Ralph Hasenhuttl has told Sky Sports (broadcast on 23/2 from 19:00) that Leeds United absolutely deserved their victory over Southampton on Tuesday, as Marcelo Bielsa’s side won 3-0 at Elland Road.
The Whites produced an outstanding display in the second-half. Goals from Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Raphinha secured the three points for the home side.
The Saints had asked a lot of questions of Leeds before the break. They had a penalty decision overturned after replays showed Nathan Tella throw his leg out to catch Diego Llorente rather than the other way around.
And they felt aggrieved after James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick led to Che Adams finding the back of the net. The set-piece was taken a fraction of a second before the referee had blown his whistle.
But despite those moments, it was Leeds who went through the gears after the break.
And Hasenhuttl suggested that Bielsa’s men were worthy winners.
“I must say that it was an absolutely deserved win for Leeds today, because they had more energy in the second-half,” he told Sky Sports. “I don’t know why, because normally we are a very energetic team. So, second-half, we gave up and this is what I don’t like to be honest. This is not the way we want to defend and we want to fight against them.
“What we cannot do against this team is playing one against one all over the pitch, because they are stronger.”
It is a worrying time for the Saints. They have lost seven of their last eight league games. And you could understand if some fans were starting to wonder if they were on the very periphery of a relegation battle.
They are currently eight points clear of the bottom three. But Fulham have gained some momentum in recent weeks. And the gap could be down to five points before the Saints start a run of three games that includes trips to Everton and Manchester City.