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Premier League: 10-man Leeds United and Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa share spoils in scrappy goalless draw


Leeds and Aston Villa played out a scrappy 0-0 draw at Elland Road which will do little to appease either club’s fanbase.

The result sees Jesse Marsch’s side preserve their unbeaten home record this season and move up into 12th. For Villa, they remain on eight points in 14th.

The first half was a physical affair with 18 fouls and four yellow cards, but Villa had the first goalscoring opportunity, which Ollie Watkins squandered in the 15th minute when his low driven effort from close range was parried away by Illan Meslier.

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13/05/2022 AT 07:20

Eight minutes later and Rodrigo had Leeds’ best chance of the half as he turned and struck a left-footed effort on goal which flew just wide of Emiliano Martinez’s left post.

The half descended into an attritional contest with referee Stuart Attwell appearing at times to lose control of the match, but Watkins came close to scoring again for Villa shortly before the break when his low shot looking for the bottom corner was saved by Meslier’s feet.

Leeds were quickly reduced to 10 men after the break. Luis Sinisterra was shown a second yellow card in the 47th minute for needlessly blocking a Douglas Luiz free-kick without giving him 10 yards of space.

Philippe Coutinho almost broke the deadlock moments later when his spectacular acrobatic volley beat Meslier but clattered off the post.

Philippe Coutinho of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on October 2, 2022 in Leeds

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Image credit: Getty Images

Substitute Patrick Bamford forced Martinez into a smart reflex save from a tight angle in the 76th minute, while John McGinn made a timely block to deny Mateusz Klich’s close range shot in injury time, but ultimately neither side could find the vital goal they craved.

TALKING POINT – LEEDS LACK CUTTING EDGE

Leeds were perfectly content to turn the game into a physical battle, but too often they resorted to hopeful shots from outside the box to try and find a breakthrough in the match.

Bamford made a meaningful impact when he came off the bench for the hosts and Marsch will undoubtedly be hoping that the striker can get back to full fitness as quickly as possible.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ILLAN MESLIER

The French goalkeeper did look nervy when he came out for crosses – a familiar characteristic of his game – but his shot stopping was faultless and he pulled off key saves to deny Ollie Watkins from finding the net.

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PLAYER RATINGS

Leeds: Meslier (8), Kristensen (6), Koch (6), Cooper (6), Struijk (6), Adams (5), Roca (5), Sinisterra (3), Aaronson (5), Harrison (5), Rodrigo (6)

Subs: Firpo (5), Ayling (5), Bamford (7), Klich (N/A), Summerville (N/A)

Aston Villa: Martinez (6), Young (6), Konsa (6), Mings (5), Augustinsson (4), Luiz (6), Ramsey (6), McGinn (6), Coutinho (7), Bailey (5), Watkins (6)

Subs: Bednarek (6), Buendia (5), Ings (N/A)

KEY MOMENTS

15′ – CHANCE FOR VILLA! Watkins gets a low driven shot away inside the box but Meslier is able to parry it away. Coutinho looks set to turn in the rebound but he loses his footing and the ball lands into the grateful arms of the Leeds goalkeeper. That’s the closest we’ve come to a goal so far.

21′ – BIG CHANCE FOR LEEDS! Sinisterra skips by Young and his dangerous low cross from the left flank looks to be on a plate for Rodrigo who slides in to try and meet it at the near post, but he cannot quite reach it! The Leeds fans are roaring their side on.

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40′ – GOOD SAVE FROM MESLIER! Young slots a ball through into the path of Watkins. He gets a low shot on goal looking for the bottom corner, but Meslier saves with his feet!

47′ – SECOND YELLOW FOR SINISTERRA! Sinisterra has been sent off! Referee Attwell shows him a second yellow for intentionally blocking a free-kick from Luiz before he is given ten yards of space. Leeds down to ten men!

49′ – COUTINHO HITS THE POST! How did that not go in!? Coutinho acrobatically strikes a right-footed volley on goal which he looks to curl into the top corner, but it crashes off the post! It was a great effort, but Leeds are saved by the woodwork!

76′ – GOOD SAVE FROM MARTINEZ! Bamford drives into the Villa box and fires a shot on goal from a tight angle. He does well to get a shot away and it forces Martinez to parrty it away before Firpo makes a timely challenge to stop Aaronson from turning in the rebound.

90+3′ HEROIC BLOCK FROM MCGINN! Bamford storms into the box. He loses his footing and lays it off to Klich but his goalbound shot is blocked by McGinn!

Premier League

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