Leeds United vs Aston Villa Player Ratings: 9/10 duo Cash, Coutinho solid; 2.5/10 Rodrigo struggles

Aston Villa breezed past Leeds United in a crunch Premier League clash, putting the Whites in more trouble as they remain winless under Jesse Marsch.

Philippe Coutinho, Matty Cash and Calum Chambers scored at Elland Road to pile on the pressure on Leeds United, as their new manager waits for his first win and even the first goal of his reign. The opening exchanges in the game offered plenty of hope for the home fans, only for their defensive work, or lack thereof, to let them down.

Aston Villa piled the pressure, and when Coutinho took his shot, it deflected off Pascal Struijk’s foot to head into the net. It was disappointing considering both teams were on equal terms until that strike. However, Leeds managed to keep the game alive as they headed into half-time with a slender deficit.

After the break, Leeds came out flying and looked like a team motivated to get a leveller. After a prolonged period of tremendous pressure, the Whites could not find a way through. Instead, Villa worked off a swift break, and Matty Cash applied the finishing touches with a striker’s finish in the box.

Leeds remained ineffective after the second goal, and after some time, Aston Villa scored a third. Calum Chambers asked for the ball to be laid off, and Tyrone Mings obliged before the former Arsenal defender expertly slotted the ball in the top corner.

The win pushed Aston Villa into the top half of the table, and they may now dream of a probable finish in European places. As for Leeds, they remain slightly clear of the relegation zone, although the danger of falling into the drop zone looms large on Marsch and his charges. The Hard Tackle runs the rule on both sets of players

Leeds United

Illan Meslier: 5/10

Meslier could barely do anything about the three goals he conceded, although he was terrific at times, saving some crucial shots, especially the one from McGinn. While he remains one of the most exciting goalkeepers in the league, it is hard to fault him over the crazy amounts of goals Leeds have conceded in the last month or so.

Stuart Dallas: 3/10

Maybe, it was a bad idea to put Dallas at right-back, for the player for repeatedly exposed by Lucas Digne, Danny Ings and Philippe Coutinho. Under pressure, he often gave the ball away, leading to more chaos at the back.

Luke Ayling: 5/10

Defensively, Ayling may not be suited at centre-back for his lack of awareness in the position. Even though he was steady defensively, Leeds desperately need someone Liam Cooper back in the place to keep things tight.

Pascal Struijk: 5/10

Struijk struggled to get to grips all evening and had a few nervy moments at the back. He was somewhat at fault for the first goal when the ball struck his leg and deflected into the net.

Junior Firpo: 4/10

Firpo was constantly exposed by Cash on his side as the left-back found it hard to get to grips with the pace of the game. Marsch will be worried about how he got injured and then carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

Robin Koch: 3.5/10

Koch failed to get a handle on the midfield proceedings as Douglas Luiz and John McGinn dominated the area. The midfielder did not bring any intensity or agility to make things better for Leeds in the position, something Marsch would have wanted from his central players.

Adam Forshaw: 5/10

Much like Koch, Forshaw did not offer anything in midfield as he struggled to get things rolling in the middle. Maybe it was the quick return to fitness that affected his performances.

Raphinha: 4/10

Raphinha was lively, without offering any real threat in attacking spaces. At times, the Brazilian looked isolated or surrounded by Villa players as he tried his best to affect things in the final third.

Rodrigo Moreno: 2.5/10

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His constant lack of control and bad movement broke down any potential Leeds attack before brewing. A torrid performance from Leeds’s record signing as Marsch struggles to get goals from this team.

Jack Harrison: 4/10

Like Raphinha, Harrison was lively without being a threat in the final third. While he had a decent game on the ball, more work needs to be put to affect proceedings that lead to a goal for Leeds, and Harrison needs to step up his game.

Daniel James: 4/10

James was brilliant with his pressing, although he had a few chances to do better. At times, his decision making was abject, and he should be shifted to a wide role once Bamford is fit enough to start.


Patrick Bamford: 5/10

Bamford came out on the pitch after a long wait, and the audience showed their appreciation towards the striker. On the pitch, he still lacked sharpness, which will be sorted once he has more minutes under his belt.

Joe Gelhardt: 5/10

Gelhardt replaced Rodrigo at half-time as Marsch looked to change things in the final third. He could not make any difference, as was the case with the entire Leeds attack.

Aston Villa

Emiliano Martinez: 6.5/10

Courtesy of tight defence and the inefficiency of Leeds’s attackers, Martinez barely had anything to do all evening. The Argentine was reduced to collecting high balls and playing a good role in slowing down the game’s pace whenever the opposition began to threaten.

Matty Cash: 9/10

Cash set up one goal and then scored the crucial second strike when Villa were pinned down after some tremendous pressure from Leeds. His strike featured a typical striker’s finish, as Cash did not cave in to pressure, keeping composure and slamming it past Meslier on the near post.

Calum Chambers: 8/10

Chambers can now be considered a bargain considering his hot streak of form. His distribution, in particular, opened up plenty of space, especially for Lucas Digne. To cap off a defensively solid night, Chambers got his first goal for Villa, with probably the best strike of the game, as he directed the ball into the top corner, only for a stranded Illan Meslier to stand and watch.

Tyrone Mings: 8/10

Mings controlled the backline with absolute authority and kept a clean sheet for his troubles. He was physically challenged by the pacey Leeds attackers and often went to the ground with late knocks. However, the defender always stood up and continued, while laying off a good assist for Chambers’s goal later in the game.

Lucas Digne: 7/10

Digne’s presence on the left flank makes a lot of difference from an attacking sense. The Frenchman provided a good outlet on his side and was instrumental in some positive plays during the evening. His free-kick eventually led to the third goal, and the full-back will be happy with his contribution.

John McGinn: 8/10

McGinn was everywhere on the pitch and got stuck in for some interesting tackles as the midfielder put in a near faultless performance. He could have capped it off with a solid goal, only for Meslier to come up with a tremendous save to deny the Scotsman.

Douglas Luiz: 7/10

Without being spectacular like McGinn, Luiz quietly controlled play at the base of the midfield. His distribution was spot on as the Brazilian did what was asked of him while screening the defence very well.

Jacob Ramsey: 5.5/10

Aston Villa had a weak midfield link, and Ramsey was that player. He struggled to cope with Robin Koch and Adam Forshaw in the central areas, as they targetted him and restricted good attacking moves from the youngster. He did burst into the box once, which was by far his most notable contribution on the evening.

Philippe Coutinho: 9/10

The talk of signing him in the summer will gather more momentum, as Coutinho put in another masterful performance. His movement and creativity seemed to spark Villa into performing so much better than their actual levels. He got himself on the scoresheet as his shot was deflected off Struijk’s legs for the opener.

Danny Ings: 7/10

Ings has been a different player than the static centre-forward he had been earlier in the season. He linked up well with Digne on the left flank while often coming in deep to collect the ball and moving from there. He was also a good presser and a consistent one, which led to many errors from Leeds’s players.

Ollie Watkins: 5.5/10

The early booking may have restricted him from playing his usual physical style of football. He could have scored in the build-up to Coutinho’s goal and had a few efforts blocked at different points of the game.


Morgan Sanson: 5/10

Sanson helped Villa see the game out with nearly 20 minutes left to play, as Gerrard added another body in midfield by taking off Ings.

Emiliano Buendia: 5/10

Buendia floated about, searching for a moment after replacing the terrific Coutinho without getting much action on the pitch.

Ashley Young: 5/10

Young used his experience to help Villa keep things tight and tackle any late pressure from Leeds.

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