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Villa-Leeds marred with Archie Gray in tears after ‘disgusting tackle’ by John McGinn

The friendly between Aston Villa and Leeds has been marred with Archie Gray in tears after a ‘disgusting tackle’ by John McGinn.

Aston Villa beat Leeds United in the Queensland Champions Cup at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

Leeds had beaten Brisbane Roar in their opening game of the cup on Thursday, and they looked the brighter of the two sides in the early stages without managing to test Olsen.

Philippe Coutinho led the Villans’ charge in the first 45 minutes but saw his penalty and rebound superbly saved by Ilan Meslier.

The referee thought Tyler Adams handled the ball, Leeds argue that the ball hit his chest, boos rang around the stadium when the replay was shown, but after a stuttering run-up from Coutinho, his spot kick saved as Meslier denied the Brazilian’s rebound.

The United ‘keeper denied Ollie Watkins with another stunning save shortly after as the sides went in at half-time level.

Despite missing the penalty, Villa burst into life and looked certain to score shortly after when Watkins was sent clean through by Coutinho.

However, the striker’s effort was superbly diverted over the crossbar by a stunning one-handed stop from Meslier.

In the second half, Danny Ings had a goal ruled out before he struck the decisive blow after 64 minutes, netting Villa’s second spot kick of the game.

The referee deemed Leeds defender Leif Davis to have handled the ball, allowing Ings to step up and send Meslier the wrong way.

Archie Gray, 16, was given the first card of the game and talk online had been about the referee letting everything go for the other challenges and how the match was getting more and more heated.

John McGinn then was booked for a foul on Archie Gray with the tearful yougnster leaving on a stretcher, and was replaced by Sam Greenwood.

Jesse Marsch wasn’t pleased with the incident, before the game went on to fizzle out and the main focus coming away from the game is hoping the injury Archie Gray isn’t as bad as it looked.

Aston Villa first half starting XI: Olsen, Cash, Mings, Chambers, Digne, Kamara, Luiz, J.Ramsey, Coutinho, Bailey, Watkins.

Aston Villa second half starting XI: Olsen, Guilbert, Chambers, Carlos, A.Young, McGinn, Nakamba, Sanson, Buendia, A.Ramsey, Ings.

First Leeds lineup: Meslier, Kristensen, Koch, Llorente, Davis, Adams, Roca, James, Aaronson, Harrison, Bamford

Second Leeds lineup: Struijk, Sinisterra, Forshaw, Drameh, Summerville, Rodrigo, Hjelde, Greenwood

According to Gerrard, McGinn was unfortunate to cause the injury, and Gray’s own challenge on Buendia had worried the Villa boss.

“We wish the young kid very well,” he said.

“Hopefully it’s not a long injury.

“John’s got the ball, he’s been unlucky in the follow through. There was one just before by the same boy on Buendia and my heart was in my mouth.”

Gerrard adds that the game was played in the right spirit, for the most part, and both teams showed their competitive will to win.

“In the main it was played in the right way,” he said.

“It got feisty for a short period, there were a few feisty tackles from them, couple from us. You’ve got two Premier League teams who want to win a game. Both sets want to win even though it’s a friendly. It’s normal.”

Jesse Marsch on Archie Gray: “We’re hopeful that it’s not too bad.

“He was in some pain initially and when they assessed it after the match there they’re hopeful nothing’s broken and that it’s just an ankle sprain. And then we’ll see exactly the severity of it in the next couple of days, but hopefully not too bad.”

Marsch engaged in an animated conversation with McGinn on the touchline, explaining to the Villa player that it was A-League referee Adam Kersey he had been yelling at.

“I was yelling at the ref and he thought I was yelling at him,” said Marsch.

“And so I told him to not worry about me and play the game. There was some hard tackles and and maybe if the ref gets control of the match a little bit more throughout the game, then it doesn’t lead to the aggressiveness, but it’s normal.

“I mean, it’s the the Premier League and every player on the pitch wants to send messages that they want to play and both teams want to send messages that they want to be good this year. So yeah, in the end, it was fine.”

Fans reacted as Villa-Leeds was marred after Archie Gray was in tears over the ‘disgusting tackle’ by John McGinn…

@jimbobm52: Thats a red card all day long 😡😡

@GraemeSBradley1: And not one Leeds player has a word. Shameful.

@kUrGaN_UK: He’s out of control and stamping into a challenge. Awful. What’s weak is that not one Leeds player can be bothered to get in his face about it.

@MaynardM: That tackle by McGinn on 16 year old Archie Gray in a pre-season friendly was an unmitigated disgrace. Petulent, pre-meditated, and poor from a senior professional. If he had any shame at all, he’d be hanging his head in it. #LUFC

@Paul_ATKINS0N: Archie Gray has been done today by shite officials. Tackle after tackle let go and how he’s on his way to hospital because of their incompetence. #Lufc

@Chris37DS: Literally seconds before he could’ve been called up for an elbow on Drameh, spins off that into another challenge, then dives into Gray. Out of control is right!!

@5tandish: The thing that disappoints me the most here is the lack of leeds players running in. Why has no one got McGinn by the collar and in his face??? I know “it’s only pre season” but a lack of team spirit there. No one seems bothered that he’s just crocked a 16 year old lad

@wolfeysmith: Doesn’t get the ball, clearly goes to injure and doesn’t check on the young lad that’s clearly in pain, what a captain!!

@bielsaball28: There’s no such thing as a friendly between these two teams 🤣

@leeds_utd_news: Cowardly tackle from John McGinn. Over the top of the ball, straight into Gray. Shown a yellow, deserved a red. Some real concern for Gray here, going off on a stretcher. Such a shame. Poor refereeing has lead to this.

@LeComtedeMonteC: Agree on all points. Horrific. As a captain, he’s some reflection on Villa.

@BuenoBielsa: Why hasn’t any Leeds player gone for McGinn. Gray is a child and he’s been assaulted by a hobbit.

@Cal_lufc: Full blown game some hard challenges but mcginn knew exactly what he was doing there. VAR in use and that’s a red card!

@riggers_89: Genuinely I can’t believe this is the tackle that everyone is going on about. Hadn’t seen it until just. Horrendous for the injured lad and wish him all the best but that’s a late 50/50 at most. Even the Leeds players didn’t kick off about it. Such a weird bunch.

@pubpaintingperv: Ref’s fault, has no control of the game

@JoshuaHolden93: How the ref misses that too is unbelievable, dangerous having officials like this in a pre-season

@douthwaite69: Referee completely out of his depth, allowed Villa to get away with it all game and consequently a 16 year old lad gets stretchered off after a shocking challenge from McGinn. #lufc

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