Pontus Jansson has explained why he ignored the command from Marcelo Bielsa to let Aston Villa score in the crazy Championship game on Sunday.
All hell broke loose after Leeds scored when an Aston Villa player was down injured. Bielsa gave the command several times from the touchline to let the Aston Villa team through to score, and every Leeds player stood still from kick-off apart from Jansson.
He attempted to tackle Albert Adomah but fortunately (or unfortunately?) he mistimed his tackle and the Villa man scored.
Talking at the end of year awards on Sunday night, Jansson was asked about the incident and he said that he’d worked hard for his clean sheet.
“I’m defender, I want to have a clean sheet. I worked hard for 90 minutes to keep a clean sheet and to let another team score, for me that’s hard.”
His remarks got a round of applause from the audience at the Leeds event.
— JPens (@Jamesrpenny) April 28, 2019
You’ve got to love Jansson for this. It was hard to watch the events unfold and not feel any sympathy for him and the defender wears his heart on his sleeve. However, it was perhaps lucky for him that he mistimed his tackle and didn’t get the kick the ball out of play as that would have enflamed the situation even further. As it is, he’s unlikely to face any internal discipline. The sight of Gaetano Berardi admonishing him afterwards was a sign of how his teammates viewed what he’d done and sometimes you’ve just got to put your personal feelings to one side and go with the flow. This won’t have done his reputation with the Leeds fans any harm at all though. They love him and you can see why. They’ll likely love him even more after this, with plenty of Leeds fans thinking the same way as him during the game. Ultimately though, letting Aston Villa score let Leeds leave on the moral high ground, although if they meet in the play-offs it could be very interesting indeed.