Marcelo Bielsa rues Leeds’ profligacy in front of goal against battling Luton
Leeds missed the chance to move six points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after the home draw.
Marcelo Bielsa was again left explaining Leeds’ poor finishing after they missed a string of chances in a 1-1 home draw against Luton.
Substitute Harry Cornick curled the Hatters into a second-half lead and although Stuart Dallas fired a 63rd-minute equaliser, Leeds missed the chance to move six points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.
“What Luton did was right,” said Bielsa, whose side now sit four points above second-placed West Brom, who play at Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday.
“They played honest, they didn’t foul, the referee didn’t have an impact in the match.
“But what is true is that we had lots of chances to score and they had just one chance.
“The opponent had one chance to score and we needed 12 chances to score one goal.
“We played against a team who defended with all their players in the goal and we had 12 or 15 chances.”
Luton goalkeeper Simon Struga denied Leeds on several occasions, with his double save from successive second-half efforts from Patrick Bamford and Ezgjan Alioski particularly impressive.
Bielsa said: “We allowed them to shoot just twice and that is something positive for us.
“But we cannot ignore that the lack of efficiency was the weak point for our team.”
Bielsa confirmed skipper Liam Cooper’s injury, which forced him off in the 12th minute, was a knock and nothing serious, but said fellow defender Stuart Dallas is likely to miss Saturday’s trip to Blackburn after sustaining a hamstring injury.
Bielsa also added that he was not in a position to confirm whether the club would be extending the stay of striker Jean-Kevin Augustin, whose loan spell from RB Leipzig ended on Tuesday.
Luton extended their unbeaten run to six matches, but returned to the bottom of the table following Barnsley’s win against Blackburn.
The battling Hatters gave their all for manager Nathan Jones and are now only two points from safety.
“Defensively I thought we were excellent,”Jones said. “They have been together for two years and are well-drilled with one of the best managers in the world. It’s a wonderful point.”
Jones, re-appointed as Hatters boss at the end of last month after being sacked by Stoke in November, was involved in a heated exchange with Leeds substitute Pablo Hernandez after the final whistle.
“It was my fault. My fault,” Jones said. “We had a little bit of an argument. I apologise.
“I probably said something that I shouldn’t have said. Nothing malicious, but I shouldn’t have said it and I apologised. He was having a moan that they defended too much, one of those things.
“I got to practice my Spanish, Pablo got his apology. I wanted him to know we were fighting for our lives.”