"I'm absolutely delighted"/"It was an error on my part": Key quotes from Frank Lampard and Marcelo Bielsa
Frank Lampard and Marcelo Bielsa try to orchestrate from the touchline: Gareth Copley/GettyImages

Frank Lampard and Marcelo Bielsa had contrasting emotions after a hard-fought battle between Everton and Leeds United saw the former run away with the points. 

The early stages painted a fair picture of the match as Everton started on the front-foot and stormed into a two-goal lead. Leeds, on top of this, had to deal with an injury to Stuart Dallas – something Bielsa didn't have the information to update reporters on after the game. 

Nonetheless, this was an important win for Lampard and he spent a long time dissecting it afterwards.

Lampard on the game

The former Chelsea manager was expectedly very happy with his teams performance and he gleefully talked reporters through his perspective of the match.

"I'm absolutely delighted," he said. "From minute one, right through the game against a really good team - Leeds are a fantastic team and everyone knows that, we saw it in the week, they never stop.

"But we didn't allow them anything today. I know they hit the bar from distance but in terms of our effort, work rate, the nature of the team, how we wanted to play, how compact we were, some of the quality play - I'm really happy.

"I've been here two weeks and it's only a start, that's for sure. I won't get over-excited, but I can enjoy seeing my team play like that. It's everything we wanted."

<strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://vavel.com/en/football/2021/01/30/premier-league/1057223-chelsea-vs-burnley-preview-can-the-clarets-deny-thomas-tuchel-a-first-blues-win.html' href='https://vavel.com/en/football/2021/01/30/premier-league/1057223-chelsea-vs-burnley-preview-can-the-clarets-deny-thomas-tuchel-a-first-blues-win.html'>Frank Lampard</a></strong> salutes the Everton fans after his team's victory at Goodison Park: Marc Atkins/GettyImages
Frank Lampard salutes the Everton fans after his team's victory at Goodison Park: Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Lampard on the system

The Everton boss switched to a 4-4-2 after fielding two back-three systems against Brentford and Newcastle United. It was a decision that was vindicated in the performance and the result.

"Well part of it was injuries, you lose two centre halves in Ben (Godfrey) and Yerry (Mina)" he admitted.

"But also I want us to be flexible in how we play. Against a team like Leeds, as a back three you can become a back five regularly with how high and wide their wingers can be."

Lampard on van de Beek

“In a midfield two against Leeds is tough because of their movement, and because they get a lot of rotation and movement in midfield,” Lampard said.

“[Van de Beek] and Allan were fantastic, also Donny (van de Beek) on the ball giving us a sense of calm and intelligence, and a nice rhythm in the team, and he’s going to get better and better.

“He’s been a dream to work with in the short time he’s been here. He waited for his time at Newcastle, I thought it was right to go with the same team and show the players they deserved it with Brentford, but today was spot on.”

Lampard also added that he sees van de Beek in a variety of positions. While acknowledging that the Dutchman can play as part of a double double-six, he also hinted at a more attacking role. "He can play higher, I know he can play higher."

Lampard on Iwobi

Alex Iwobi made a surprise start for Lampard against Leeds and his manager was full of praise for the Nigerian. 

"He is a great lad with a great work-ethic. He needs to believe in himself. He had to do a lot of work to do off the ball and he did everything today."

Bielsa on Klich error

In the other camp, Bielsa was quick to take responsibility for his team's struggles in possession – highlighting a positional error with one of his midfielders. 

"The position of (Mateusz) Klich was an error on my part," he noted, after deploying the Pole just in-front of the defence.

"He had to defend too much. Could not do what he does best which is make runs in attack. Sincerely, I assigned a task to him which was going to be difficult for him. I don't think it was so much it was difficult to retain the ball, but more difficult to recover it. If you recover the ball well it's easier to retain."

Bielsa on Raphinha substitution

Bielsa was particularly blunt and to the point when he came to explaining the half-time decision to replace Raphinha

"I preferred (Daniel) James to take on the right role and Tyler (Roberts) to be the centre-forward," he explained, adding that the decision was "tactical" and not related to any injury. 

It was probably the biggest headline from the post-match press-conferences because tactically choosing to replace Raphinha is always going to raise an eyebrow – even if he isn't playing particularly well. He is Leeds' best player. 

On the Brazilian, Bielsa added: "He hasn't played better or worse. It's very difficult to stand out and to shine when you're an attacker. There isn't attackers who are at a high level continuously. I believe he made important contributions in the first half against Aston Villa. A winger with a different characteristic could have added a different variable to the game."

Bielsa on Lampard's 4-4-2

The Argentine was asked if Everton's system switch had taken him by surprise.

"No, not at all. They've got two centre forwards on their bench and Richarlison and (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin, they would play. (Diego) Llorente, (Robin) Koch and Pascal (Struijk): their characteristics are very compatible with their centre-forwards. Our defenders are used to playing against strikers close to our box."

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