Leeds LET ASTON VILLA SCORE in controversial finale
Extraordinary scenes unfolded at the climax of Leeds United’s clash with Aston Villa as the hosts let their opponents score to cancel out their controversial opener in the Championship.
With Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia down injured, the majority of players switched off with the expectation that Leeds would kick the ball out.
However, they played on as Mateusz Klich profited from the empty space to cut inside and score. Ugly scenes ensued as Villa players surrounded Klich, while Anwar El Ghazi was sent off for an altercation with Patrick Bamford.
But the drama was not over.
Leeds were 15 minutes away from taking the promotion race to the final day, albeit mathematically due to a vastly inferior goal difference, but elected to allow Villa’s Albert Adomah to run through unopposed and equalise – with the exception of Pontus Jansson, who aimed a little kick at the forward as he ran through before being disciplined by his team-mates.
The match finished 1-1, confirming Sheffield United’s promotion to the Premier League and pushing Leeds and Villa into the play-offs.
“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.”
“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.”