'Shame on you': Football world in uproar over 'disgusting' act

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Pictured left, the John McGinn tackle on Archie Gray that saw the Leeds youngster stretchered off the field in agony.
John McGinn's tackle on Archie Gray saw the Leeds youngster stretchered off the field in agony. Pic: Ch10/Getty

Aston Villa's John McGinn has been condemned across the football world after a sickening challenge on Archie Gray, that saw the Leeds teenager stretchered from the field in his side's pre-season friendly defeat.

Danny Ings scored a penalty, but Philippe Coutinho missed another, as Steven Gerrard's Villa edged Leeds 1-0 in a physical and bruising encounter in Brisbane on Sunday.

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However, the 'friendly' was marred by a horrific incident involving 16-year-old Leeds starlet Gray, and Villa's Scotland international, McGinn.

There was plenty of niggle and tough tackling during the pre-season tour match in front of nearly 41,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium, but it boiled over after a brutal tackle from McGinn on the Leeds teenager.

The pair came together for a 50-50 challenge but McGinn's studs were up as he followed through and came down on the ankle of Gray.

The Leeds youngster fell to the ground in agony, clutching at his ankle while writhing in pain after the sort of challenge that could easily lead to a broken ankle or foot.

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch was hopeful the 16-year-old hadn't broken anything after providing an update on his condition after the match.

"We’re hopeful it’s not too bad," Marsch said.

“He was in some pain initially when they assessed it after the match. They’re hopeful nothing’s broken and it’s just an ankle sprain.

"We’ll see exactly the severity of it in the next couple of days, but hopefully not too bad.”

Scotland star McGinn was booked for the tackle in the 71st minute and apologised to Gray as he left the pitch.

Seen here, Leeds youngster Archie Gray taken from the field during the pre-season friendly against Aston Villa at Suncorp Stadium.
Leeds youngster Archie Gray is taken from the field during the pre-season friendly against Aston Villa at Suncorp Stadium. Pic: Getty

Villa manager Gerrard offered his condolences to the Leeds youngster and insisted there was no malice from his player.

"We wish the young kid very well," Gerrard said.

"Hopefully it's not a long injury. John's got the ball, he's been unlucky in the follow through."

Many viewers disagreed with Gerrard's assessment and said McGinn should have been shown a straight red card as opposed to a yellow, for a tackle described as "disgraceful" and "disgusting" on social media.

Aston Villa take the pre-season spoils

England international Ings converted from the spot in the second half after his teammate Coutinho was denied by a fantastic double save from Leeds' young French keeper Iilan Meslier.

"Really good workout, a win and a clean sheet and a lot of positivity to take away," said former Liverpool and England midfielder Gerrard.

"I was really happy with large parts of the first half, parts of the second half were a bit scrappy.

"There was a few spicy challenges, it's a contact game," he added when asked about Gray. "Hopefully the damage isn't too bad and he's back."

Villa finished 14th in the Premier League last season, only 10 points clear of the drop zone, and Gerrard has made it clear he believes they belong in the top 10.

The former Rangers boss has made some marquee signings, making Coutinho's loan deal from Barcelona permanent and bringing in Boubacar Kamara from Marseille and Diego Carlos from Sevilla.

Both Kamara and Carlos made their debuts Sunday in the second successive win for Villa, after they beat Walsall 4-0 to start their pre-season programme last weekend.

Leeds kicked off their preparations for the new campaign on Thursday with a 2-1 win against Brisbane Roar.

They only just survived in the English top flight last season and, like Gerrard, manager Jesse Marsch expects better.

While Brazil winger Raphinha is on his way to Barcelona, Marsch has also brought in new players, notably Colombia winger Luis Sinisterra and American midfielder Tyler Adams.

"It was spirited and physical and I think both teams got something out of it," Marsch said.

with agencies

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