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Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa mentioned in Serie A row after 2019 gesture

In 2019, Marcelo Bielsa was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award after instructing his Leeds United players to let Aston Villa score an uncontested goal in a Championship clash between the pair at Elland Road.

The decision came after Mateusz Klich had put Leeds in front with a contentious goal. The Whites had played on while Jonathan Kodjia was injured despite Villa putting the ball out for Adam Forshaw slightly earlier.

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Leeds technically could still seal automatic-promotion at the time. But realistically, they were only battling for some momentum heading into the play-offs by that stage.

Nevertheless, it was a remarkable gesture from Bielsa.

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And it appears that that moment was referenced during a row following a Serie A game this weekend.

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It involved Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri.

The reason? Well, the 3-1 win for the Biancocelesti was overshadowed by some controversy for Lazio’s second goal, scored by Felipe Anderson.

The home side played on despite Federico Dimarco staying down with an injury.

The Nerazzurri had initially played on themselves, perhaps not realising that the 23-year-old was on the floor. But then Lazio won the ball back and ran right past him before Anderson scored.

‘Do you remember Bielsa?’: Leeds boss referenced in Serie A row

And according to Gazzetta dello Sport, via Goal, Handanovic referenced Bielsa’s actions in the row with Sarri in the tunnel after the game.

He reportedly said: “You could have done like Bielsa, do you remember Bielsa?”

The comment came after Sarri had asked what more he could have done.

Of course, Bielsa is widely considered one of the most influential figures in football management.

But it appears that it is not just his coaching methods that continue to have an impact on world football.

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