Cometh the hour, cometh the man – and minutes ticked by at Elland Road before THE man arrived. That man was Pontus Jansson.
It was his equaliser which sparked celebrations in the stands from Leeds United fans and management alike:
— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) October 6, 2018
Victor Orta’s joyous celebrations were a microcosm of the elation that Leeds United fans felt on all four sides of the ground. Jansson’s perfectly cushioned header, steered back over Brentford’s keeper, was justice enough for a penalty that owed more to the Olympics and Tom Daley rather than Elland Road and the Sky Bet Championship.
Brentford’s Ollie Watkins was played into the area and left unmarked. This left United keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell very little option other than to rush out and attempt to smother the ball. Watkins had already decided two things: one was to dink the ball over the onrushing Leeds stopper and the other was to throw his feet out from under himself.
Going down, from the back, it looked a nailed-on penalty and it was enough to hoodwink the referee – who was a tad poor to be fair. However the multi-angles of Sky Sports showed it up to be the mark of deceit that cheapens good players like Watkins is.
Whatever is thought of it by fans, the criticism that Pontus Jansson aimed at the referee was unequivocal in its brutal honesty. When asked to sum up his feelings after he’d equalised, Jansson said: “Nothing. Feels s**t to be fair.” Asked by the Sky Sports interviewer to mind his language, Jansson was straight back on the straight-talking offensive.
He instantly responded with: “No, no, no I don’t care. This is a robbery from the referee so it feels bad.” Asked if he was not happy with the referee’s performance, Jansson replied: “You think I should be, huh? No chance!”
However, after the heat of battle had died back a little, Pontus Jansson was on Twitter apologising for his actions (below):
This team have made me realise what a real teammate means. I love you guys and the goal was for all of you! Now home my wife and probably my little princess will arrive soon!
And also SORRY for bad words in TV after the game, was a lot to take in and couldn’t control my self! pic.twitter.com/efL5S5PbNT
— Pontus Jansson (@PJansson5) October 6, 2018
Whilst his apology was heartfelt – Leeds United fans replying to it were having none of it. Here’s what some of them were saying:
He was outstanding today Helen the ref was dire & needs sacking 😏😏
— Julie Trimble (@trimble1959) October 6, 2018
31,000 of us sang it and agreed with Pontus. We didn’t just think it – Haa! Ruined what could have been a decent game
— Debbington (@DebsHLUFC) October 6, 2018
You are saying the exact same that us in the stands are thinking – never apologise for that! Great game today, well played.
— Alex (@riotbadger) October 6, 2018
Hero!! Class from you today big man, keep driving us on 👍🏼👍🏼
— Matt Hill (@MattyHill83) October 6, 2018
Legend Pontus…absolutely love it 😍 MOT
— Craig Durn (@DurnCraig) October 6, 2018
Don’t you dare apologise you beautiful man
— Jonathan Peel (@JPeel05) October 6, 2018
All the best to you and your family. Enjoy what is to come. We will wait your return. You made a young Leeds fan very happy in the South stand at the end of the game. #mot
— MagicHat (@bro4dylufc) October 6, 2018
— Cookie (@7_Cookie) October 6, 2018
Nothing wrong with a bit of passion. You definitely weren’t wrong with the critique
— Juho Stén (@JuhoStn) October 6, 2018
— Alex O’Neill (@alex_oneill__) October 6, 2018
Whilst Leeds United fans may be in agreement with Jansson’s sentiments about the referee and his performance, you can guarantee it won’t be the end of it. Expect the football authorities to be on the blower asking for him to explain himself again…with a fine to follow.