Aston Villa’s perfect start to the season came to an abrupt end on Friday as they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by an electric Leeds United at Villa Park.
It was all Leeds early on as Marcelo Bielsa’s side terrorised Villa down both flanks, but they couldn’t take advantage of a number of dangerous crosses into the box. However, Villa had the best chance of the half through Jack Grealish, whose effort beat the goalkeeper and needed clearing off the line by Luke Ayling.
It was the Patrick Bamford show after the break. He netted a tap-in shortly after the break before adding a second from range, and he showcased some stunning feet to add a third with a delightful finish from inside the box.
Emiliano Martínez (GK) – 5/10 – Will be frustrated with himself for the first goal, but was completely helpless for the others.
Matty Cash (RB) – 5/10 – Was completely overwhelmed by the overload down Leeds’ left. Wasn’t particularly bad but had no chance of coping.
Ezri Konsa (CB) – 5/10 – Struggled to contain Bamford but did make a crucial block on Rodrigo early on. A sad 23rd birthday.
Tyrone Mings (CB) – 4/10 – Leeds’ movement and quick passing was far too much for Mings, whose hoofing long clearances offered Villa next to nothing.
Matt Targett (LB) – 4/10 – Couldn’t cope with Costa and Dallas’ constant running down the right. Needed help and didn’t get it.
Douglas Luiz (CM) – 6/10 – Another solid performance. Looked composed and comfortable as he roared around the pitch to recover possession. Faded away after Leeds took the lead.
John McGinn (CM) – 4/10 – Couldn’t get involved whatsoever. Struggled with the speed of the game and couldn’t dictate anything from deep.
Trezeguet (RM) – 6/10 – Made some threatening runs early on but didn’t create anything of note and spent more of his time debating whether or not to track back.
Ross Barkley (AM) – 5/10 – Pressed Leeds’ defence well but could hardly get on the ball. Forced to settle for speculative long shots and didn’t really threaten.
Jack Grealish (LM) – 6/10 – Unsurprisingly the catalyst for everything positive for Villa. Good running and passing but final ball was lacking. Missed a good chance early in the second half.
Ollie Watkins (ST) – 6/10 – Pressed well and caused Koch and Ayling all sorts of problems in the first half with his movement, but didn’t actually do much in front of goal. Never looked like scoring.
Bertrand Traoré – 6/10
Illan Meslier (GK) – 6/10 – Made some routine catches and impressed with his willingness to kick-start counters quickly. Made an impressive save to deny Grealish after the break.
Stuart Dallas (RB) – 7/10 – Looked great on the overlap and did a respectable job of dealing with Grealish.
Luke Ayling (CB) – 6/10 – A handful of nervy moments and a comical slip, but generally dealt with Villa’s threat pretty well.
Robin Koch (CB) – 6/10 – Struggled with Villa’s press but coped with most of the danger in the box. The most 6/10 performance you’ve ever seen.
Ezgjan Alioski (LB) – 8/10 – Phenomenal down the left. Constantly looked for the overload and whipped in a number of stunning crosses. Had Cash on toast.
Pascal Struijk (DM) – 5/10 – Booked early on for cropping Grealish and was hauled off after 21 minutes as Bielsa was too scared he’d get sent off. Wasn’t actually that bad.
Helder Costa (RM) – 7/10 – Threatened regularly down the right and showcased some great movement which will give Targett nightmares.
Mateusz Klich (CM) – 6/10 – Moved a little deeper after Struijk was hauled off so had to take a back seat to his more-energetic team-mates. Pulled off some nice passes.
Rodrigo (CM) – 5/10 – Managed some dangerous runs but will not have impressed Bielsa with his decision-making. Could have had an assist or two but favoured a poor shot.
Jack Harrison (LM) – 8/10 – Was outstanding and caused countless problems with his direct running and flawless crossing. Put the ball on the plate for Bamford on multiple occasions and was a core part of Leeds’ first goal.
Patrick Bamford (ST) – 9/10 – A real tale of two halves. Lacked any form of end product in the first but was outstanding in the second. Took his second and third goals with real class. Hatrick Bamford (sorry).
Jamie Shackleton – 7/10
Pablo Hernández – 6/10
Raphinha – N/A
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