Report: Aston Villa 2-1 Leeds United

Defeat at Villa Park.

Villa Report Web.jpg

Premier League

Aston Villa 2 (Bailey 3’, Buendia 66’)

Leeds United 1 (Bamford 83’)

Villa: Martinez (GK), Konsa, Mings, Luiz, Buendia (Coutinho 81’), Watkins (Ings 31’), Young, Digne (Moreno 10’), Bailey, Ramsey (Sanson 81’), Kamara. Subs not used: Olsen (GK), Chambers, Nakamba, Bednarek, Young.

Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Koch (Firpo 88’), Cooper (C), Aaronson (Gelhardt 77’), Roca (Greenwood 77’), Harrison (Bamford 66’), Adams, Rodrigo, Struijk (Wober 66’), Gnonto. Subs not used: Robles (GK), Llorente, Perkins, Kristensen.

Venue: Villa Park

Attendance: 42,008

Referee: Michael Oliver

Booked: Kamara, Martinez (Villa) Koch, Meslier (Leeds)

Leeds United were defeated away at Aston Villa on Friday night. The Whites got off to the worst possible start under the lights at Villa Park, going behind inside three minutes of the match.

From defending a corner, the home side raced up the pitch on the counter attack. Boubacar Kamara had the ball in his possession and played it to Leon Bailey on the right, he cut inside and curled into the top corner with his left-foot.

That start gave Jesse Marsch’s side work to do in the game and they’d have to battle from behind, if they wanted to take anything from the match.

Villa were forced into two changes, having to go to their bench in the first 45 minutes. Luca Digne and Ollie Watkins both picked up injuries, meaning they were replaced by new-signing Alex Moreno, along with Danny Ings.

The Whites were seeing most of the ball and despite going behind, they were the dominant team in the game. Set-plays caused problems to the home side, whether that was from corners or free-kicks. One of which saw Rodrigo with a chance - but he was denied by Emi Martinez.

The World Cup winning goalkeeper would be busy throughout the rest of the opening 45 minutes. After Rodrigo had gone close again, Jack Harrison looked almost certain to score at close range moments later.

Luke Ayling’s ball into the box found Harrison at the back post and his strike was saved superbly by the Villa number one, before Willy Gnonto’s effort was then blocked on the follow up.

As Leeds continued to push forward with wave after wave, Rodrigo did find the net but offside flag went up to deny him this time.

It had been a frustrating opening half for United at Villa Park, but they had been largely on top in the match which would give them positives to take into the dressing room, despite being a goal behind.

HALF TIME: Aston Villa 1-0 Leeds United

No changes were made at the interval and the opening of the second half started in a similar way to how the first had ended, with another Leeds chance. Harrison was the creator and this time it was Brenden Aaronson who had his strike deflected away from goal.

Marsch’s side were doing everything but finding the back of the net, through excellent goalkeeping and last ditch defending. Gnonto looked like his effort was going to nestle in the top corner, but Martinez got there again to fingertip past the post.

After the missed chances, Leeds were punished with another quick Villa break, as they scored their second of the game.

Bailey’s shot was well saved by Illan Meslier, but on the follow up Emi Buendia was there to head home the rebound. The goal was initially ruled out for offside but VAR stepped in and overturned the decision and awarded the goal.

The returning Patrick Bamford along with new signing Max Wober entered the match, in place of Harrison and Pascal Struijk, with Leeds now having double the amount of work to do to take anything from the game.

Heading into the final 15 minutes and two goals behind still, Sam Greenwood and Joe Gelhardt were the next to be summoned from the bench. Aaronson and Marc Roca were the players to make way.

It would take until the 83rd minute for a way back into the match, through our returning number nine. Another superb run from Gnonto down the wing created the chance, pulling the ball back for Bamford to slot home first time and offer hope of a comeback!

Despite the constant pressure and chances, along with six minutes of stoppage time, it was the home side who held out and claimed the three points, leaving Leeds to be frustrated by the chances they had not taken on the night.

FULL TIME: Aston Villa 2-1 Leeds United

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