Patrick Bamford has shared, in comments reported by Leeds Live, that Slaven Bilic came into the Leeds United dressing room after the Whites’ 1-0 win against West Brom to congratulate Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Leeds have returned to the top of the Championship after Tuesday’s victory. It was Kyle Bartley’s own goal that settled the game as he turned Gjanni Alioski’s effort into Sam Johnstone’s bottom corner.
It was a hard-fought game. Leeds dominated the first-half and arguably, actually asked more dangerous questions after the break. But there is no question that West Brom were the better side in the second-half and looked more threatening in a lot of their play.
Bilic would be forgiven for scratching his head wondering how the Baggies were not able to get a point. But it appears that that did not stop the Croatian showing his class after the final whistle – as Bamford explained.
“Their manager came in after the game to us and said well done,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live. “Because there’s that mutual respect when a team plays well, to be able to fend them off and stop them is almost just as applaudable.
“I think there was mutual respect there tonight. It showed that one West Brom are a very good team, and two we’ve proved to ourselves that we can battle and grind it out.”
It would be little surprise if the two sides engage in a number of battles over the course of the campaign. The pair make up the current top two in the Championship, and play some of the most exciting football on show.
Leeds struck the first blow with Tuesday’s win, and keeping a clean sheet is almost just as big a statement. But the Whites have arguably not come under that kind of pressure at home since Norwich’s win in February – so there is plenty of positives for Bilic to still take from the game.