Marcelo Bielsa savoured Leeds’ first clean sheet in seven Premier League games after their 2-0 home win against Crystal Palace.
Leeds moved into the top half of the table thanks to goals early in either half from Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford and did not concede for the first time since their 5-0 win at West Brom at the end of December.
“The fact that we didn’t concede any goals was important,” Bielsa said. “We didn’t suffer any chances in the first half and very few in the second.”
Leeds could have won by a bigger margin after Bamford and Stuart Dallas both forced fine saves from Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Bamford also ballooned off target when through on goal in the first period, while Harrison struck the crossbar with a second-half effort.
“Although in the end we didn’t attack as much throughout the game we generally caused them danger,” said Bielsa.
“The team didn’t lose vitality in the last 15 minutes. We managed the ball, but we didn’t stop creating danger.
We're trying to play as naturally as possible and to show the desire to play in this leagueMarcelo Bielsa
“It was very important for us to keep the ball and when we lost it, it was important for them not to create danger and we managed to do this.”
Bielsa believes his side are beginning to look more at home in the top flight.
“The fact that we won the Championship is more distant, further away,” he added.
“We’re making our steps in the Premier League now. We’re trying to play as naturally as possible and to show the desire to play in this league.”
Palace boss Roy Hodgson said his side, who beat Leeds 4-1 at Selhurst Park in November, did not deserve anything from the game.
“We were deservedly beaten,” he said. “We made life difficult for ourselves with the goals we conceded at the start of the first half and then at the start of the second half.
“Any hope of trying to stay in the game was quickly kiboshed by the second-half goal. Both of them came from unfortunate technical errors, which happen.”
Jordan Ayew had Palace’s first shot on target in the 36th minute and Eberechi Eze spurned a chance to reduce the deficit when blazing over from substitute Michy Batshuayi’s 67th-minute cutback.
“We tried our best to keep Leeds at bay,” Hodgson added. “But we didn’t create enough chances so we have to accept we lost to the better team and go home beaten 2-0.”