Daniel Farke unhappy with referee Tim Robinson after Leeds United rue big missed opportunity

Manager Daniel Farke was left to reflect on a big missed opportunity for his Leeds United team and some less than impressive refereeing from Tim Robinson.
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Farke admitted the Whites had not created enough clear chances against a Sunderland side set up to stifle with all 11 players in their own half for much of the game.

He also felt his side should have made more of their possession and pressure that brought 13 corners without reward in a disappointing goalless draw.

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Sunderland keeper Anthony Patterson did not have a meaningful save to make as Leeds missed a chance to go top with Leicester City losing at Millwall.

Daniel Farke shows his frustration at decisions in the game with Sunderland.Daniel Farke shows his frustration at decisions in the game with Sunderland.
Daniel Farke shows his frustration at decisions in the game with Sunderland.

But Sunderland were lucky to escape with the point they came for as they somehow avoided conceding a penalty despite a clear handball in the box in both halves that were missed by Premier League referee Robinson and his assistants.

The familiar chant of "you don't know what you're doing" rang round Elland Road after being directed at Robinson whose performance surely earned him the lowest mark possible from the assessor.

First he failed to punish Sunderland defender Dan Ballard after he came right through the back of Patrick Bamford. When he followed up with an even nastier foul from behind he was booked and could have been red carded at that time.

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When he then kicked out at Bamford after tangling with the United striker Ballard was again let off.

Patrick Bamford goes past Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson but is unable to score.Patrick Bamford goes past Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson but is unable to score.
Patrick Bamford goes past Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson but is unable to score.

And Ballard also aimed his arm at the ball to successfully deflect a first half goalbound Crysencio Summerville shot wide – and amazingly once again escaped punishment with neither a penalty given nor another card produced.

In the second half Robinson appeared to book the wrong player when he showed a yellow card at Glen Kamara only to change it to Junior Firpo after the latter seemed to alert him with his complaints at the decision to award a free-kick to the visitors.

But the official's biggest error came in the 75th minute when he somehow failed to spot a blatant handball by Luke O'Nien whose arm was raised high to punch the ball off the head of Joe Rodon following a corner.

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Not only did the penalty shouts fall on deaf ears surely a yellow card would have also followed for O'Nien who had already been booked.

“We were pretty unfortunate with some decisions, clear handball in the first half should have been a penalty, clear handball in the second half should have been a penalty," said manager Farke.

"The added time, it felt a bit harsh after substitutions, lots of time wasting and discussions. I don't know if we would have scored a goal, but I know we were pretty unlucky with some decisions on the pitch.

"In general I'm never asking for red cards but come on act a bit earlier with yellow cards or you send the message you can keep going.

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"If there is a rule how there should be a handball, I ask just for the rules. When you lean into the ball with the elbow and you have a clear view as a referee, sorry you have to give it.

"The second half it was obvious, it was not difficult to see.

"We've had six letters this year saying ‘sorry it was a penalty or red card’, we'll likely get two more letters now. Two penalties and I'm sure we would have used one to win this game.”

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Farke admitted it had been frustrating his side did not create more, but he was pleased with the way his side controlled the game and believes the point may not be as disastrous as it may initially seem.

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He added: “We edged one point closer (to Leicester). It's obviously good for us they didn't win and then you speak about what if.

"I don't like to speak too much about the past, I normally never speak in front of the players about what happened at my former clubs, they don't want to hear it, but because it fits you know how I ended my first promotion with Norwich? Draw, draw, draw, draw, win, win.

"After every draw everyone was panicking, oh it's not enough for promotion. Leeds was involved, with Marcelo, Sheffield United with Chris Wilder, and in the end we won the league with four draws in the last six games.

"You never know, this draw brings us at least for tonight into the top two. Whatever happens tomorrow we're within one game difference of Ipswich. We have another chance on Saturday to win a home game. Sometimes even one point can prove a pretty important point.”

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In truth a point was probably all the Whites deserved after a performance that was too flat in the first half and saw them lack sharpness in the final third. Wayward shooting let Sunderland off the hook and it was the visitors who went closest to scoring on one of their rare breaks as former Leeds winger Jack Clarke was denied by a close range save by Illan Meslier.

Bamford had the best chance for United when slipped in behind the visitors' defence, but he continued his recent poor run in front of goal as he failed to get a shot away and after rounding the keeper his cross was overhit.Leeds United 0

Sunderland 0

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 36,793

Leeds: Meslier; Gray (Roberts 82), Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo; Gruev, Kamara (Gnonto 71); James (Piroe 82), Rutter, Summerville; Bamford (Joseph 82).

Sunderland: Patterson; Hume, Ballard, O'Nien, Styles; Pembele (Alese 69), Ekwah, Neil, Rigg (Roberts 59), Bellingham (Semedo 90+3), Clarke.

Referee: Tim Robinson