Football: Leeds United allow Aston Villa to score uncontested goal in controversial match

Leeds United have missed out on automatic promotion to the Premier League, as manger Marcelo Bielsa insisted fairplay was more important in a crazy match against Aston Villa.

A 1-1 draw meant Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United secured promotion, but Bielsa will draw praise for his actions, after Mateusz Klich put the Whites in front in hugely controversial circumstances.   

The home side played on, as Villa's Jonathan Kodjia lay injured and Klich turned the ball in.

After a furious Villa protest and a mass melee that included a red card for Villa defender Anwar El Ghazi, the visitors were allowed to walk in an equaliser and Albert Adomah obliged.   

Leeds defender Pontus Jansson almost intervened to stop Adomah scoring, as he appeared to disagree with his boss's decision.   

The draw halted Villa's 10-game-winning run and the sides could yet meet again in next month's playoff final.   

Villa served early warning of their excellent current form, with Andre Gray and Kodjia both heading narrowly off-target.   

Leeds should have taken a ninth-minute lead, when Luke Ayling's cross found its way to Jack Harrison in the penalty area and the winger mishit his shot from six yards.   

Ahmed Elmohamady put in a timely block to deny Harrison at the far post soon after, as Leeds began to hit their stride.   

Adam Forshaw lashed a shot from the edge of the area over the crossbar, but Villa responded through John McGinn's flicked header, which was well saved by Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.   

Referee Stuart Attwell incensed the home crowd and the Leeds bench with several controversial decisions, with skipper Liam Cooper and later Bielsa both booked.   

Stuart Dallas crashed a low shot wide, after another spell of concerted Leeds pressure before the break, but the first half ended goal-less.   

Leeds picked up where they left off in the second period, after Gaetano Berardi and Tyler Roberts replaced injured defender Dallas and Harrison.   

Forshaw fired centimeters wide, while Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was wayward with a free-kick, before Kodjia spurned a golden chance for Villa, when he blazed over from inside the box.   

Pablo Hernandez went close, trying his luck from 25 yards, but both sides lacked composure with the goal in sight.

The game's key talking point then occurred, with El Ghazi's red card looking extremely harsh, as replays suggested his elbow barely made contact with Leeds' Patrick Bamford.

Leeds were unlucky not to snatch a winner in the closing stages, as substitute Roberts' shot was blocked, before Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer brilliantly saved from Hernandez's shot.   

AAP

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