Any supporters of Aston Villa who made the journey to Elland Road on Sunday may want to get out of town as quickly as they can.
A tightly-contested match against Leeds United quickly devolved into chaos down the stretch with LUFC scoring a controversial goal, then baiting Villa into a red card before allowing AVFC to net an unchallenged equalizer in the spirit of sportsmanship — which not all United players supported.
The resulting 1-1 draw secured a promotion for Sheffield United and likely setup a playoff rematch between Villa and Leeds.
Leeds takes the lead
The fracas began in the 72nd minute when Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia fell to the turf at midfield with a clear injury. Instead of putting the ball out of play, Leeds continued to attack, setting up an easy goal for Mateusz Klich as their opponents went ballistic.
The most controversial goal of the season, bar NONE! 😲
Leeds United score whilst Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia is down injured ￼🤕
A mass brawl kicks off! 👊
Anwar El Ghazi gets sent off 🔴 pic.twitter.com/BHbLhr2uGb
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) April 28, 2019
In the middle of the skirmish, Patrick Bamford fooled the refs into thinking he had been knocked down, tricking them into handing out a red card to Anwar El Ghazi.
— Ben Turner (@benturrrner) April 28, 2019
LUFC responds with disgruntled sportsmanship
When the two sides were ready to play on, LUFC boss Marcelo Bielsa came back with a stunning decision, directing his team not to defend the kickoff and to concede the equalizer to Villa.
Ten of the 11 players on United listened to their coach. Pontus Jansson, however, wasn’t ready to let the lead go without a fight and put forth a futile defensive effort while the rest of his teammates obeyed Bielsa’s directive.
Astonishing sight: Leeds United score controversial goal when Aston Villa stop play due to player injury. In response, Leeds manager Bielsa orders his team to stand still and allow Villa to run through and score unchallenged from subsequent kick off pic.twitter.com/Ul0zObnYlV
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) April 28, 2019
The 77th minute tally to Albert Adomah clinched a promotion for Sheffield United, leaving Leeds in a playoff battle as it works on a return to the EPL. Making matters more interesting is the fact that a rematch with AVFC could be in the works.
After the events that ended Sunday’s match, there’s no question that will be a must-see competition should the two sides meet again.
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