Birmingham boss Pep Clotet recalls Leeds vs Aston Villa incident during explosive interview after Middlesbrough draw

Birmingham boss Pep Clotet was adamant his side’s late goal against Middlesbrough should have stood following a 1-1 draw at the Riverside.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 10:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 4:55 pm
Pep Clotet thought Birmingham's late goal against Middlesbrough should have stood.

The Blues thought they had grabbed a winner when Lukas Jutkiewitz converted from close range, yet the goal didn’t count after Marcus Tavernier went down with a head injury.

Referee Andy Woolmer blew his whistle before Jutkiewitz scored, after Tavernier collided with Blues midfielder Jude Bellingham.

Yet Clotet was unhappy with the way members of Boro’s coaching staff ran onto the pitch.

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“There’s nothing much to explain,” Clotet told Blues TV. “It’s a clear counter attack, we won the ball very fairly and broke on them, like we broke on them very good with all the counter attacks we had earlier.

“Jude put a fantastic ball to Jukie and that ball goes in. As soon as we start to break there are a couple of physios from the opposition bench that storm onto the pitch with some of their staff.

“There was the atmosphere in Middlesbrough to try and stop that counter attack with whatever method they could and they succeeded, there is nothing more to add.

“It’s not up to us but someone should look into this, this means if I want to avoid a counter attack I need to drop one of my players and storm two officials on the pitch every time, that’s not the game, that’s not football.”

In his post-match press conference, Clotet recalled last season’s Championship game between Aston Villa and Leeds.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side opened the scoring when one of Villa’s players was on the ground with an injury, despite protests to put the ball out of play.

Bielsa then instructed his side to score an own goal, yet Clotet believes the scenarios were different.

“What comes to mind, you saw last season a game Leeds United against Aston Villa with Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds score a goal that doesn’t feel right,” added Clotet.

“Today we scored a goal that feels right and it just comes to my mind how good Marcelo Bielsa applied the fair play last season.”