Another win for Aston Villa, Emery as Leeds’ frustrations continue
Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia got the goals when Emiliano Martinez wasn’t busy standing on his head, as Aston Villa beat Leeds 2-1 at Villa Park on Friday.
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That’s four wins in six Premier League games (4W-1D-1L) since Unai Emery replaced Steven Gerrard as Aston Villa manager. Aston Villa (25 points - 11th place) now sit level with 10th-place Chelsea as they try to push their way into the top half of the table.
Leeds (17 points - 14th place), meanwhile, remain just two points above the relegation zone, with Leicester (in 13th), Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and West Ham all fitting the same bill. That’s five PL games without a win (0W-2D-3L) for Leeds.
Bailey opened the scoring in the 3rd minute, when Boubacar Kamara went on a long dribble through the center of the field before finding the Jamaican international cutting in from the right wing. Bailey uncorked a curler just inside the far post.
It was all Leeds for the remainder of the first half, which unfortunately for them meant it was Martinez’s time to shine. The recent World Cup Golden Glove winner made a pair of stellar, point-blank saves to deny Jack Harrison on two occasions, first in the 23rd minute and then again in the 45th.
Just after the hour mark, Illan Meslier made the initial save to deny Bailey, but the Buendia followed up with a deft header over the flailing Frenchman to make it 2-0 against the run of play.
Leeds got a goal back from Patrick Bamford (his first of the season) in the 83rd minute, but that’s as close as they would get without another shot on target in the game.
How to watch Aston Villa vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3 pm ET, Friday TV channel: USA Network Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Nearly half (9) of Aston Villa’s goals tally on the season (20) were scored in Emery’s first five games. After scoring multiple goals just once in their first 13 games, Villa put three past Man United on his debut, and two each in ensuing wins over Spurs and Brighton.
Leeds’ season looked like it was set to turn around when they beat Liverpool on Oct. 29 and followed that up with a 4-3 comeback win over Bournemouth, before coming out on the other side of a 4-3 comeback by Tottenham before the 2022 World Cup break. Since returning, a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City was followed a scoreless draw with Newcastle and a back-and-forth 2-2 draw with West Ham. With just one clean sheet in their last 10 games, the unreliable defense leaves Leeds precariously placed just two points above the relegation zone.
Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: John McGinn (hamstring), Leander Dendoncker (suspension), Diego Carlos (achilles) | QUESTIONABLE: Matty Cash (knock), Ludwig Augustinsson (knock)
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Stuart Dallas (thigh), Luis Sinisterra (foot), Archie Gray (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Patrick Bamford (groin), Adam Forshaw (groin)