talkSPORT pundit slams dangerous Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford for shocking incident vs Southampton
Patrick Bamford’s foul on Ainsley Maitland-Niles late in the Leeds United win over Southampton was “shocking” and should have seen him sent off, said Chris Iwelumo.
In the closing stages of the nail-biting 1-0 win in Javi Gracia’s first game in charge, the Whites forward looked to help preserve the narrow lead when he slid in late on the defender deep in the Saints half, sparking a late flair up.
He escaped with a yellow card, but former Scotland striker Iwelumo felt that wasn’t enough for the “dangerous” play, which Clinton Morrison also admitted was “really bad”.
Live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, Morrison said (25 February, 4.40pm): “They’ve been defending from the front and Patrick Bamford is late on Maitland-Niles. It’s a really bad tackle.”
Meanwhile, Iwelumo said on talkSPORT: “Maitland-Niles getting up quickly has really helped Bamford out here, because it was a shocking challenge.
“I tell you what, it’s a red card. For me. It’s a red card.
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“He’s been booked, but wait until you see it again. He’s a lucky man and if there’s a red card shown for that challenge, you’d have no arguments.
“It’s reckless, dangerous.”
It was a bad challenge and Bamford was possibly lucky to get away with staying on the pitch to see out a crucial one goal win.
The Whites benefited from a bit of fortune on the day to record what fans will hope is a win that signifies a revival under the new manager, but they made their own luck in a game where they were clearly the better side.
Southampton came in riding high after their victory at Chelsea last weekend, with Ruben Selles the man of the moment, but they were a completely different side at Elland Road as the Whites bounced back from the awful loss at Everton to largely control a nervy game.
Gracia’s presence on the touchline after his work permit came through just a day earlier may have made a difference, but it was a performance that mirrored some from the Jesse Marsch era as the home side dominated possession but didn’t take their chances for the majority of the match.
Few would have expected Junior Firpo to be the man to save Leeds United, given his difficulties since signing from Barcelona a year-and-a-half ago.
But the left-back was a man transformed under the new manager, positive going forward and reliable in defence, and would have been the stand out even before he scuffed the winner home in the 77th minute in another deserved slice of luck.
So perhaps the match can prove a turning point for both the 26-year-old and his club, as the three points took them out of the relegation zone.
In other Leeds United news, a Sky Sports pundit called scenes “absolutely crazy” while one board member was spotted in tears at Elland Road.