Luis Sinisterra is SENT OFF after daft second yellow card as Leeds maintain unbeaten home record


Leeds 0-0 Aston Villa: Hosts cling on for a point after Luis Sinisterra was SENT OFF for two daft yellow cards as both teams remain in the bottom half

  • Leeds and Aston Villa played out a largely uneventful 1-1 draw at Elland Road 
  • The first half was punctuated by a series of fouls drawing out four yellow cards 
  • Neither side was able to create many quality clear cut chances in the first period 
  • Luis Sinisterra was then shown a second yellow three minutes after the restart 
  • Villa had several opportunities but could not find a way past Illan Meslier in goal
  • Leeds maintain their unbeaten start at home as Villa get a first point on the road 

It was perhaps best that Leeds boss Jesse Marsch watched this irritable and ill-tempered stalemate from the press box. Had the adrenalised American been on the touchline, he probably would have landed another ban.

Come the end, the home fans were celebrating decisions in their favour as if they had scored a goal, such was their annoyance with referee Stuart Attwell.

He had sent off winger Luis Sinisterra early in the second half – justifiably so, it must be said – and no crowd does perceived injustice quite like a partisan Elland Road. ‘You’re not fit to referee’ they chorused on full-time.

Luis Sinisterra picked up a second yellow card after refusing to move back after a free kick 

The game was fiercely contested, with Stuart Atwell showing six players a yellow card

The game was fiercely contested, with Stuart Atwell showing six players a yellow card

With Jesse Marsch suspended from touchline duties Rene Muric manned the dugout

With Jesse Marsch suspended from touchline duties Rene Muric manned the dugout 

In defence of Attwell, the eight cards shown were fair. Sinisterra’s second yellow for blocking a quick free-kick was stupid and it may have cost his team two points. That they fought their way to a draw having played all but three minutes of the second half with 10 men is worthy of great credit.

Those numbers do not reflect so well on Villa and their manager Steven Gerrard, who emerged with his first away point of the season but was not in the mood to celebrate.

He thumped at fresh air with his first and then booted a water bottle with a connection far cleaner than that of his striker Ollie Watkins, who had just missed a 90th-minute chance when firing at goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Villa failed to make their man advantage count late in the game as Leeds clung on to a point

Villa failed to make their man advantage count late in the game as Leeds clung on to a point

Steven Gerrard's side secured just their first point on the road against the ten men of Leeds

Steven Gerrard’s side secured just their first point on the road against the ten men of Leeds

The closest they came that apart was a Philippe Coutinho volley which rebounded off the post before Watkins followed up to stab wide.

MATCH FACTS 

LEEDS (4-2-3-1): Meslier, Kristensen (Ayling 69′), Koch, Cooper, Struijk; Adams, Roca (Firpo 58′); Harrison (Klich 79′), Aaronson (Sommerville 79′), Sinisterra (Sent Off 48′); Rodrigo (Bamford 69′)

Subs: Klaesson, Llorente, Gnonto, Greenwood,

Booked: Sinisterra 25′, Roca 35′, Rodrigo 39′, Koch 83′

Sent off: Sinisterra 48′  

Manager: Jesse Marsch

ASTON VILLA (4-3-3): Martínez; Young, Konsa, Mings, Augustinsson (Bednarek 45′); J Ramsey (Ings 83′), Douglas Luiz, McGinn; Bailey (Buendia 64′), Watkins, Coutinho

Subs: Sanson, Nakamba, Olsen, Dendoncker, Archer, Bogarde

Booked: Augustinsson 6′, Bailey 63′

Manager: Steven Gerrard 

Referee: Stuart Atwell 

 

 

But Villa’s strategy to time-waste from the first whistle felt bizarre. This was the all white of Leeds United they were playing, not Real Madrid. Surely, a team with the attacking pedigree of Coutinho, John McGinn and Watkins should show a little more faith in their ability to go out and win a game?

Saying that, Coutinho looks not so much a pale imitation as an anaemic replica of the player who cost Barcelona £142million in 2018. Gerrard has called the Brazilian his ‘little magician’. He has certainly performed a disappearing act this season. No goals, no assists.

There was a glimpse of his former self with one mazy run on 18 minutes. But the finish – weak and into Meslier’s grateful arms – was very much modern-day Coutinho.

Home playmaker Brenden Aaronson was not faring much better. The American has been busy and inventive since arriving from Red Salzburg in the summer but he looked lightweight here. Twice he stayed down clutching his leg after hefty first-half challenges – one legal, one not – and Villa’s roughhouse tactic appeared to rob the 21-year-old of his usual bounce.

But for all of Villa’s efforts in disrupting the game and eating up the clock, it was they who had the better of the chances come half-time. Meslier saved twice from Watkins and Bailey, although both shots were directed straight at the Frenchman.

Leeds had a couple of moments of promise but, each time Sinisterra fizzed balls through the goalmouth, there were no takers. Patrick Bamford must have been wishing he was on the pitch instead of the bench and, by the time he was introduced, Sinisterra was off.

But Bamford’s arrival gave Leeds an outlet and focus previously lacking and he came close to laying on a winner for fellow substitute Mat Klich during injury-time but McGinn recovered to block inside the six-yard area.

They say there should be no fans in the press box, but had that gone in then Marsch would have been forgiven his celebration after a fraught afternoon of high emotion.

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