Search icon


28th Apr 2019

Marcelo Bielsa says English football is known for sportsmanship after mass brawl in Aston Villa clash

Reuben Pinder

He instructed his team to gift Villa a goal

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa was in no doubt that his team did the right thing in allowing Aston Villa to walk the ball into the net after scoring a controversial goal this afternoon.

A mass brawl broke out on the pitch after Mateusz Klich scored for the home side while Jonathan Kodjia was down injured, with Villa players expecting Leeds to put the ball out of play as they had done earlier in the game.

Amid the chaos, Amwar El Ghazi was sent off after Patrick Bamford dropped to the ground, John Terry and Marcelo Bielsa squared up to each other and once the situation had calmed down a bit, Bielsa instructed his players to let Villa equalise out of sportsmanship.

Speaking after the game with the help of his translator, Bielsa said English football is known for sportsmanship and showed no regret over his decision to allow his opposition back into the game.

“We just gave the goal back,” he said.

“The facts are what everyone saw and we express our interpretation of the facts by doing what we did.

“English football is well known for sportsmanship so I don’t need to comment on this kind of thing that is common in England.”

He also said his players are ready for the play-offs after a gruelling season, most of which they spent in the automatic promotion places.

“I think so, yes. Today’s events against the most in-form team in the league at the moment puts us close to what our possibilities are.”

Bielsa’s sportsmanship got a mixed response on Twitter, with some claiming he should not have felt obliged to give Villa a goal.