By George Overhill

13th May, 2022 | 5:10pm

Keith Hackett blames Leeds United defeat to Chelsea on Daniel James for 'lack of self control'

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…

Leeds United forward Daniel James was rightly sent off against Chelsea and he hurt his own team’s chances of winning says Keith Hackett.

The Welsh winger was shown a straight red in the 24th-minute of the 3-0 defeat at Elland Road on Wednesday night (11 May) after a challenge on Mateo Kovacic that led to the Croatian to be withdrawn through injury soon after.

With the Whites already trailing 1-0 and the challenge occurring right in front of the referee, former PGMOL boss Hackett believes there was only one outcome from the incident, and it prevented the home side from mounting a fight back.

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Speaking exclusively to MOT Leeds News he said: “Sadly, James of Leeds United showed a lack of self control by committing a challenge that endangered the safety of his opponent.

In an area in midfield he launched himself off the ground using excessive force, one foot landing high on the shin of his Chelsea opponent.


Referee Taylor was ideally positioned to rightly pull out and show the player a straight red card.

It was the correct decision and James’ actions impacted on Leeds’ ability to win the game.

Jesse Marsch and his staff were outraged at the time because James had got the ball first, but by the post-match he admitted the tackle had crossed the line.

Taylor when he saw the contact even looked pretty shocked before he produced the red card, in what was the second instance of an early deficit compounded by a needless sending off in two games.

Whether it is panic or an uncontrolled desire to exert control over a rapidly deteriorating situation, United are now missing James and Luke Ayling for the same reason and Marsch has to do something to prevent another repeat.

In other Leeds United news, Hackett believes Taylor was unduly lenient when it came to a member of the Chelsea team for a later incident in the same game.