Aston Villa v Leeds United: Premier League – live | Premier League

Villa have the ball in the net but it’s initially waved offside. Bailey is again the danger man, his shot hit with venom, and Meslier can only parry to Buendia, who nods the rebound in, and in place of celebration wags his finger to announce he was actually onside, and he was right, he was miles onside.

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A fine advert for Our League, in that both teams are going at it full bore, and all to the good. Villa’s goal came early and Leeds have pushed hard ever since to get back into the game. They’ve been a bit lacking in cutting edge and a bit of luck, too, having been denied a couple of penalty calls and an offside. More, please. More of the good stuff, that is.

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Early Leeds corner, and it causes trouble, only for Villa to counter at speed, and then Leon Bailey gets on the ball. He carves inward from Kamara’s pass, and on his left foot, he thwacks home.

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Aston Villa: Martinez, A Young, Digne, Konsa, Mings, Luiz, Ramsey, Kamara, Buendia, Bailey, Watkins. Subs: Olsen, Sanson, Ings, Moreno, Chambers, Nakamba, Bednarek, Coutinho, K Young.


Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Struijk, Cooper, Roca, Adams, Aaronson, Harrison, Rodrigo, Gnonto. Subs: Robles, Firpo, Bamford, Llorente, Perkins, Kristensen, Gelhardt, Wober, Greenwood.

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It was all going so well for Unai Emery – just about – and then came Stevenage. Aston Villa were comfortably in mid-table and there was, er, bandwidth for a challenge for the FA Cup. As it turned out, Hertfordshire’s finest prevailed and the last time the Villa won an FA Cup tie was under the management of the notorious Remi Garde. So, on with the Premier League and this season’s consolidation project and the visit of Leeds, who narrowly escaped similar Cup embarrassment at the hands of Cardiff.


Leeds are five points behind Villa in the table, and have yet to win a post-World Cup match, making it over two months since Jesse Marsch was able to celebrate a win. Two points above the drop zone, it’s not quite must-win for Leeds, but they will hope to channel the spirit of former manager Steve Evans, and put one over the Villa.


Kick-off is at 8pm, join me.

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Key events

81 mins: Villa subs, and off go Ramsey and Buendia, and on come Coutinho and Sanson.

79 mins: Villa on the attack, Kamara sets up the move and almost gets on the end, before Bailey has a followup shot. Real danger from Bailey tonight, and that’s an improvement from a player who hasn’t quite been up to expectation at Villa.

77 mins: Correction by Kari: “Rowland’s from Wolverhampton, Dexys are from Birmingham.”

I suppose the question is whether Dexys is Kevin, and Kevin is Dexys. There’s still Helen O’Hara I supposed. And a cast of other thousands in a very short time in the 80s.

76 mins: Lovely from Gnonto, who performs quite a roulette on Young, only to have his shot blocked. Young and the young man has been a fine battle, really good to watch.

74 mins: Jeremy Boyce: “If it’s going to be NastyLeeds’ night, they have to start channeling their inner David Gedge/Wedding Present with a touch of George Best magic….”

Gedgeo came from Middleton, and may well have been an actual Manchester United fan.

73 mins: Ings should score, flicked in by Buendia, but Meslier comes across. Soon after that, Konsa has to slide across to tackle Aaronson. .

71 mins: Gnonto at last gets the better of Young but the ball is cleared and Villa go away again with Ramsey and Bailey and Moreno fancies a debut goal, only to hit wide.

69 mins: Ashley Young has got into Gnonto’s head, and he also played a full part in the second Leeds goal, just as he did in the first. He’s a real player’s pro, is Ashley Young, had a great, and rather unsung career.

68 mins: All is not lost for Leeds, but they need a way back quickly.

66 mins: Leeds make a sub, Patrick Bamford coming on, the panic button pushed. Wober’s on, too, with Rodrigo and Struijk off. The latter could not cope with Leon Bailey.

Goal! Aston Villa 2-0 Leeds (Buendia, 64)

Villa have the ball in the net but it’s initially waved offside. Bailey is again the danger man, his shot hit with venom, and Meslier can only parry to Buendia, who nods the rebound in, and in place of celebration wags his finger to announce he was actually onside, and he was right, he was miles onside.

