Villa Park saw witness to a Premier League classic, as Aston Villa and Leeds played out a 3-3 draw, which saw some scrappy goals, some world class finishes and even a red card.
Ezri Konsa was sent off late into the game, but Villa managed to hold on depsite their man disadvantage.
Villa nearly opened the scoring early on, as Tyrone Mings nearly connected with a corner, but Ilan Meslier got his arm in the way to intervene. Watkins also nearly put the hosts ahead just two minutes later, but decided against gambling with a sliding shot to connect with Matty Cash’s cross.
It would be Leeds who took the lead, as Dan James, starting in striker, popped in his 3rd of the season, after a perfectly weighted Rodrigo pass allowed the Welshman to slot home past Emi Martinez.
Villa continued to try and build on their early chances, with Mings once again came close from seven yards, whereas Leeds nearly doubled their lead shortly after, with James smashed the bar from range.
Phillipe Coutinho and Jacob Ramsey would then begin their 10 minutes of destruction. The Brazilian would level the Midlands side, after he stroked home a lovely finish past Meslier. Seven minutes later would see him and Ramsey link up to put the hosts ahead, with Coutinho making his assist look effortless and Ramsey dispatching with ease.
It would go from bad to worse for Leeds, as once again Coutinho and Ramsey would combine to make it three for the hosts. A lot of credit must go to referee, Jarred Gillet, who played a great advantage in the favour of Aston Villa, to allow the attack to commence.
The first half still had one more curveball to throw us, as Dan James would once again find the the net. A lofted ball in was looking to meet the heads of Buendia, Mings and James, and it would be the latter who connected to put the visitors back infront.
As the second 45 began, Villa came out the gates faster and sharper. Lucas Digne snatched the ball deep in the Leeds half and flashed a cross past the foot of Ollie Watkins, but failed to get any connection, a common problem for the Villa striker tonight.
The game would once again be turned on its head, however, as Tyrone Mings would continue to have once of the most on-off games ever.
The England international was forced into clearing the ball off the line twice, but the second time round, his limp clearance would fall right to Diego Llorente, allowing the Spaniard to level for the visitors
Coutinho came close to making this even more of a Premier League classic, as his long range effort curled just wide of the post, but Meslier may have had it covered if the Brazilian was on target.
Leeds were gifted a great chance, as Carney Chukwuemeka’s pass to Ezri Konsa was intercepted. Rodrigo’s pass found the feet of Mateusz Klich, but he lets off a poor effort that failed to trouble Martinez.
The last 10 saw some tough tackles, with John McGinn going in heavy on Luke Ayling, before Tyrone Mings journeyed forward once again to strike from range and see his shot fall into the hands of Meslier.
The tempers flared in the 88th minute, as after a Villa corner, Ezri Konsa’s elbow met the face of Meslier, which saw him receive a second yellow and send his team down to 10 men.
Eight minutes added time was a result of this and it was all guns blazing for both teams, who really left it all on the pitch. Raphinha nearly struck late on, but his header was halted by McGinn, who intervened.
|Luiz-6||Klich-6 (Forshaw- N/A)|
|Ramsey-9 (Chambers- N/A)||Raphinha-5|
|Buendia-5 (Chukwuemeka- 6)||Rodrigo-7|
|Coutinho-9 (Young- 6)||James-8|
Man Of The Match: Phillipe Coutinho
The Brazilian has truly announced his return. His goal against Man United set the precedent, but this game was a true statement. He orchestrated a lot of Villa’s attacks, looked constantly dangerous before his sub in the 78th minute and consistently put fear into the Leeds back line. He was involved in every Villa goal and whilst Ramsey was awarded Man of the match by BT, Coutinho, to me, was a lot more involved than the youngster and proved that class is permanent.
As a result, Leeds remain in 15th, four points a drift of Villa in 11th. It’s big games for both teams next as Villa travel to the North East to face Newcastle and Leeds take the trip to Merseyside to play Everton.