Marco Bielsa’s side manage a great comeback at Villa Park with a clinical Daniel James performance against a strong Aston Villa side.
A fantastic opening half from both teams with both Daniel James and Jacob Ramsey earning a brace. Phillipe Coutinho also managed a goal and two assists to make the game 3-2 before 45 minutes. Leeds never gave up faith however and managed to get the equaliser with Diego Llorente off the corner in the 63rd minute.
Aston Villa opened up the game with a missed shot from Matty Cash in the 4th minute. This was shortly followed up after with another strike from opposite wingback Lucas Digne. Leeds replied a couple minutes later as Luke Ayling surged the ball up the pitch and then passed to Raphinha who missed making the cross into the centre. This form continued for Leeds as Rodrigo Moreno did well to dribble past Aston Villa’s defence to make a fantastic pass to Daniel James who slotted the ball bottom left.
James managed to keep up this pressure up in the minutes after his goal as he has a shot denied by Emilano Martinez and then pressured Tyrone Mings for a Leeds throw-in 16 minutes into the match. The welshman kept wreaking havoc in the opening minutes on this game as he dribbled past Ezri Konsa to make a great cross which was unfortunately intercepted by the Villa defence.
Nevertheless Aston Villa didn’t want to be beaten as Coutinho makes a great turn to get past Ayling only to be fouled moments later by the Leeds defender. Steven Gerrard’s men tried to keep up the pressure in the 22nd minute as Emi Buendia is fouled just outside the box. Moments later they were very unlucky as Tyrone Mings couldn’t connect the header properly off a sublime cross from Lucas Digne at the corner flag. However Aston Villa were very shaky moments later as they let Jack Harrison dribble round their defender on pitch and nearly concede another Daniel James shot. But Villa did great off the counter attack after Leeds missed with Matty Cash throwing a great ball into the box for winger Phillipe Coutinho to slot home making the game even in the 30th minute.
Luck for Leeds was slowly depleting in the game as Diego Llorente went down in after pulling his heal after challenging Ollie Watkins. This bad luck continued for Bielsa’s side as Coutinho splits Leeds’ defence setting up a goal on a plate for Jacob Ramsey who slots another past Illan Meslier. Leeds tried to come back gaining 77% possession in the last 15 minutes, but were unable to defend Gerrard’s side as Coutinho sliced the defence open again giving Ramsey another good chance which he slotted past Meslier with ease. But Leeds never give up as Rodrigo’s ball is deflected by Martinez which is headed into the net by a clinical Dan James. Aston Villa’s defence was very slopping in conceding that goal.
Leeds started the 2nd half with the first shot on goal being a strike from left back Stuart Dallas being saved comfortably by Martinez. Moments later Bielsa’s side managed another attack only for Raphinha to scuff the volley. Aston Villa however wanted another goal as a good ball in from Coutinho, after nutmegging Ayling, is saved by Meslier. Unfortunately moments later Emi Buendia was injured by Daniel James dug his knee into the back of his hamstring. The winger was replaced by youngster Carney Chukwuemeka, who nearly made an instant impact as his ball to Ollie Watkins is saved by Meslier.
The Yorshire side weren’t ready to give up however as they get a corner cleared by Mings on the line. Nevertheless they didn’t lose passion as their second corner is converted by Diego Llorente after a shambolic defensive display from Villa.
Villa’s struggle didn’t stop there as Phillipe Coutinho missed a long range shot only to pull his leg doing the stunt in the 67th minute. This wasn’t the only blow as Ezri Konza fouls Daniel James to earn the 1st yellow card of the game. Their defence was challenged minutes later as Mateusz Klich is denied by Martinez. Moments after Matty Cash was taken down by Leeds which forced the player to walk the sideline and adding to the bad luck. Later Gerrard made a controversial decision to take off Phillipe Coutinho for Ashley Young after a man of the match performance for the Brazilian.
Aston Villa pulled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes with a cross saved by Meslier who fumbles the throw leading to another save from the Frenchman after a Tyrone Mings long shot. Unfortunately however Klich was injured in the buildup to that play forcing Bielsa to replace him with Adam Forshaw. Villa tried to scrape the final goal in the 87th minute with a corner which ended in a horrible clash with Konsa and Meslier, which gave Konsa his second yellow and sent him off the pitch. Gerrard was later forced to take off goalscorer Jacob Ramsey for new transfer Calum Chambers to keep defensive shape.
This wasn’t the only clash in the last 10 minutes though as Matty Cash later slides two of the Leeds player earning him a yellow card and starting a verbal fight between Raphinha and Ashley Young. All of these injuries and battles resulted in the game having a whopping 8 minutes extra time.
Nevertheless all this second half madness ended with nothing but a draw. A very strong performance from both sides in a very heated clash with so many yellow cards.
Strong performances from Phillipe Coutinho, Jacob Ramsey and Daniel James