Leeds United boss reveals Gnonto concern after scuffle as incident sees Man United winger penalised

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Leeds United manager Daniel Farke says his side must be aggressive and competitive but keep their heads about them, especially against teams who employ a similar approach to last weekend's visitors Millwall.

Referee Stephen Martin brandished his yellow card on seven occasions during Sunday afternoon's win over the South London club - three times in the direction of Leeds players and four times for the visitors. Martin showed both teams a booking apiece after just 18 minutes had been played after a scuffle between Millwall skipper Jake Cooper and Willy Gnonto ended with the pair having to be separated by the assistant referee in front of the West Stand. Both players had become tangled in their attempts to win possession, ending in a heap on the turf with the not insignificant frame of Lions centre-back Cooper landing on top of the Leeds winger, who took issue with what he perceived to be a blatant obstruction by his opponent. Once tempers had subsided and the pair pulled apart, Martin removed the yellow card from his pocket, drawing a line under the matter by cautioning each combatant. Fifteen minutes later, Gnonto had the last laugh, scoring expertly from the edge of Cooper's penalty area; the defender helpless to prevent the Italy international's strike finding the back of Matija Sarkic's net. In celebrating his first goal at Elland Road this season, Gnonto made a bee-line for the South Stand, celebrating amongst the scores of bodies flooding towards the advertising hoardings which separate players and spectators. While correctly no action was taken against Gnonto for his celebration, had the 20-year-old been caught up in the excitement of scoring the game's opener and leapt into the crowd or removed his shirt, Martin would have been forced to send the youngster for an early bath after a second bookable offence. Farke says in that particular moment, he was wary of Gnonto's reaction, concerned that as a young player, he could potentially get carried away, and that such a needless booking minutes earlier could have proved costly. "We spoke about this, it's necessary to be competitive in these moments, also to play aggressive, but also to stay smart and cool - and don't take it for granted, especially with a young side," the German said at full-time. "In the offense, we play with Cree Summerville, Georginio Rutter, Willy Gnonto, young players and also emotional players. Willy, for example, he was provoked to [get] a yellow card. Then you're worried as a manager, he scores a goal and sometimes he's so emotional [celebrating with the fans], also saw referees who give a yellow cards for too much celebration with supporters, so in this moment you have to be switched on because these are the moments Millwall wants to use. "I'm pretty happy how the lads handled the situation," he added, before saying his Leeds squad should 'enjoy a little bit' the feeling of going top of the Championship at such a crucial stage of the season. Shortly after Farke had referenced the possibility of Gnonto receiving a second yellow card for his celebration, Manchester United discovered exactly what Farke had been talking about. Erik ten Hag's last-minute, extra-time FA Cup quarter-final victory over Liverpool was clinched by second half substitute Amad Diallo, whose 121st minute effort secured a famous 4-3 win over their Merseyside rivals at Elland Road. During the celebrations, Amad removed his shirt seemingly forgetting he had been booked five minutes earlier by referee John Brooks, who was left with no choice but to send the 21-year-old Ivorian from the field of play for picking up a second yellow card. While a rare occurrence, such instances are always a potential risk factor when players already on yellow cards become overawed at consequential moments in games. Farke is keen for his young side - a group he says are the youngest in the Championship title race - can keep their wits about them, during good times and bad.

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