Report: Leeds United 0-0 Aston Villa
A goalless draw at Elland Road.
Leeds United 0
Aston Villa 0
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Koch, Cooper (C), Aaronson (Klich 78’), Roca (Firpo 59’), Harrison (Summerville 79’), Adams, Rodrigo (Bamford 68’), Struijk, Sinisterra, Kristensen (Ayling 68’). Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Llorente, Gnonto, Greenwood.
Villa: Martinez (GK), Konsa, Mings, Luiz, McGinn (C), Watkins, Augustinsson, Young, Coutinho, Bailey (Buendia 64’), Ramsey (Ings 82’). Subs not used: Olsen (GK), Sanson, Nakamba, Bednarek, Dendoncker, Archer, Bogarde.
Venue: Elland Road
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Booked: Sinisterra, Roca, Rodrigo, Koch (Leeds), Augustinsson, Bailey (Villa)
A goalless draw at Elland Road was a good one for Leeds United, who spent the entire second half a player down, battling against an Aston Villa side looking to take all three points.
The Whites returned to Premier League action after 29 days without a match, following recent postponements and the international break. Facing them was an Aston Villa side who were looking for points themselves, after also having a recent break from playing.
When the match kicked off inside a packed out and eagerly awaiting Elland Road, both teams set off on the front foot looking to gain the early advantage, using their respective supporters to their advantage.
However, very little early on in terms of chances were to come, largely due to the stop-start nature of the match and plenty of early fouls between the teams. The first to be booked for one was Ludwig Augustinsson for the visitors, but he would not be the only name in the notepad early on.
Shots on goal did arrive and both number one’s on the day were called into action. Illan Meslier denied Ollie Watkins, before both Brenden Aaronson and Liam Cooper came close, then Rodrigo was denied by Emiliano Martinez.
Further yellows in the first 45 minutes at Elland Road came, as Luis Sinisterra and Marc Roca went into the book and were swiftly joined thereafter by Rodrigo.
In a heated but rather forgettable first half in terms of shots on goal and clear cut chances, the teams went in level at the interval with all still to play for the in second half.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-0 Aston Villa
The second half got underway and Leeds were rescued to 10 players almost immediately, as Stuart Attwell produced a second yellow card for Luis Sinisterra meaning a subsequent red.
Seconds later, the away side almost took the lead. A long ball to the back post found Philippe Coutinho who struck a first time volley which cannoned back off the inside the post, before Watkins then turned the rebound wide.
With just over 20 minutes remaining and Villa largely in control of the ball following the dismissal, Leeds made a double change as Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling replaced Kristensen and Rodrigo.
The Whites were having to be alert and offer each other as much defensive cover as possible. When it was broken, Watkins cut in from the wing and shot on goal, with Meslier firmly behind the strike to collect it and clear.
Down the other end, good work between Jack Harrison, Aaronson and Bamford created a chance, with the number nine powering an effort which forced Martinez to make a good save. There was another double change just after the chance, as Crysencio Summerville and Mateusz Klich entered the match.
The changes had worked well and gave Marsch’s side more of a foothold in the match, as they also looked to open the scoring, despite the player disadvantage.
More work from Meslier denied the visitors, as Watkins and Philippe Coutinho went close, before down the other a combination of the freshly introduced Bamford and Klich nearly won it for Leeds, but the final whistle sounded and brought an end to the game meaning it as a point apiece.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 0-0 Aston Villa