Leeds United were beaten by League 2 side Crawley Town after they scored 3 goals to hand a big upset to the Premier League side. Three second half goals from Nicholas Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe were more than enough to help Crawley Town progress further in the FA Cup competition with Leeds exiting in the Third round yet again.
How the match unfolded:
The match between Leeds United and Crawley Town was played at the People’s Pension Stadium. Leeds Boss Marcelo Bielsa made seven changes to his side which lost to a Spurs side in the Premier League, bringing in several academy players while Kiko Casilla played in goal and the club record signing Rodrigo started upfront in place of leading scorer Patrick Bamford.
Even though first choice starters like Stuart Dallas, Luke Ayling, Bamford and Klich missing out there was plenty of experience and excitement in Pablo Hernandez, Kalvin Phillips, Kiko Casilla, Ian Poveda and Rodrigo, but still the League 2 side didn’t allow Leeds United to sit comfortably with both sides still goalless in the first half.
In the second half Harrison, Leeds U21’s Jack Jenkins and Oliver Casey came on to make a difference and to add up to the creativity and goal threat in the Leeds side. Just minutes after Pablo Hernandez missed a shot from outside the box, at the other end Crawley Town led by a goal with Tsaroulla the midfielder scoring into the bottom right corner. Three minutes later Crawley scored another goal through Nadesan who doubled Crawley Town’s advantage. After reviewing the replay it looked as if the ball bounced through the grass bobble which made it difficult for Casilla to judge the direction of the ball.
Leeds had a brilliant chance with beautiful link up play from Pablo Hernandez finding Shackleton in the box who’s pass was too heavy for Helder Costa who couldn’t make contact with the ball. Leeds then brought on Raphinha and Sam Greenwood to help Leeds United get back into the game. In the 70th minute Casilla made a brilliant grounded save of Nadesan’s effort which then fell for the defender Jordan Tunnicliffe who comfortably slotted the ball in the back of the net to give his side a three goal lead.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side failed to win a fourth time in the FA Cup competition following their loss since January 2017. Crawley Town cruised into the fourth round for the first time since 2012.
Crawley Town 3-0 Leeds United | Emirates FA Cup 2020-21 | MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
What the Managers said…
The Crawley town Manager in his post-match statement said, “It was just a really good team performance. We did what we could do. They’re a good side. We are what we are so let’s see who we get in the next round and just enjoy the moment.”
Leeds Manager Marcelo Bielsa said, “We couldn’t unbalance them when we attacked. We had the ball for a long period of time but we couldn’t do much with it.
Speaking about the performance the boss said, “In the first half, we played better than the opponent and the game was played how we wanted it to be played, even if we did not create much danger. And in the second half the game was played how the opponents wanted to play and they did create danger to deserve the goals that they scored. The result generates a lot of sadness and disappointment for us.”
Bielsa was definitely upset with his side’s performance but with many key players rested he will look for a rigid reaction against Brighton and Southampton which could move Leeds United into the top half of the table. While Crawley town will face 19th position Bradford on 16th January.