Martin Keown identifies reason behind Leeds United's embarrassing cup exit against Crawley Town

Martin Keown says Leeds United missed one player in particular after they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Crawley Town.

Sunday, 10th January 2021, 3:35 pm
Nick Tsaroulla celebrates his goal for Crawley. Picture by Jamie Evans

Second-half goals from Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe ensured the League Two side produced one of the great cup upsets of recent times with a 3-0 win.

Leeds laboured in attack in the face of some excellent defending by the Crawley rearguard, and rarely looked like breaking down the home defence who are 64 places below them in the football pyramid.

Match of the Day pundit Martin Keown believed the visitors missed star striker Patrick Bamford’s presence up front, saying that was one area that Marcelo Bielsa’s side never got to grips with.

Bamford was rested for the game, with Rodrigo and Ian Poveda starting in attack, before being replaced by Jack Harrison and youngster Sam Greenwood in the second period.

"It’s that middle front player,” Keown said. “Sometimes when a player isn’t playing, you realise how good he is, and Bamford not being here, I’m sure he’s kicking the TV.

"He would have liked to have done well but he needs a rest of course.

"But it is an area they seem really short, Leeds.

“You have Greenwood coming deep, and Harrison coming deep and there’s no one staying up there. Who was the focal point in the middle? No Bamford, he’s the usual intelligent player that stays high and central. Rodrigo going off at half-time, they haven’t really had a recognised front player since then.”