Harry Batters reports on Thursday’s win at Leeds.
On Thursday night, Villa travelled up to Elland Road to face Leeds United away at Elland Road and cruised to victory.
Leeds made one change from their side that lost 1-0 away at Leicester City as Adam Forshaw came into the side for Mateusz Klich. As for Villa, like Leeds, just the one change as Lucas Digne replaced Ashley Young. Ezri Konsa and Carney Chukwuemeka returned to the bench.
Story Of The Game
Philippe Coutinho got things rolling and the game had kicked off at Leeds. There wasn’t many clear cut chances from either side at the start of the game, however the Leeds faithful were lively as always – for some reason they were targeting Tyrone Mings. Mings has no links or anything to Leeds, so it’s weird how the Leeds fans are so rattled by his sheer presence. Maybe it’s because they haven’t got a centre half as good as the England international. He had the last laugh in the end, however.
In the sixteenth minute, there was a slight chance as Danny Ings tried to thread a backheel through to Ollie Watkins, however Leeds defended it well. Watkins was the booked for a foul on Luke Ayling. Leeds had a chance through Raphinha where he put it through the legs of Mings, however after his attempt went wide, the flag went up for offside. Twenty two minutes in, the deadlock was broken. Matty Cash drove the ball across the box and it went through a whole hog of claret and white shirts and landed at the feet of the magician himself Philippe Coutinho who directed a shot goalwards, and after a deflection off Pascal Struijk, Villa were a goal to the good thanks to the Brazillian himself.
Villa continued to cause problems. Matty Cash was a real threat on the right hand side. He delivered a cross into Danny Ings who sent a dipping header over the bar. Douglas Luiz had a free kick which forced Islan Meslier into a save, and John McGinn had a real chance on his weak foot which forced a low save from the Leeds goalkeeper. The score remained 1-0 as the half time whistle sounded.
The second half started. Joe Gelhardt came on for Rodrigo for Leeds as they searched for an equaliser. Leeds started off the second half a better side. A lot of football was played in Aston Villa’s half and Villa were somewhat under the cosh. Patrick Bamford came on as he returned from injury with around half hour to go, and just after that change was made, Villa took advantage and went two up. Danny Ings put an audacious, precise crossfield ball into the path of Matty Cash who cut inside and let fly on his left foot. Poor defending from Leeds, but the Polish Cafu won’t have been complaining. A goal and assist away at Elland Road!
Morgan Sanson came on with around twenty to go for Danny Ings, and shortly after that, Villa increased their advantage even more. John McGinn whipped a free kick in, Leeds didn’t deal with it properly, it fell to Mings who laid it off to Calum Chambers, and Chambers finessed it from around twenty yards out into the back of the net. Meslier had no chance. At this point, Chambers needs a DNA test. Last week the outside of the foot pre assist, and this week a twenty yarder? He has to have a streak of Brazilian magic in him like his teammate Coutinho. An absolutely unreal goal from the free transfer. Has to be a goal of the season contender, surely? Buendia came on for Coutinho and Young came on for Luiz, and unfortunately Junior Firpo was stretchered off following a challenge with McGinn. We wish him all the best on his recovery. Ultimately though, the third goal killed the game, and after five stoppage time minutes, it was full time. Leeds United 0-3 Aston Villa.
Man Of The Match – Matty Cash
Unreal performance from the Polish international. He was a real thorn in the side for Leeds and caused them a whole host of problems down the right hand side, and obviously, he got a goal and assist too. Cash gets the plaudits from me, but all the players were superb this evening.
Biggest Underperformer – Leeds United’s Defence
I usually only pick one player to talk about the most underwhelming performance, however, with Leeds it’s different. The leakiest defence in the Premier League conceding sixty-four goals were playing like they belong in the Championship, and I would not be surprised if that’s where they are playing football next season. It’s gonna go down to the wire, Watford and Norwich will fight, Leeds and Everton are fighting, Brentford aren’t out of it just yet, it’s gonna get tasty! Jesse Marsch needs to sort Leeds United’s defence out if they want to stay up, though.