Leeds United v Middlesbrough: No green for go for Boro loanee today - but Leeds eyeing future favours
What happened just a minute earlier at Middlesbrough – a hour up the A1 - was rather more consequential .
The act was delivered by Sam Greenwood, on a season-long loan at Boro, having left Leeds in the summer.
His penchant for being both exquisite and deadly from set-piece situations may not have manifested itself too many times on a match-day for Leeds, but it is well known to those who have rubbed shoulders with him at close-quarters at United’s Thorp Arch training ground.
And to Daniel Farke, regardless of the fact that he worked with him for only a short while before he made the move to the North Riding.
To the uninitiated, Greenwood fired in a sumptuous free-kick late on to secure a precious 1-0 Riverside victory over leaders Leicester, promotion rivals of Leeds.
The cheers may have thundered around Teesside, but they also reverberated in LS11 as the attacking midfielder did a big favour for United, 2-1 victors over Argyle.
Greenwood, understandably, will not be involved this afternoon, with Leeds’s generosity not extending to allowing him to line up against his parent club. With good reason.
Negotiated into the deal is an option allowing Boro to sign Greenwood for a £1.5m fee at the end of the season, should they wish.
The Wearsider, after a quiet start, is making his mark at Boro. When he is available again for the weekend, Leeds - and certainly Farke - would not be averse to him doing them another good turn when the Teessiders entertain Ipswich either.
Farke said: “We were not just thinking selfishly to keep him. Although we know it’s difficult for him to get minutes (at Leeds), it’s important he develops. No regrets, you want a player to do well.
"He has the chance to look back on the season as a really good loan and if he does this, perfect. The main topic is he doesn’t score against us, this won’t happen and he won’t in the second leg (game at Boro).
"In other terms, it is beneficial when I think about some end-products he has delivered against some opponents around us in the table. At the moment, it’s very beneficial."
The final instalment in three-game weeks which pervade the Championship landscape can be tight and relatively low-scoring.
A well-delivered set-piece can sometimes prove the difference. Greenwood’s absence may well prove handy.
Farke continued: "He is one of the best free-kick and set-piece takers I have ever worked with. I have worked with some good players in those terms such as James Maddison and Mario Vrancic.
"He has unbelievable skills, but football is not like American football where you have a special squad and can send a player on for special occasions.
"If you want to show these skills, you have to be on the pitch. It’s not like ‘here’s a penalty, free-kick or corner and I just substitute a player like in American football.’ If it would be allowed to do, I’d have definitely kept Sam. He’d be second to none."
While Greenwood is denied the chance to face a club he knows well, others will be hoping to fare better on that count.
Boro captain and Morley lad Joanthan Howson, in the winter of his playing career, could potentially step out at Elland Road for a last time.
A class act in his time with his boyhood club, Howson retains the respect of United followers, although he can probably expect a chant of ‘You’re Leeds and you know you are’ at some point this afternoon.
On the Leeds side, Patrick Bamford is remembered at Boro for his input during their renaissance under Aitor Karanka, while Djed Spence’s start in professional football arrived on Teesside before falling out with Neil Warnock and heading to Nottingham.
Like Bamford, Spence - now recovered from injury and illness - is having to wait for his chance. In a busy December, it is likely to come at some point.
On Spence, an unused substitute in Wednesday’s win over Swansea, Farke commented: “Because of the ability and potential of Djed, I was thinking a lot in the last game about him.
"But in the final stages, Pascal (Struijk) was out a little bit and had a few cramps and I was forced to have a change at centre-back.
"The other changes were on the offensive position to change the game-time a little bit where there’s proper competition.
"It was not the day, but the day could come pretty soon (for Spence). Each and every day on the training pitch helps him and he’s closer and closer.
"All the players who are with us in the game-day squad have the chances and each and every minute, you think about situations where you could bring him in.
"He’s also pretty attacking-minded full-back and once we were 2-1 and 3-1 in the lead, Archie (Gray) had everything under control and played a really good game and kept (Jamal) Lowe, a decent winger, pretty quiet."