COMMENT By Graham Hill
PATRICK BAMFORD can have few, if any, complaints about being charged with ‘simulation’ following Sunday’s Battle of Elland Road.
News of Anwar El Ghazi’s red card being rescinded broke on Tuesday afternoon, meaning the Villa winger, along with boss Dean Smith, can focus on the play-offs.
As for Bamford, what was he thinking? If it was ‘I’ll get one of Villa’s players sent off and wreck their play-off chances’, he almost got it right.
The fact that his baby giraffe act was caught on TV and replayed endlessly on social media, was something he did not bargain for.
When it is as obvious as that, then there is only one outcome.
The FA clearly did not think there was enough in Conor Hourihane’s supposed punch on Mateusz Klich following Leeds’ controversial goal.
But the authorities recognised the seriousness of that crazy five minutes which resulted in Marcelo Bielsa ‘gifting’ a goal to Villa.
Both sides have been charged with failing to control their players which is likely to see fines dished out. They have been given until 6pm on Friday to respond.
The big loser here is Bamford who is set to miss at least one play-off game if he is handed a two-match ban.
Bamford has been charged with “successful deception of a match official” – and he will be suitably embarrased with what he tried to get away with.
For a game with so little – comparatively – riding on it, with both clubs’ fates effectively sealed before the game, there was one heck of a lot of ill-feeliing.
And if they end up meeting in the final, do not expect a boring game there either. This saga could run and run after what happened on Sunday. Yes, Bielsa’s actions went some way to calming things down. But it is diffcult to imagine a few feuds from that game will boil up again if the teams are going head to head for a place in the Premier League.