Garth Crooks blasts Leeds United defender Liam Cooper for penalty incident v Everton
Leeds United held Everton to a 2-2 draw at Elland Road on Saturday, but they needed to come from behind twice to bag a point after a tough game.
The visitors opened the scoring from the spot, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin converting his penalty after Liam Cooper had fouled him inside the box.
The Leeds centre-back pulled down the Toffees striker during a tussle, and the referee pointed to the spot after checking the replays.
Cooper, 29, protested his innocence, though, and BBC pundit Garth Crooks could not believe the scenes.
Writing in his Team of the Week column on the BBC Sport website, Crooks said: “Leeds got what they deserved in the opening exchanges against Everton. I’m no fan of VAR, but referee Darren England’s use of the replay check, for the first goal when in doubt, was the right thing to do.
“How Liam Cooper had the nerve to question his subsequent booking, never mind the penalty he gave away for pulling Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s shirt practically off his back, beggars belief.”
Cooper should have known better than to grab his man inside the box, and we expect much more from the skipper given his wealth of experience.
With Robin Koch and Diego Llorente both unavailable for selection against Everton due to injuries, the Scottish ace had another chance to prove that he has what it takes to establish himself as Premier League quality, but he was far from impressive.
Getting the basics of the art of defending right should be the least of his problems, but that almost proved costly at the weekend.
Leeds often boast of enough cover and quality at the back, and we are not looking at signing another centre-back this summer, but having someone like Cooper making the same mistake every now and then is a cause for concern.
We could have claimed all three points against Everton, and picking up one was not bad, but having to give away a cheap penalty like that could put us in more trouble in another game.
In other Leeds news, Phil Hay shares major Thorp Arch development funded by Bielsa.