Where can I start with this one? Leeds United vs Aston Villa on Sunday was one of the most entertaining, yet controversial games I have ever witnessed. It had everything. Goals, red cards, yellow cards and even a 15+ man brawl including both sets of team staff. The referee made some decisions on that day that have been talking points for the fans but alas, justice has prevailed.
The first of these incidents arised from the Leeds goal. Yes, we know, no rules were broken when Mateusz Klich put the ball in the back of the net. The sportsmanship and morality behind the opener were very questionable, however.
Jonathan Kodjia was down in the centre circle with an injury. Leeds player Tyler Roberts looked as though he has stopped play and was about to kick the ball out of play. So the rest of the playing field appeared to do the same (Just as Conor Hourihane did moments before).
Roberts then played a ball straight down the line to Klich who was in an offside position by the way. He then ran on to score. A mass brawl that followed only added fuel to the fire.
Villa players were clearly furies with the decision the two Leeds players mentioned above had taken. During the mele, Patrick Bamford, a player linked with Villa in the past, appeared to put Hourihane in a headlock and then push him to the ground.
A few seconds later Bamford decided to take a dive himself, one that Tom Daley would be proud of. The referee didn’t seem to see much and consulted his linesman before giving Anwar El Ghazi his marching orders. Bookings to both Hourihane and Bamford also followed for the part they played in the brawl.
The drama didn’t end there. Video’s emerged on social media of Hourihane appearing to punch Klich in the stomach after the game. Although the video wasnt completely clear.
A three-person panel at the EFL decided no further action was required against Hourihane. The decision has left Leeds fans feeling hard done by and maybe Hourihane may consider himself a tad lucky.
The red card incident was also viewed by the same panel and they rightly decided to rescind the three-match ban given to El Ghazi. Dean Smith stated in his post-match interview that he had no doubt that this would be the outcome. Bamford shamed himself and probably Leeds with his pitiful dive.
Bamford has shot himself and Leeds in the foot, however. He has been charged with ‘successful deception of a match official‘ and looks like he will get a two-match ban for his troubles. Justice well served.