WATCH: Coach orders Leeds United-style FIFA Fair Play award stunt in show of Bielsa sportsmanship

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Rangers boss Michael Beale insisted on his side allowing Partick Thistle to score unopposed after Malik Tillman had netted a controversial goal during their Scottish Cup fixture last weekend

Beale repeated Marcelo Bielsa’s famous ‘give a goal’ stunt during Rangers’ Scottish Cup fifth round match versus Partick Thistle on Sunday as youngster Malik Tillman robbed Thistle man Kevin Holt and put the Gers ahead in controversial fashion.

Partick threw the ball onto the pitch after a stoppage and were set to play back to Rangers’ goalkeeper Allan McGregor before Tillman seized on Holt’s heavy touch and made a beeline for the Thistle goal. A brawl ensued as Tillman scored and was shoved to the ground, surrounded by several angry Partick players who deemed the Rangers man’s intervention unsportsmanlike.

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The incident echoed a similar occasion at Elland Road in 2019 when Aston Villa players stopped momentarily, anticipating Leeds to put the ball out of play so that Jonathan Kodjia could receive treatment. Instead, Mateusz Klich capitalised and opened the scoring but was immediately collared by the Villans’ Conor Hourihane, leading to a skirmish between both sets of players.

Then-manager Marcelo Bielsa ordered Leeds to allow Villa to dribble the ball into the Whites’ net, despite Pontus Jansson’s best efforts, with the Argentine repeatedly instructing his players to ‘give a goal’ from the sideline. Subsequently, Leeds were awarded the FIFA Fair Play award for their actions.

Beale followed suit at Ibrox last Sunday, after consulting with captain James Tavernier, allowing Partick’s Scott Tiffoney to run through the Rangers defence and past McGregor to draw level.

After the game, which Rangers eventually won 3-2, Beale described the incident as a ‘complete misunderstanding’, suggesting that Tillman had not realised Rangers had put the ball out for him to receive treatment and when play resumed, pressed his opponent as he would have done in an ordinary passage of play.