Refereeing controversy as Leeds United lose to Owls

Referee Anthony Taylor is surrounded by Leeds players after the disallowed goal at Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Simon Hulme
Referee Anthony Taylor is surrounded by Leeds players after the disallowed goal at Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Simon Hulme

Two goals in three minutes just after half-time condemned Leeds United to a second successive defeat, but the goals that stood were not the main talking point after a controversial game at Hillsborough.

Steve Evans’ side felt aggrieved after outplaying the hosts for parts of the game and having a “goal” chalked off after it had been given by referee Anthony Taylor.

The Premier League official got it all wrong in the second half when he whistled for Leeds to take a free-kick with Wednesday’s Fernando Forestieri still coming off the field then after Liam Cooper chested the ball into the net he changed his mind.

It was little wonder the Leeds contingent were angered and the demotion coming to Taylor in the next few weeks will not be enough to appease anyone for his incompetent actions.

United were two down at the time, but it would have made it a grandstand finish in a game they deserved at least a point from.

Wednesday had the first chance on six minutes when Gary Hooper headed wide when slightly off balance close to goal.

But Leeds then got on top and came close three times in one attack when Stuart Dallas’s low cross was almost turned in by Lewis Cook, Souleymane Doukara mis-hit his shot on the turn and Mustapha Carayol could not quite divert his effort into the net.

Two minutes later Dallas broke free and after his shot was only parried by home keeper Lewis Price the rebound fell to Doukara, but he saw his close range effort somehow blocked.

Dallas’s bright opening continued as he fired a shot wide from range.

Cook got in behind the home defence only to shoot just wide before Wednesday had their first shot on target, a long range effort by Forestrieri comfortably saved by Marco Silvestri.

Leeds finished the half the better and Doukara saw a shot saved low down by Price, but it stayed goalless to half-time.

It was a different game early in the second half as Wednesday started much stronger and were soon ahead after a Forestieri shot that was going wide was turned away by Silvestri for a corner. From it Hooper bundled the ball over the line from close range after a scramble and it was uphill now for Leeds.

Even more so when within three minutes Silvestri compounded his earlier error by spilling a straightforward Forestieri shot from distance straight to Hooper, who made no mistake for his second goal.

The hosts were enjoying their one good spell of the game and Forestieri hit another shot from outside the box that was this time held by Silvestri.

United got their composure back and were unlucky when the hard working Doukara hit the outside of the post with a fine strike from the edge of the box.

They felt robbed when Cooper’s effort was disallowed and as the free-kick was retaken Scott Wootton headed goalwards again only for the ball to cleared off the line.

That was the last chance either side had as the game faded out and the talking was to begin about the referee more than the game.

Leeds boss Evans was an understandably angry figure after the match.

He said: “I’ve never seen anything like that in football before. He started the game and to then chalk it off is a new one to me.

“I know what I think that the referee should never do again and that’s be in the middle of a game of football.

“That’s as bad a decision as you could ever see.

“The lad was taken forever to come off the pitch and the referee restarted the game. We score then he’s chalked it off.

“We’re in the game then, 2-1 down with 10, 15 minutes to go.

“We were a real step up, but if you don’t take your chances you are always concerned at half-time. But we dominated proceedings.

“Then there were two individual errors for the goals. For five or 10 minutes after the goal Wednesday controlled it, but from there on in there’s only one team playing the football, passing and moving. We played some terrific stuff.

“We get a goal it’s pressure time, but we never got an opportunity because of a horrendous decision.

“Premier League referees hey?

“That’s a new one for Leeds united. There’s a lot of people got a lot problems with Leeds United.”

Match facts

Sheffield Wednesday 2

(Hooper 47, 50)

Leeds United 0

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 23,909

Sheffield Wednesday: Price, Hunt, Loovens, Sasso, Pudil, Wallace (Helan 83), Lee, Hutchinson, Bannan, Forestieri (Jao 78), Hooper (Semedo 87).

Leeds: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci,Cooper, Taylor, Dallas, Bridcutt, Murphy (Antenucci 75), Cook, Carayol (Mowatt 70), Doukara.

Referee: Anthony Taylor