MX23RW : Saturday, July 4 15:15:19| >> :120:29434:29434:
Apr 28, 2019 at 12pm UK at Elland Road (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Attendance: 36,786
LeedsLeeds United
1-1
Aston Villa
Klich (72')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Adomah (77')
El Ghazi (75')

Marcelo Bielsa defends controversial behaviour during Villa draw

Bielsa defends controversial behaviour during Villa draw
© Reuters
Argentinian ordered his side to let Villa walk in an equaliser after a controversial opener for the Yorkshire side.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa played down his decision to allow Aston Villa to score an unopposed equaliser in a contentious 1-1 draw at Elland Road.

The result ended Leeds' highly unlikely chances of snatching automatic promotion off Sheffield United on the final day, while Villa's club record 10-game winning run was also halted.

Leeds took a 72nd-minute lead in controversial fashion through Mateusz Klich after they had refused to kick the ball out of play despite Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia lying prone in midfield.

Villa and Leeds players clashed after Klich's controversial opener
Villa and Leeds players clashed after Klich's controversial opener (Clint Hughes/PA)

Villa's players reacted furiously and in a mass melee that followed, defender Anwar El Ghazi was shown a straight red card by referee Stuart Attwell for swinging an elbow at Leeds striker Patrick Bamford, though the contact was minimal.

Chaos ensued as rival players and benches squared off in heated debate before Bielsa instructed his players to allow Villa to walk in an equaliser from the restart, with Albert Adomah tapping home an equaliser.

"The facts are those which everyone could see," Bielsa said.

"What happened happened and we behaved as we behaved. That's all I can say about something which is very clear."

When asked if he had instructed his players to allow Villa's equaliser in the interests of fair play or simply to help restore order, Bielsa said: "I don't understand the difference. I don't see any difference.

"What happened happened and we reacted the way we reacted. You make a difference between fair play and the circumstances of the game, but for me it's the same.

"English football is known around the world for its noble features of how we play."

Bielsa appeared angry with defender Pontus Jansson, who clearly did not agree with his manager's decision as he attempted to stop Adomah scoring.

Pontus Jansson appeared to disagree with Bielsa's decision to allow Villa an equaliser
Pontus Jansson appeared to disagree with Bielsa's decision to allow Villa an equaliser (Richard Sellers/PA)

"Jansson didn't want to obey the indication I gave," Bielsa added. "That diminishes my authority and I don't know what the consequences are when you lose respect from a player."

Villa boss Dean Smith sympathised with Jansson, but said his players had put the ball out for a throw-in earlier in the game when Adam Forshaw had gone down injured.

"I can understand the frustration of the lad because I've been a player myself and that would be very difficult, when your job is to keep clean sheets and then you have to give a goal away," said Smith.

"But full respect to Marcelo and Leeds United for that because it was the right decision.

"I think common sense prevailed and sportsmanship did with them allowing us to get the goal.

"Klich apologised to me as he came off the pitch, saying that things like that shouldn't happen.

"I just suggested (to Bielsa) that I thought that would be a good thing and he agreed with me. I'm not sure all his players agreed."

Leeds looked to have quickly recovered from the back-to-back defeats to Wigan and Brentford over Easter that cost them a top-two finish.

They could have clinched victory in the closing stages through Tyler Roberts and Pablo Hernandez, but Villa carried plenty of threat, with Kodjia blazing their best chance over in the second half.

"I thought it was a really good game up until that incident, I must admit," Smith said.

"And then when it went 10 v 11 there's no tougher team in this league to play against than Leeds."

Villa boss Dean Smith praised Leeds counterpart Bielsa's sportsmanship
Villa boss Dean Smith praised Leeds counterpart Bielsa's sportsmanship (Clint Hughes/PA)

Smith said Villa would definitely appealing El Ghazi's red card.

"I've watched the footage back and there's nothing to it, he doesn't touch him, so we'll certainly be appealing that," he added.

Leeds remain third ahead of next week's final round of fixtures, three points ahead of West Brom, who have a better goal difference, while Villa, whose play-off place was already assured, can finish no higher than fifth.

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Mark Walker, Press Association Sport');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '55ac5d51-8855-4188-9a4e-05e3fdb4a9a6');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:club-news,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Bielsa plays down act of sportsmanship as Leeds miss out on promotion'});

ID:357602:

Click here for more stories about Marcelo Bielsa

Click here for more stories about Leeds United

Share this article now:
Leeds and Aston Villa players scrap during their Championship clash on April 28, 2019
Read Next:
Sheffield United promoted after Leeds allow Aston Villa to score equaliser
>
Latest Sports Video
Did you know...?
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Premier League
Championship
DFB-Pokal
La Liga
Serie A
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
J1 League
Major League Soccer
Chinese Super League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds41239963342978
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom402014667382974
3Brentford412191171333872
4Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest411814954411368
5Fulham4119111154441068
6Cardiff CityCardiff41151795751662
7Derby CountyDerby411613125653361
8Millwall411417104844459
9Preston North EndPreston411610155250258
10Swansea CitySwansea401415115047357
11Blackburn RoversBlackburn411511155653356
12Bristol City411511155359-656
13Reading411410175148352
14Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds401410164954-552
15Wigan AthleticWigan411311174551-650
16Queens Park RangersQPR40148185966-750
17Birmingham CityBirmingham411214155163-1250
18Stoke CityStoke41137215361-846
19Charlton AthleticCharlton411210194655-946
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield411210194963-1446
21Hull City40129195468-1445
22Middlesbrough401014164052-1244
23Barnsley411011204565-2041
24Luton TownLuton41117234676-3040

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!