Big Sam: My view on Villa gift goal

By Graham Hill

EX-ENGLAND boss Sam Allardyce has said Marcelo Bielsa was wrong to gift Villa a goal at Leeds on Sunday.

And he says the Argentinian might not have been so gracious had Leeds needed the points for promotion.

Big Sam says it is down to the referee to decided whether the ball should be kicked out of play when a player is injured.

Leeds were in two minds when Jonathan Kodjia went down during the explosive Elland Road clash.

Villa thought Leeds were about to kick the ball out of play – but instead they went on to score when Dean Smith’s side had effectively stopped playing.

Smith admitted after the game that he asked Bielsa for a goal to even things up – and the Leeds boss agreed.

But Allardyce says Leeds did nothing wrong. He says it was not their job to decide if Kodjia had a genuine injury and both sides should have played to the whistle with ref Stuart Attwell taking responsibility for the situation.

As it was, Bielsa was hailed for his sportsmanship in defusing the situation.
The Leeds boss knows he may have to face Villa in the Play-off final and presumably did not want an accusation of gamesmanship hanging over the club.

Bielsa has already been accused of cheating this season when one of his employees was caught spying on a Derby County training session.

Allardyce, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show on Talksport, was adamant the Villa goal should not have happened as it did.

Asked if he would have given Villa the chance to walk the ball into the net, 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 Bielsa have done it if he needed the points for promotion?”

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