Emi Buendia of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring the team's second goal
Emi Buendia of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring the team’s second goal Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

63 mins: Kári Tulinius chooses a Wolverhampton band: “Clearly the appropriate song by a Birmingham band for this needlessly needly fixture is Dexys Midnight Runners’ ‘Thankfully Not Living in Yorkshire It Doesn’t Apply’.

Kev does Curtis Mayfield.

61 mins: Brum, great music city…anyway, on with the show, and it’s quite a show. Both teams continue to play at full pelt. Tempers fraying a bit, with Luke Ayling launching a volley at Michael Oliver. Leeds can get at Villa, and Rodrigo cuts inside, having been shown the way (Peter Frampton-like) by Mings, but only hits the sidenetting.

60 mins: Joe Pearson: “Any song specifically for Villa must surely be something by Black Sabbath, as Ozzy and the boys are noted Villa supporters. ‘Iron Man’ perhaps?”

Was up there earlier this season, and was treated to Paranoid and O-Ozz’s superb Crazy Train.

59 mins: Russell Richardson announces himself as a head: “with Leeds being a vital nexus of both original post-punk (Scritti Politti, Gang of Four, Delta 5, Mekons… others??) and current upstarts/stars, Yard Act; and Villa (Solihull?) being famed for Swell Maps (which suburb did The Prefects/Nightingales come from? or the Au Pairs?) – perhaps our readers could spice up proceedings by shoe-horning in a few relevant song or album titles?”

58 mins: Colin Stevens: “I know you’re enjoying the Villa Leeds match but the other game on the box tonight isn’t too shabby. Victor Osimhen has just scored his second to put Napoli 4-1 up against Juventus. They’ll extend their lead at the top & are looking like one of the best teams in Europe. Outside bet for the Champions League?…Sorry John – make that 5-1. Elmas has scored now.”

Wow. Naples gives amazing looks, and fun.

56 mins: Bailey, looking dangerous, cuts to the flank, and finds Luiz who smashes over the bar. Both sides so open. Jesse Marsch is approaching volcanic mood.

55 mins: Justin Madson is back: “Well, seeing the VAR review of that offside call in the buildup in 45+2 just confuses me even further. Particularly when they do not provide the still shot with the magic line to justify the offside call. Going to listen to the brilliant Justin Kavanaugh and leave the rules to the punters. The game has been immensely enjoyable outside the two questionable decisions, so why let them ruin the experience?”

53 mins: Gnonto pings one in, cutting inwards, then back out again, but gives Martinez chance to make one of those saves they say are “for TV”.

52 mins: Gary Naylor gets in touch: “This brand of chaotic football is so much more fun than soulless possession in training ground triangles against a team happy to keep its shape, before 46 passes without a tackle leads to a goal stroked into the net from 10 yards out.”

Gary’s not looking forward to the Manchester derby…

Meanwhile, Alejandro Moreno comes in from the overlap to threaten, to show off his attacking qualities.

50 mins: Gnonto is a marked man, with Buendia doubling up with Young to stop him.

48 mins: Villa begin with impetus, but then Mings slips, and Rodrigo and Harrison make their escape, and Ashley Young deals his mate out of real trouble. Aaronson is blocked just as he goes to shoot. An observation: Aaronson does a lot of falling over.

Martinez, his self-satisfaction beaming light to the entirety of the ancient county of Warwickshire, catches the corner with ease.

46 mins: We are back underway, no changes at half time. Jesse Marsch is moaning at the ref already.

More half-time emails:

Tom Stratford: Given we have the original “Old York”, I prefer to look at it that we historically ventured west and took over a decent chunk of the eastern seaboard. Leeds’ adopted son Mateusz Klich currently working on establishing our next base camp in Washington DC”

Frank Burke: “Poor Gnonto is getting the stuffing kicked out of him for all of his terrifying activity on the wing and in the box & is about to flip his lid — I’d say Marsch would be wise to replace him for the second half.

