Aston Villa's Director of Football Jesus Garcia Pitarch has revealed to AS that he personally thanked Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa for his sportsmanship after Sunday's chaotic clash at Elland Road.
Bielsa has been lauded for instructing his Leeds players to let Aston Villa equalise after Mateusz Klich's controversial opener.
Klich sparked a lengthy melee between both teams for opening the scoring after the Villa players had stopped playing due to an injury to Jonathan Kodjia.
From the kickoff, Albert Adomah scored an uncontested goal despite attempts from Leeds' Pontus Jansson to prevent it, and Pitarch revealed that he visited the Argentine directly after the game to thank him.
"The fans, including the Leeds fans, understood it as something normal and applauded it [Bielsa's decision]," the Aston Villa director told Spanish publication AS.
"In England they can kill you in a divided ball, but putting the ball out is expected, because it's understood that the [injured] player is not involved. After the game I went down to the dressing room to talk to Bielsa and congratulate him personally."
There was nothing major at stake for either side on Sunday. The two dropped points officially ended Leeds' chances of automatic promotion, but realistically that dream ended over the Easter weekend, while Villa had already confirmed their playoff spot.
If Bielsa's side lose away to relegated Ipswich Town on Sunday and West Brom win at Derby County then there will likely be another two games between the Whites and Villa in the playoff semi-final this month.
Have something to tell us about this article?