27/02/2021 5:30 pm
Referee: Peter Bankes
|Leeds United||Aston Villa|
|El Ghazi (5)|
For some, early Saturday evening was the big one for Aston Villa as we locked horns with Leeds United and looked to avenge the capitulation earlier in the season.
With plenty of criticism coming from our more recent performances, head coach Dean Smith was bold and dropped both Ross Barkley and Douglas Luiz for the trip to Elland Road, and we saw youngster Jacob Ramsey get a chance to impress, along with Marvelous Nakamba.
It was a lively start from both sides and it looked like it was going to be end to end as we took turns in around each other boxes. We should’ve opened the scoring earlier than we did in reality as that was a clear penalty for handball for me, but it didn’t matter, we kept at it and Anwar El Ghazi gave us the advantage five minutes in.
Although the hosts had chances, and Emi Martinez was reasonably busy, he wasn’t overly tested, whereas there were good chances for El Ghazi to have extended the scoreline. We were certainly more on top but there was no way we could be complacent.
To be honest, we really should’ve been about three up by the half hour mark and it was much the same for the remainder of the half. 1-0 with Llorente’s magic ankle giggles aside, thoroughly deserved but should’ve been more.
What did the second half have in store…the same as the first half, although Leeds can consider Tyler Roberts incredibly lucky as his petulant tussle with Targett was red card worthy.
The match only really turned in the hosts favour in the final 20 minutes, but we dug deep and ground the result out and despite some more tasty fouls, we didn’t lose our heads or composure, and even Bamford On Ice had little luck in conning something out of the referee.
Thoroughly deserved, a proper shift, a proper performance from us – DS got the changes spot on – the only bugbear was it wasn’t more comfortable and we didn’t make more of our better chances.
But three points is three points and that should be the end of the ‘one man team’ nonsense.
It should also be pointed out Emi clearly had a problem in the second half, yet they still barely made him break a sweat. Hopefully, that’ll clear itself up.
Enjoy half a shandy on the trip back boys, you’ve earnt it.
Anwar El Ghazi