Leeds United fans have been left rueing one crucial decision in their defeat at Millwall on Saturday after the referee decided to send off Gaetano Berardi in the 14th minute.
Managerless Millwall converted the resulting penalty to take the lead before doubling their advantage on the stroke of half time, as Tom Bradshaw fired home a smart finish after good build-up play between Ben Thompson and Shane Ferguson, with the 28-year-old teeing up the striker with a deft backheel assist.
Straight after the break, Leeds pulled one back when Ezgjan Alioski tapped in a Jack Harrison cross, but Marcelo Bielsa’s side could not find an equaliser despite dominating with 71.3% possession in the second half, even with one less player than their opposition.
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Several of the Whites’ fanbase took to Twitter to blast the referee for his role in the defeat.
One supporter believed there had to be an anti-Leeds agenda, claiming it is ‘100% cheating’, while another fan said the man in the middle should be demoted as he’s seen better officiating in an Under-9s league.
A further member of the Elland Road faithful called out the Football League for being ‘corrupt’ with one more describing the referee’s performance as ‘shocking.’
Here’s the best of the reaction:
Can anyone explain that red card?
The anti-Leeds bias used to be more subtle but now it's simply 100% cheating from refs.
1. Very doubtful there was contact.
2. IF there was contact, it was totally accidental.
3. At least 1 man covering, if not 2.
4. Double jeopardy#lufc
— Colin Fulton (@FultonColin) October 5, 2019
Berardi never touched the player who dramatically fell to the floor this red card should be appealed if that's possible ref is a disgrace#lufc
— madmatthew?? (@TwistedMc842) October 5, 2019
That ref should be demoted. I've seen better decisions on a sat morning with my lads U9's! Questionable pen never mind a red! #lufc
— Gav Anderson (@gavanderson88) October 5, 2019
Ref cost us there #lufc
— Tom?? (@Tkmcnamara) October 5, 2019
We all know the standard of refereeing in this league is shocking
We’ve come to accept that some decisions go for you some go against
But having a ref that doesn’t even know the rules is actually embarrassing ??♂️ #LUFC
— Nathan (@1NTKNM1) October 5, 2019
A brave performance by @LUFC but once again a mistake from the officials cost us that game. Not only did they wrongly award a penalty but also sent Berradi off. @EFL are an absolute joke. Will the ref be held accountable for his actions? #lufc #Corrupt ?
— Chris Delaney (@ChrisGoEco) October 5, 2019
That ref seriously needs investigating. Disgrace. Can’t be that biased by accident. #lufc
— Paul McGrath (@WesterosBatman) October 5, 2019
@WYSdaily if we had a fair Ref today we would of won that game. I’m sick to death of seeing Ref’s giving such bad decisions like we witnessed today & this isn’t the first time with this Ref. I’m all for giving Ref’s respect but that display was shocking!! #lufc
— Adam Ross (@rossi_on) October 5, 2019