had a lot of chances to put the ball in the box from the sides. We had players in the box waiting for the ball. Of course this is something that we can improve.”

As last year Bielsa refused to complain about the referee, saying: “It’s very difficult to be a referee. I don’t know if it was a penalty but we had enough ways to solve the game without this. It is not the referee’s fault that we drew the game.”

The first half was goalless and was a quick throwback to last season with the side totally dominating without finding enough of a cutting edge in the final third to finish off their bright play.

Clear chances were at a premium initially although Kalvin Phillips saw a shot deflected wide and Pablo Hernandez showed lovely skill on the right only for his cross to just clear striker Patrick Bamford, who was to go on to have an unlucky afternoon.

Forest did not manage a single effort on goal in the opening half while United’s domination led to seven corners in the first 20 minutes, the last of which saw the ball go just over Liam Cooper with visiting keeper Arijanet Muric nowhere to be seen having failed to get to the ball.

The best chance of the half came when Bamford ran onto Ben White’s long pass over the top, but from a tight angle saw his shot saved by the keeper. As the ball was then played back in it hit Bamford and Muric had an easy save to make.

The second half was livelier and started with Forest managing their first shot, a 20-yarder by Albert Adomah which went over.

Leeds looked more clinical for a spell, but Bamford’s mis-hit volley from Jack Harrison’s cross bounced up and came back off the crossbar.

Bamford then got onto a long ball over the visiting defence only to see his lob over an advancing goalkeeper go the wrong side of the post.

Mateusz Klich saw a low shot in a crowded area saved by Muric following further good build-up play before a goal finally arrived just before the hour mark.

Hernandez raced onto a first time through ball by Klich, chested the ball down expertly and just as well fired a shot past Muric.

Within a minute another chance followed with Bamford firing wide, but Forest upped their game after making substitutions with Joe Lolley and Ben Watson hitting efforts wide and Michael Dawson heading over from a corner.

United did not heed the warning as another corner brought a goal for Forest when Lewis Grabban bundled the ball over the line, possibly with the aid of his arm, after the initial cross into the box was not dealt with.

It told the story of the day when at the other end Cooper headed wide from a Leeds corner soon after.

From then on United huffed and puffed without creating any late chances, although a massive shout for a penalty fell on deaf ears when substitute Helder Costa appeared to be pushed over.

Earlier, another big claim came to nothing when Stuart Dallas was caught in the area by Jack Robinson as he attempted to get a volley in and it was one of those games Leeds were left to reflect on what might have been.

Match facts

Leeds United 1

(Hernandez 59)

Nottingham Forest 1

(Grabban 77)

Championship

Leeds: Casilla, Dallas, White, Cooper, Douglas, Phillips, Hernandez, Forshaw, Klich (Costa 80), Harrison (Alioski 72), Bamford.

Forest: Muric, Cash, Dawson, Worrall, Robinson, Watson (Mir 71), Colley, Semedo, Silva (Sow 56), Adomah (Ameobi 64), Grabban.

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 35,453