Frank Lampard has told Sky Sports that Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa was right to give Aston Villa a goal back during Sunday’s feisty encounter at Elland Road.
Leeds scored through midfielder Matuesz Klich despite Jonathan Kodjia going down with an injury. Tyler Roberts played the ball through to Klich, although he looked as though he was going to kick it out of play.
Tempers blew over, as Anwar El Ghazi was sent off. Patrick Bamford and Conor Hourihane also received yellow cards, before Bielsa ordered his team to allow Albert Adomah to score – even if Pontus Jansson tried to stop him.
Derby County boss Lampard defended Bielsa – despite his former teammate John Terry visibly having a foul-mouthed rant with the Argentine manager. He applauded Bielsa, despite having history regarding Spygate.
“I thought it was the right thing to do, completely right,” Lampard said. “Now the rule is quite clear – you should carry on until the ball has gone out – but sometimes it is the players.
“In that moment, both of the players slowed down. We have seen it on occasion in the past. I remember at Arsenal a few years ago, in a cup game and they scored from a throw in they didn’t give back, so it happens occasionally.”
Bielsa has shown maturity and footballing professionalism to do what he did. It almost makes up for what happened throughout Spygate.
In terms of Leeds needing to regain their momentum with the play-offs looming, they did that even without winning. Bielsa’s side had 27 shots, more than double Villa, and dominated possession with 69 per cent.
They stopped Villa’s winning run of 10 matches, and will have sent a statement of intent out to the rest of the play-off sides.