Joleon Lescott claims Leeds skipper Liam Cooper ‘knew what he was doing’ and insists he deserved to be sent on Gabriel Jesus for a high challenge, while ex-defender Rio Ferdinand admits it was a ‘terrible tackle’ .
- Leeds captain Liam Cooper was sent off for a high tackle away from Man City
- The center-back challenged Gabriel Jesus after initially getting the ball
- Andre Marriner was booked, but VAR helped the referee change his mind
- Joleon Lescott and Rio Ferdinand agreed that Cooper should have been expelled
Rio Ferdinand and Joleon Lescott insisted that Andre Marriner and VAR make the ‘right decision’ to send Leeds captain Liam Cooper to Manchester City for a major challenge against Gabriel Jesus.
With Marcelo Bielsa’s men ahead 1-0 against the Premier League leaders minutes before halftime, Cooper swept the ball away from Jesus, but caught the Brazilian striker high on the knee in his sequel.
Referee Marriner initially awarded a foul to City and a yellow card to Cooper, but increased the penalty to a broadcast after consulting the VAR monitor, a decision that former City defender Lescott agreed to.
Joleon Lescott says Andre Marriner was right to send Liam Cooper to Manchester City
Cooper caught Gabriel Jesus high on the knee after 42 minutes, despite initially getting the ball
“For me, he (Cooper) was in control and he knew what he was doing,” Lescott told BT Sport at half time.
“He’s got a piece of the ball, but you don’t have to deal with him like that. It’s a bad tackle and the right decision. ‘
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who cast a spell in Leeds between 2000 and 2002, added: ‘When you get up like this, that’s (a red card) the letter of the law.
Cooper was initially shown a yellow card, but VAR overturned the red card decision
BT Sport pundits Joleon Lescott and Rio Ferdinand agreed that Cooper deserved the red card
“If you put it in slow motion, it looks awful, it’s a bad tackle.”
According to BT, Cooper shouted that he got the ball as he dashed through the tunnel – while Leeds boss Bielsa looked in frustration at Marriner admitting the foul in the first place.
Leeds led against Pep Guardiola’s side thanks to Stuart Dallas’s fine attack from the edge of the penalty area in 42 minutes.
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa (left) seemed furious that a foul was initially charged
Bielsa then took off star striker Patrick Bamford for replacement center-back Pascal Struijk to make up for Cooper’s absence for the second half.
Ferran Torres got the hosts back in by scoring in the 76th minute before Dallas struck again to death to secure an unlikely win and end a dream day for himself.
Despite the defeat, City remains 14 points above United, which will play one of their two matches in City on Sunday when they travel to Tottenham.
The last gasp winner Stuart Dallas took a remarkable victory for 10-man Leeds at leaders City