LIVE: Leeds United 3 Burnley 1

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa acknowledged that all clubs are fighting the same battle when it comes to Covid-19 and the disruption the virus causes.

By Dan Black
Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 1:21 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 3:54 pm
Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche (L) and Leeds United's Argentinian head coach Marcelo Bielsa (R) shake hands ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Burnley at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on December 27, 2020.
Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche (L) and Leeds United's Argentinian head coach Marcelo Bielsa (R) shake hands ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Burnley at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on December 27, 2020.

The Argentinian's group has been ravaged with absentees this term, with the numbers of side-lined senior squad members entering double figures through injury, suspension and coronavirus.

A small Covid outbreak in LS11 before Christmas saw matches against Liverpool and Aston Villa postponed over the festive period, meaning United haven't played in 15 days, since a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to Arsenal.

"The reality that we’re facing is not only ours," Bielsa said during his pre-match press conference.

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"I can’t say that a healthy player is in ideal conditions to compete, because when you haven’t competed for one month or three weeks, you need a period to reach that height, but that’s a reality, and the teams that we’re coming up against have similar problems."

Burnley have suffered similar struggles. Games against Watford, Aston Villa and Everton fell by the wayside due to the pandemic, while the fixture against Spurs at Turf Moor was also postponed late on because of weather/safety issues.

Sean Dyche has also been without leading scorer Maxwel Cornet, who limped off in the defeat against Newcastle United with a thigh strain while Ashley Barnes and Connor Roberts have also been unavailable.

Meanwhile, the squad was hit by Covid in the lead up to the meeting with Manchester United at Old Trafford as Nick Pope, Jay Rodriguez, Josh Brownhill and Kevin Long fell victim.

"The competition always compares the reality of two teams, so our problems [are ones] our opponents also have - that’s to say that the proportion is maintained between the two teams are competing.

"It’s not that we have problems and our opponents don’t, or that our opponents have problems that we don’t. The proportions are more or less similar.

"We all have difficulties that lower the level of the competition, the proportions of comparison are the same."

LIVE: Leeds United 3 Burnley 1

Last updated: Sunday, 02 January, 2022, 15:57

Full-time: Leeds United 3 Burnley 1

Burnley christen 2022 with defeat

GOAL: Leeds United 3 Burnley 1

Leeds break again and James ghosts in at the back post, behind Lowton, to head home a Gelhardt cross.

Vydra replaces Wood for Burnley

Lennon is withdrawn and Jay Rodriguez is his replacement.

GOAL: Leeds United 2 Burnley 1

Hennessey is rooted to the spot as Dallas side-foots the ball into the corner from the edge of the area.

James slides the ball across the penalty area, it rolls right through to Raphinha who, with the goal gaping, somehow finishes into the side-netting.

Cornet flicks the ball wide of the near post from a corner.

Harrison is replaced by Daniel James

Roberts is replaced by Gelhardt

GOAL: Leeds United 1 Burnley 1

Maxwel Cornet with another screamer!

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