Sam Allardyce has said that he wouldn’t have given the goal back to Aston Villa in the Championship clash on Sunday.
In crazy scenes, Leeds scored in the second-half with an Aston Villa player injured. That led to a brawl on the pitch before Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa ordered his side to let Villa walk through them to equalise.
Talking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show (talkSPORT, Tuesday, 6am), Allardyce said it was up to the referee to stop the game and that players could use it to break the game up by feigning injury otherwise.
Asked if he would have given Aston Villa the goal Allardyce said, “I wouldn’t have no, because it’s the referee’s responsibility to stop the game and the referee’s responsibility to assess the injury to the player and to decide whether to stop the game.
“It used to be used as a tactic to break the game up and the player wouldn’t be injured. That’s why a memo went round saying it was up to the referee.
“Just because they scored doesn’t mean that Leeds did anything wrong. Would he [Bielsa] have done it if he needed the points for promotion?”
Allardyce makes a very good point here that most people have overlooked. If the ball is kicked out every time someone goes down injured then the game would be ruined. It could also easily be used to break the game up if a team needs a goal late on. He did go on to say that if it was obvious the player was seriously injured, then they should kick the ball out of play, but it’s tough to make those judgment calls. That’s why the referee should be left to make the decision and the players should play to the whistle – as Leeds did in that crazy game on Sunday. The Villa players were angry for two reasons – firstly, that they put the ball out when a Leeds player was injured earlier, and secondly, that Tyler Roberts looked like he’d stopped before putting the through ball in to Matuesz Klich to score. That doesn’t negate their responsibility to play to the whistle. Allardyce said he wouldn’t have given the goal but in a game that was effectively a dead-rubber, we think it was a clever decision that gives Leeds the moral high ground going into the play-offs.