'El loco' Bielsa is winning praise in England, as his colourful season in the Championship continues.
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa instructed his team to allow an opponent to score an uncontested goal amid extraordinary scenes in a key second-tier match in England on Sunday. However, the Argentine coach was far from serene, after finding himself caught in the middle of a heated argument that at one point looked like it might come to blows.
The Yorkshire club scored the opening goal against Aston Villa in its League Championship game while Villa had a man down injured. Leeds' decision to not kick the ball out of play before the goal — to allow treatment for the player — sparked a series of on-field melees, during which Villa had Anwar El Ghazi sent off for violent conduct, bringing the visiting club's record 10-game winning streak came to an end.
Bielsa then told his players to let Villa equalise, leading to the bizarre sight of Albert Adomah running from halfway through the Leeds team and scoring into an empty net. Only defender Pontus Jansson tried to stop Adomah, attempting a swipe at the ball but missing it.
"What happened, happened. And we behaved as we behaved," Bielsa said. "That's all I can say about something which is very clear."
Asked if he had instructed his players to allow Villa's equaliser in the interests of fair play or simply to help restore order, Bielsa said: "I don't understand the difference. I don't see any difference ... You make a difference between fair play and the circumstances of the game, but for me it's the same.
"English football is known around the world for its noble features of how we play."
The veteran manager's understanding of fair play was called into question earlier this season by Derby boss Frank Lampard – a former Chelsea and England team-mate of Terry – after it emerged Bielsa had been sending scouts to 'spy' on rival clubs' training sessions.
Leeds could now face Villa again in the play-offs, when Bielsa's men will have to rouse themselves from the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion.
Sheffield United had already realistically secured their spot back in the top-flight with a 2-0 win over Ipswich on Saturday thanks to their much superior goal difference.