Premier League

Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa praised for sportsmanship, allows Aston Villa to score unopposed


Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa took the extraordinary step of instructing his team to allow Aston Villa to score an uncontested goal in Sunday's Championship clash, despite needing a win to secure automatic promotion.


However, during the chaos, the enigmatic Argentine coach told his players to let Villa equalise, leading to the bizarre sight of Albert Adomah running from halfway through the Leeds team and scoring into an empty net, amidst an increasing cacophony of boos from the parochial home support.


To add to the drama, Leeds needed to win to keep its hopes of securing automatic promotion alive, but the match finished 1-1.


Bielsa's side will now attempt to negotiate the playoffs, with Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United joining Norwich in gaining automatic promotion.


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.


Kicking the ball out when a player is injured is one of the unwritten rules in football and is regarded as a sporting gesture, although recently the onus has been placed on the referee to only intervene and stop play in the event of a head injury.






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