Watch: Leeds’ Dan James sees red for brutal tackle on Chelsea’s Kovacic

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Leeds United's Dan James during their Premier League draw against Southampton at Elland Road, Leeds, April 2022.

Leeds United attacker Dan James was sent-off during Wednesday’s Premier League match with Chelsea after a brutal tackle on Mateo Kovacic. 

Jesse Marsch’s side fell to a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday but had their situation made almost impossible by conceding two early goals followed by Luke Ayling’s sending off after 27 minutes.

Tonight, against Chelsea? More of the same.

Chelsea, who have more than one eye on Saturday’s FA Cup final against Liverpool, took the lead inside three minutes at Elland Road through a sublime Mason Mount finish.

Beleaguered Leeds looked incredibly nervous during the game’s early stages, but gradually gained a foothold in the game – until James hit the self-destruct button.

The Wales international caught Kovacic high, half-way up the shin and flew in with some force. Despite his protests, it was a clear sending-off and James can have no complaints about his dismissal.

His opponent had to be substituted five minutes after the challenge and Leeds remain in great danger of relegation in their second season since promotion to the Premier League.

Before Wednesday’s game, James had appealed to the Elland Road crowd to back the home side during their current struggles.

“They are unbelievable, whether we’re up or down in the match, the support is always the game,” the attacker told the club website.

“They’ve been incredible this season, the support is magnificent.

“We’re doing it for ourselves but also for them. It’s obviously not where we want to be [in the table] but the reality is, we are there and we can only think about ourselves.

“We can’t think about other teams around us, we’ve got two very important home games this week which will be massive.”

Perhaps the nervous energy of the crowd transmitted itself onto James during his costly rush of blood…


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