'Obviously there was some imprudence or an excess of power' - Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa on Pascal Struijk red for tackle on Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa believes there was no malice in Pascal Struijk's red card challenge that left Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott with a serious injury.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 7:36 pm
SERIOUS INJURY - Liverpool's Harvey Elliott left the Elland Road pitch on a stretcher after a challenge from Leeds United's Pascal Struijk who was sent off. Pic: Tony Johnson

Struijk, a first half substitute for the injured Diego Llorente, appeared to come out of the tackle on Elliott with the ball but the Reds' attacker was left in agony and the reaction of Jurgen Klopp and his staff showed the severity of the injury.

Although referee Craig Pawson did not appear to whistle for a foul, Struijk was shown a red card as medical staff attended to Elliott, who departed the Elland Road surface on a stretcher.

Liverpool went on to win 3-0 against Bielsa's 10 men, having already shown their dominance to take to go 2-0 up before the sending off.

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Bielsa felt his centre-half won the ball and his only intention was to do just that.

"Pascal recovered the ball, the action to get the ball didn't have an infraction but I have the feeling the movement of the rest of his body after he recovered the ball made him hit Elliott," said the Whites head coach.

"I'm totally sure there was no bad intention. I don't know how to qualify it, any negative way to qualify it I wouldn't know how to say it. Obviously there was some imprudence or an excess of power. These types of recoveries of the ball are totally frequent. The difference here was the follow through with Pascal's speed and power caused an injury.

"I regret dearly that such a young player who was playing at a very high level has been interrupted through this, I hope he's able to get back."

Bielsa was asked if Leeds would appeal the red card, which will leave Leeds with one fit senior centre-half for Friday's trip to Newcastle, but seemed to suggest the referee's decision should stand.

"For me the referee decides, he has enough resources to make the decision," said the Argentine.

"I don't know why the decision wasn't immediate and it was after. I never like to condition the decisions the referee makes."