Swiss full-back Gaetano Berardi’s 14th-minute red card was the main talking point as United fell to a somewhat disappointing 2-1 defeat at Millwall at the weekend.
The incident early in the first period – which looks to be a very poor decision after seeing video footage – made Leeds’ task an uphill one and the home side duly raced into a 2 goal half-time lead, courtesy of strikes from Jed Wallace (pen) and Tom Bradshaw.
Though Bielsa’s side replied immediately after the restart through Egzijan Alioski, they were unable to get on level terms and departed South East London empty-handed.
Bielsa and his players were left ruing what might have been had it not been for the clear error by the officials in sending off Berardi and awarding the resulting penalty converted by Wallace.
After the Swiss defender, playing in central defence in the absence of Liam Cooper, made a misjudgement, Millwall striker Bradshaw got the better of him, but looked to throw himself to the floor once in the penalty box.
The officials, however, saw things differently as United suffered the double punishment of facing a penalty and being reduced to ten men.
Leeds fans were not impressed, and feel they tend to get a rough deal from decisions – both on the pitch and off it. As they took to Twitter, here’s what was said:
2-0 down at HT after what appears a terrible decision to award a penalty & red card against Berardi. Hard to decipher the match after that tbf as it’s skewed the game massively. However, it’s poor defending for 2nd goal #lufc
— Adam Pope (@apopey) October 5, 2019
James Linington has had an absolute mare today. Sort it out @EFL. Some truly terrible decisions today. Will Berardi's red card be rescinded after a clear dive from Bradshaw? Will Bradshaw be punished for diving? So many questions. #lufc
— Jack Calow (@JackCalow31) October 5, 2019
What makes this decision even worse is the positioning of the ref!!
1. A dive
2. Berardi didn’t touch him
3. Phillips was the last man
— Barney © (@BarneyStuart21) October 6, 2019
THIS IS THE BERARDI RED CARD.
Yes, a red card. One of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen.pic.twitter.com/SZj2Na4co3
— Tom Carnduff (@TomC_22) October 5, 2019
Many United fans were left aghast at the standard of officiating, while calling the Berardi decision “one of the worst they’d ever seen.”
Red card for Berardi and penalty given… Ref has broken the rules. It's a red OR a penalty, can't give both.
250k fine for the FA for breaking rules and not training their staff adequately, surely. ???? #lufc
— Mark (@MarkLeedsFoster) October 5, 2019
I am quite sure the red card will be recinded, and the club will receive a full apology from the ref and his governing body. I also believe Corbyn will marry Rachel Riley this year.
— Mark Sells (@MarkSells11) October 5, 2019
. @SkyBet @RequestABet please can I get odds on a double: Leeds appeal against Berardi red card being rejected AND no charges against Millwall player Bradshaw for successful deception of a match official?
— George Harker (@RatherLargeOne) October 7, 2019
Never nice to lose because of cheating but it will happen on occasion. The lads fought very hard so can’t really fault them. Berardi red card should be rescinded but nothing surprises me anymore. Not much else to say. #lufc
— Tommy (@tommy_lufc) October 5, 2019
Many United fans also joked how the Football Association are unlikely to see things their way after previous decisions made by the governing body have left them disappointed.