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28th Apr 2019

Chris Wilder praises Marcelo Bielsa and criticises Patrick Bamford after controversial match at Elland Road

Wayne Farry

chris wilder

It was an interesting day in the Championship

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has praised Leeds United boss after the Argentinian coach allowed Aston Villa to equalise during a controversial Championship match at Elland Road on Sunday.

The Blades clinched promotion to the Premier League as a result of Leeds’ 1-1 draw at home to Villa, and Wilder was quick to commend Bielsa for his display of sportsmanship during the match.

The controversy at Elland Road came about after Villa midfielder Jonathan Kodjia went down injured, at which point Leeds continued to play on and grabbed a goal courtesy of Mateusz Klich’s curled effort into the bottom corner.

This upset the visitors, who expected their hosts to put the ball out of play for their injured player. In the ensuing minutes of chaos, Anwar El Ghazi was sent off for what the referee perceived to be an elbow on Patrick Bamford, whose response suggested exactly that.

To rectify the situation, Bielsa went against the wishes of his furious defender Pontus Jansson and allowed Villa to equalise.

Speaking to the BBC after the game, Wilder said that Bielsa deserves “full respect” for what he did.

“I’ve got to say full respect to Marcelo Bielsa in terms of the way he handled today. I think it was right, correct and proper,” said Wilder.

“Watching the game today, absolutely 100 per cent credit to Marcelo Bielsa.

“Not to back Patrick Bamford obviously, but to the manager I think he comes out with with an enormous amount of credit and shouldn’t take any criticism whatsoever.”