LIAM COOPER apologised for his red card in a 3-1 defeat to Cardiff City last night but Thomas Christiansen refused to point the finger at his captain after the Elland Road club were knocked off the top of the Championship.
Cooper’s dismissal in first-half injury-time compounded Leeds’ second defeat of the season as Cardiff manager Neil Warnock got the better of his former club and saw his team climb into first place.
Leeds were 2-0 down when Cooper dived into a tackle on Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and earned a second yellow card seconds before the half-time whistle.
Cardiff went onto seal victory despite Leeds improving after the interval and Cooper held his hands up afterwards, writing on Twitter: “Embarrassed and disappointed with myself! I’ve let my team-mates and the fans down tonight. Not good enough and not acceptable.
“Stick with us, we have an unbelievable team backed up by unbelievable support.”
Christiansen, who named Cooper as his captain on the first weekend of the season, admitted that Cooper had incurred a needless sending off but refrained from criticising the centre-back.
Embarrassed and disappointed with myself! I’ve let my team-mates and the fans down tonight. Not good enough and not acceptable.Leeds United captain, Liam Cooper.
“His experience in that situation should have stopped him but I don’t want to blame anyone individually,” Christiansen said.
“When we win, we win all. When we lose, we lose all.”
Leeds fell behind to a Kenneth Zohore tap-in and fell further adrift when man of the match Junior Hoilett struck on 37 minutes.
Zohore scored his second of the night on the hour before Leeds claimed a consolation through Kemar Roofe.
Cardiff were third in the Championship before kick-off but moved to the top of the league at full-time, a position Leeds had held for the previous fortnight.
“I’m disappointed with the result in a top game,” Christiansen said.
“In the first half all that happened was two mistakes which brought Cardiff into the game, without them causing any problems for us. Then we get the red card and it was a very bad moment if we wanted to come back into the game.
“But the performance of the team in the second half was a good response, good character. The team played even better with 10 than 11.
“We try to do our best and some days you have a bad result. We still have many games left and this is only one defeat.”