The Chalkboard: Dean Smith’s Andre Green substitution proves costly

It may have been easily forgotten that a game of football did actually take place at Elland Road on Sunday. It was a match overshadowed by a bizarre period of events that saw Marcelo Bielsa tell his players to let Aston Villa score as the game eventually finished 1-1.

The scenes that were witnessed was something no one will have seen before but in amongst that, Dean Smith made a big tactical blunder that cost his side a chance of securing three points.

On 69 minutes, Andre Green was substituted, but it was a switch that came at the wrong time and arguably, proved costly for the Villans.

On the chalkboard

Green made a promising impact off the bench against Millwall a fortnight ago and as a result, was brought into the starting XI against Leeds on Sunday.

He was preferred to Albert Adomah on the right, a player who was the fortunate beneficiary of Leeds letting their opposition score.

But before that, Green had put in a lively display and constantly had the beating of Stuart Dallas down the right-hand side. He proved himself to be a menace by completing three dribbles.

The decision to substitute him, therefore, was questionable. Had he stayed on the pitch then you can make a case for Villa going onto win the game. But the mass brawl that played out and war of words between the opposing managers had a lot to do with the game ending in a draw too.

Anwar El Ghazi, who has been improving in recent weeks, was sent off during the scuffle. Replays showed he clearly did nothing, but had he been the one withdrawn for Adomah instead, then perhaps they’d have finished the game with 11 men as well.

Green was a constant threat and at a point where the game was open, he could have been the spark Villa needed to extend their winning run. Instead, they were left to settle for a point.