Leeds captain Liam Cooper launches foul-mouthed outburst at cameraman before Chelsea clash

Leeds United captain Liam Cooper appeared to aim an expletive barb at a cameraman seconds before kick-off in Wednesday evening’s Premier League clash against Chelsea.

With roughly half a minute remaining until the referee got the match underway at Elland Road, television cameras were still on the pitch and appeared particularly keen to get a close-up shot of Cooper, who returned to the starting XI after two games out with a knee injury.

However, the English centre-back did not take kindly to this distraction as he attempted to compose himself ahead of what was an enormous game for Leeds in their bid to avoid relegation. He appeared to say “for f***’s sake” in the direction of the cameraman, prompting them to back off so the game could begin.

Liam Cooper did not appreciate being filmed up close before kick-off
Sky Sports)

Cooper will have been hoping to inspire the Whites to a strong performance with his leadership, but things went badly wrong for the hosts in the opening stages of the match as Mason Mount combined with Reece James to open the scoring for Chelsea within four minutes.

To make matters worse for Jesse Marsch and Co., Dan James was shown a straight red card 20 minutes later for a reckless lunge on Mateo Kovacic in midfield. The Croatian attempted to play on but was ultimately unable to continue and Thomas Tuchel had to send on Ruben Loftus-Cheek in his place.

James’ dismissal for a poor tackle marked the second time in two games Leeds have seen a player sent off in the first half for a lack of control and discipline. Luke Ayling was the man at fault at the weekend after flying in on Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli, leaving the Brazilian in a heap and seeing red for his troubles in the 27th minute.

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Leeds were 2-0 down at the Emirates at the time of the sending off thanks to Eddie Nketiah’s quick-fire double and would go on to lose 2-1, with Diego Llorente grabbing a consolation goal in the second half. The result piled pressure on the Yorkshire club, who are in a bitter three-way dogfight with Everton and Burnley to avoid relegation.

Norwich and Watford have already been confirmed as playing Championship football next season and it appears as though Marsch will need to summon positive results against Brighton and Brentford in Leeds’ final two games of the season to avoid such a fate. Everton are still to play Brentford, Crystal Palace and Arsenal while Burnley will take on Tottenham, Aston Villa and Newcastle.

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