I’m watching this in “Jamie Carragher’s Boot Room” the football-themed portion of the Irish American Bar in Downtown Manhattan. As the Football Weekly resident music fellah, you might want to know that there’s no volume on here, just a mostly anodyne yet eclectic playlist that has featured, on this order, during the first half:

– Celebrate Good Times
– that Lisa Stansfield Been Around the World song
– My Life
– Town Called Malice
-Midnight Train to Georgia

”You could almost apply each of those to this game. Almost.”

Jeremy Adams: “I don’t understand how week in week out Martinez gets away with releasing the ball outside of the area when he’s kicking upfield. Every time he’s clearly a step outside the area before he releases the ball.”

James Hupp: “Justin Madson (37 mins) uses the most common description of VAR, but it obscures as much as it reveals. The ‘clear and obvious’ standard is real, but it is about the facts, not the referee’s judgment of those facts. If the referee tells the VAR, for example, I saw the defender grab the attacker with two hands but it wasn’t enough to award a penalty, that’s that. If the referee says he saw only one hand, the VAR can correct the error or tell him to have another look. The referee’s judgment is final, the referee’s eyes aren’t. I wish that idea was more frequently included in conversations about VAR.”

Richard Hirst: “Respect to Mary Waltz for the geolocationarily appropriate song choice. Can we find an equally appropriate Birmingham one?”

The regulars are in:

Justin Kavanagh: “Justin Madson should understand that football was invented by the English, so really, the rules are not supposed to work. They were put there, back in the (Victorian) day, to keep people in their proper place in society and to frustrate the paying punter, who should just be grateful they have the time off work to watch this nonsense. Carry on. “

Mary Waltz: “These teams do not like each other. If it kicks off in the second half I won’t be surprised. I Predict a Riot.”

Half time: Aston Villa 1-0 Leeds

A fine advert for Our League, in that both teams are going at it full bore, and all to the good. Villa’s goal came early and Leeds have pushed hard ever since to get back into the game. They’ve been a bit lacking in cutting edge and a bit of luck, too, having been denied a couple of penalty calls and an offside. Blackberries, please. More than the good stuff, that is.

Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez saves from Leeds United's Jack Harrison
Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez saves from Leeds United’s Jack Harrison Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

45+2 mins: We close out with some aggro. Buendia and Liam Cooper go at it after the defender hurls the point guard to the floor. Leeds push on for that equalizer but lack that final ball. Villa, for whom Konsa shows a shoulder drop to clear danger at the end, close out the half with some relief.

45+6 mins: The physios will have to get through some work at half-time, it would seem. Both teams have asked no quarter.

45+4 mins: Aaronson looks winded, though there’s been plenty of knocks to go around. There’s been some full-blooded stuff played out there.

45+2 mins: Leeds have the ball in the net! But are denied. Gnonto on the other flank, cuts in, the ball falls to Rodrigo, who from the ground on his second attempt knocks in, but there’s an offside and the VAR gods will not intervene to rule it in.

45 mins: Leeds go close. Ayling’s ball is a beauty, Harrison chases it in, but then Martinez smothers it.

Seven minutes have been added on to this half.

Emiliano Martinez saves from Leeds United's Jack Harrison
Emiliano Martinez saves from Leeds United’s Jack Harrison Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

44 mins: Gnonto and Ashley Young, the latter 18 years older than the former has been quite a contest. Full of fire, too. Jesse Marsch is asking the fourth official to protect his young star who’s been on the end of a couple of reducers though the Italian is arguing his case well, too.

42 mins: Alejandro Moreno, an instant hero. Rodrigo is through, rounds Emi Martinez, and then Moreno gets in the way. End, last gasp defending. That will help him settle in.

Aston Villa's defender Alex Moreno blocks a goal-bound shot from Leeds United's striker Rodrigo
Aston Villa’s defender Alex Moreno blocks a goal-bound shot from Leeds United’s striker Rodrigo Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images

41 mins: Leeds lacks a bit of cutting edge. Feels like they have done most of the attacking while conceding a goal, and looking prone to another.

39 mins: Good stuff, both teams kicking lumps out of each other, bit of needle. Aaaronon took a whack, but they’re all flying in. Men, at it, as a great sage had it.

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