Stuart Dallas is an example to all of us – Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa described Stuart Dallas as “an example to all of us” after another stellar display for Leeds in their 3-1 win against Tottenham.
Dallas fired Bielsa’s side into an early lead and after Son Heung-min’s equaliser, goals from Patrick Bamford and substitute Rodrigo were a fair reflection of Leeds’ superiority.
Northern Irishman Dallas, who has excelled in the Premier League in a variety of midfield and defensive roles, was a stand-out performer on the wing, scoring his eighth goal of the season.
When asked how Dallas continues to combine supreme fitness levels with some of the best football of his career at the age of 30, Bielsa said: “I think the best thing would be for him to explain this.
“Due to the experience I have working with him, I consider him a player with a lot of resources. What he attempts is simple, but he has a lot of possibilities to impose it.
“Apart from that, he’s a tireless worker throughout the week and during the games. And he is an example to all of us.”
Dallas, who scored both goals in last month’s 2-1 win at Manchester City, has been an ever-present for all bar 10 minutes in the Premier League this season.
Bielsa was also impressed by centre-backs Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch, playing in the defensive midfield role, usually held by the injured Kalvin Phillips.
“Yes, it was a very difficult game for Llorente, Pascal and Koch,” Bielsa added. “Pascal had a performance without errors and Llorente the same.
“Very solid to defend and secure in the management of the lead. Robin was one of the bright lights of the game. He defended well and he didn’t lose the ball.
“The three of them, alongside the two full-backs, had the task of neutralising the sector where Tottenham had their best players.”
Tottenham’s Champions League hopes appear to have been dashed and they face a fight to salvage a Europa League place after slipping to seventh in the table, a point behind Liverpool, who have a game in hand.
Interim boss Ryan Mason felt the game hinged on Harry Kane’s disallowed first-half effort, ruled out for a marginal offside, but admitted his side had been caught out by Leeds’ fast start.
“We took a bit of time to get going in the game and I think that was the disappointing thing for me, which you can’t do at this level,” Mason said.
“We grew into the game and, like I say, the second half we pushed and created moments.”
Kane’s free-kick clipped the crossbar, Son’s angled shot hit the side-netting and Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier kept out Serge Aurier’s thumping near-post drive.
“We had moments and in those moments I think you need to be clinical in games like this,” Mason added.