Match report as Aston Villa’s four-match winning run comes to an end as Leeds move into third ahead of rest of Premier League games this weekend; Marcelo Bielsa’s side have 27 shots at Villa Park
Friday 23 October 2020 22:53, UK
Patrick Bamford’s second-half hat-trick brought Aston Villa’s Premier League winning run to a screeching halt as Leeds won 3-0 at Villa Park.
It was a barn-storming performance from Marcelo Bielsa’s side – who caught the eye with their lightning counter-attacks, neat one-touch football and 27 shots at Villa Park – despite a goalless first half.
Bamford had missed two glorious chances in the opening period, but soon put some demons to rest as he slotted home from an Emiliano Martinez’s save 10 minutes after the restart. The next two quickly followed – his second a sublime effort which found the top corner (66) before completing his hat-trick with a scooped finish into the far corner (74).
- How Leeds and Aston Villa lined-up | Match stats
- Premier League table | Fixtures | Live on Sky
Villa will look back at some missed chances and wonder ‘what-if’. Jack Grealish had a shot cleared off the line by Luke Ayling in the first half before he and Ezri Konsa both went close early in the second period.
But Villa were ultimately unable to deal with Leeds’ direct play and miss the chance to go top of the Premier League table, remaining in second. Leeds are hot on their heels though, surging into third ahead of the remaining games this weekend.
How Leeds stormed to victory at Villa Park
Leeds began like a team with something to prove after defeat to Wolves last weekend and dominated the opening 20 minutes. A curling cross from wing-back Egzjan Alioski was sent wide by Bamford’s diving header before another super ball from the North Macedonian found Rodrigo but his shot was turned behind by birthday boy Konsa.
But Aston Villa soon found their feet and had the best chance of the half in the 26th minute. Ayling lost out to Ollie Watkins on the right, and the striker’s cross was diverted into the path of Grealish by a flick of Trezeguet’s foot. The Aston Villa captain struck, but he was thwarted by his opposing number, as Leeds skipper Ayling was waiting on the line to boot the ball to safety.
Aston Villa: Martinez (6), Cash (6), Konsa (7), Mings (6), Targett (5), Luiz (6), McGinn (6), Trezeguet (7), Barkley (6), Grealish (7), Watkins (6).
Subs used: Traore (5).
Leeds: Meslier (6), Alioski (8), Koch (7), Ayling (8), Dallas (7), Struijk (5), Klich (7), Costa (7), Harrison (8), Rodrigo (7), Bamford (8).
Subs used: Shackleton (7), Raphinha (6), Hernandez (6).
Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.
Leeds then had a last-gasp effort to take a lead into the break. It was a classic counter-attack as Jack Harrison drove down the left flank before sending another super cross into the middle for Bamford. But the Leeds striker was unable to send his shot on target.
Villa had two huge chances to take the lead early in the second half. Grealish made a sensational solo run, working his way to the right of the area before striking, but Illan Meslier was waiting at the near post to save. The Leeds goalkeeper did so again soon after, tipping a Konsa effort from a corner over the crossbar.
Seconds later Bamford found the net for the first time and, unsurprisingly, it came from a superb counter-attack. Harrison picked out the run of Rodrigo into the area, but his initial effort was palmed away by Emiliano Martinez. However, Bamford was in exactly the right place to slot home the loose ball and put Leeds ahead.
From then on, Villa barely had a look in and Bamford doubled the lead in the 66th minute. After a driving run from Mateusz Klich through midfield, Bamford was given enough time to work himself some space before curling a wonderful strike past Martinez.
But his third eight minutes later was the pick of the bunch. Helder Costa and Jamie Shackleton – who impressed after replacing the booked Pascal Strujik in the 20th minute – played a neat one-two before the Portuguese winger picked out Bamford inside the area.
He took a few steps before finding himself surrounded by Villa defenders, but he managed to lift the ball over the players in front of him before finding the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick and a fine evening’s work for the visitors.
Man of the match – Patrick Bamford
3 – Patrick Bamford is only the second player to score in each of Leeds United's opening three away games in a top-flight league season, after Gordon Hodgson in 1937-38. Magic. pic.twitter.com/bBh300N59l
Bamford was guilty of some pretty big misses in the first half but, having scored in Leeds’ two away games so far this season already, he would surely have been confident of getting the better of Martinez as the game wore on.
That certainly came to be, and in stunning fashion. His first goal showed why he had been making those runs into the area and taking up positions in the first half, while his second two demonstrated his skills as a finisher, especially under pressure.
It was a wonderful hat-trick and maybe now, some might start to believe Bamford can cut it in the Premier League.
- Leeds United’s win has moved them to third in the Premier League table, their highest position at the end of a day in the division since September 20th, 2002.
- This was Aston Villa’s first defeat in nine Premier League matches (W6 D2); indeed, tonight was also the first time they had fallen behind at any stage in any of these nine matches, last doing so on July 9 against Manchester United.
- Patrick Bamford has scored six goals in Leeds’ first six league matches this season; only Eric Cantona in 1992-93 (also six) has scored as many goals for the Whites at this stage of a Premier League campaign.
Aston Villa face Southampton next Sunday in the Premier League, live on Sky Sports Box Office; kick-off 12pm. Leeds play Leicester next Monday, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 8pm.
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