Marcelo Bielsa addressed his side’s controversial equalising goal against Nottingham Forest in his press conference after the game, but what did his comments really mean?
“From where I was I didn’t see a handball, I imagine that the referee didn’t see it either. If it was an illegitimate goal then I wouldn’t be satisfied that they accepted the goal…”
“… If we talk about what is legal and what is illegal we also have to talk about the intentions of the acts. To say that a player cheated we need to be more certain about things. I never think that a violation of the rules is something that we should praise, but I never judge in such manner the behaviour of a player. I haven’t seen the images.
“If a player goes towards the ball to score a goal and it doesn’t arrive and he sees that he’s going to miss the goal. If he puts the hand out instinctively then it’s cheating.”
Whilst he didn’t offer any opinion over whether he thought Kemar Roofe’s goal to make the score 1-1 was a handball or not, Bielsa made it clear that if it was then he would not have wanted to secure a point in that manner.
The Argentine boss didn’t criticise his team in the press conference, but he did make known his frustrations with the chances that they missed in either half against Forest. It’s clear that Leeds have got themselves an old-school manager though who would not accept any attempt to con the referee into making a decision, and if Kemar Roofe’s goal was intentional then he can expect a serious talking to from his boss.
Despite this, it would seem that Bielsa has been taking tips from Arsene Wenger for his responses to controversy surrounding his side. Whilst he made his position clear on any cheating, the Leeds boss also distanced himself from talking about the goal specifically.
Clearly, the eccentric Argentine has learnt quickly about what to comment on and what not to in order to stay out of trouble with the EFL, and Leeds fans should be thankful that he took a backseat on this issue.