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Leeds boss Bielsa delivers his verdict on Chelsea and Lampard's tactics

Sam Preston December 3, 2020
Derby County v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Play-off Semi Final: First Leg
Photo by Jon Hobley/ MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Marcelo Bielsa and Frank Lampard were at the centre of the Spygate scandal during their maiden seasons in charge of Leeds United and Derby County.

Lampard subsequently left to manage Chelsea, while Bielsa guided Leeds back into the Premier League.

The pair face off again this weekend, and Bielsa was asked about Lampard and the job he’s doing at Stamford Bridge at his pre-match press conference.

As per the Yorkshire Post, Bielsa was complimentary of the way Lampard has developed his squad and the balance he’s striking with his tactics.

STEVEN GERRARD TO ASTON VILLA IS WRONG.

NAOMI BAKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

When asked if Lampard’s Chelsea have the balance between attack and defence right, Bielsa replied: “Correct, the values that you analyse to describe a team; how they defend, attack and return after attacking and defending… in these values you always find Chelsea in favourable positions.”

“Frank Lampard, during last season he developed a lot of players that were already in the club and this season he improved the composition of his team choosing players for the positions he decided he needed.

“This is shown by the way the team is playing well and individuals of hierarchy and there are many different types of components in his team.

“There are young players who have developed, and there were signings with experience and signings with a big future but if you read what is written about Chelsea you will see and hear all of these things.”

Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea and Leeds will resume a historic rivalry at Stamford Bridge this weekend and the identity of the men in the dugouts also adds another dimension.

That said, it feels like both men have long since moved on from Spygate and it’s only the media really interested in prolonging the feud.

Lampard’s Chelsea have been far more impressive defensively this season than they were last, while Bielsa’s Leeds have kept two clean sheets in a row.

That’s been a welcome development after consecutive 4-1 losses against Leicester and Crystal Palace – but Chelsea will provide a very stern test.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.