FA Cup Rodrigo, Hernandez and Casilla started
The FA Cup is becoming a nightmare for Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa, with Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Crawley Town meaning a third-round exit for the third year in a row.
With Spaniards Kiko Casilla, Pablo Hernandez, Rodrigo Moreno and other regulars such as Kalvin Phillips and Ezgjan Alioski in the line-up, Bielsa’s side were humiliated by League Two side Crawley thanks to goals from Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe.
It is the first time since 1987 that a fourth-tier team knocks out a top-flight one in the FA Cup.
The ‘Red Devils’, based in Crawley, a town in West Sussex with a population of around 114,000, have only been a professional team since 2011. One of their players on Sunday, Mark Wright, was a reality TV star who only signed in December.
It was a magical day for Crawley but misery for Leeds, whose coach spoke positively about these David and Goliath cup encounters in the build-up.
“It is an expression of generosity to compete with them as equals. It is healthy for the bigger teams to be able to help the smallest ones,” Bielsa told Ole.
“It’s about prioritising a competition that is the essence of the country and paying tribute to this competition with the best.”
Next up for Leeds is another Sussex team when they host Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday.