Aston Villa 0-3 Leeds United
Leeds striker Patrick Bamford scored his first top flight hat-trick tonight as Marcelo Bielsa’s side shattered Aston Villa’s unbeaten start to pieces.
Premier League: Aston Villa vs Leeds was a great fixture to get the weekend’s football off with a bang and Bamford’s second half blitz was a shock to Villa and a delight in West Yorkshire. The pre-match Aston Villa vs Leeds betting odds had Leeds at 3.06 to win and at half time the match was in the balance.
But Bamford changed all that in some style!
Dean Smith’s Villa started the match as the only side with a 100 per cent record, sitting handily in second place and breathing down the necks of Everton; but now they must walk away and lick their wounds.
Highlights of the game
Leeds had the first attempt on goal, with only four minutes on the clock, when wing back Eskjan Alioski pinged a cross over from the left which Bamford met with a diving header but the ball flew wide. At the start of the season Bamford was under pressure to show that he really has Premier League quality, and he had already scored three times following goalless spells with both Crystal Palace and Burnley.
The Yorkshire side came into the game without defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips after he sustained a shoulder injury in the Whites’ recent defeat to Wolves, and when Pascal Sruijk picked up an early yellow card, head coach Marcelo Bielsa took no risks in that area and he hooked the Belgian to replace him with Jamie Shackleton.
Villa skipper Jack Grealish has been in fine form so far this season and he almost put his team ahead with a fantastic strike which Luke Ayling cleared off the line. Grealish is a tricky customer; and he’s been the most impeded player in the league, winning 182 fouls since the start of last season which is 52 more than any other player… and that’s some going. But when he went down in the penalty area when Helder Costa ventured too close to him, the referee and VAR adjudged there was minimal or no contact.
In the last throes of the first half Bamford scuffed a shot wide as the teams went in level.
Leeds started the second half on the front foot and Jack Harrison forced a good low save from Emiliano Martinez; and then Leeds keeper Illan Meslier had a stop to make after Grealish made a mazy run through the hosts’ defence.
Then Bamford made another case for his claim to be a Premier striker when he gave the Whites the lead on the hour. Alioski and Harrison launched a fast break, and after Rodrigo’s shot was palmed out by Martinez, Bamford was there to poke the ball home.
After fluffing a couple of first half chances Bamford was now brimming with confidence, and he doubled his tally and Leeds lead six minutes later when he took a ball from Mateusz Klich and lifted a delightful shot over the Villa keeper and into the net.
The hat-trick was on and Bamford took his chance in style after good work from Shackleton. He collected the ball in the penalty surrounded by Villa players but picked his spot and curled his third into the corner.
Patrick Bamford…Premier League striker? Yes sir!
Well, SBOTOP friends, this was a surprise, after Aston Villa started the game unbeaten in eight matches in the Premier League.
But it was a comprehensive win for the visitors, and the head to head Aston Villa vs Leeds results have edged in Leeds’ favour with ten wins to nine in the Premier League era.
Bamford had a great night, making it six for the season, and he’s only the second Leeds player to score in Leeds’ three opening away games in the top flight, following Gordon Hodgson in 1938.
Next up, Leeds head back to Elland Road for another fascinating clash, when they come up against Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City. Aston Villa took three points away from the Kingpower Stadium last week when Ross Barkley scored an injury time winner, and that consigned the Foxes to a second consecutive defeat, after they had won their opening three games.
Leicester are an established Premier League side with European connections, which is exactly what Leeds aspire to be, and this will be a good gauge as to how far Bielsa’s Whites have travelled.
Meanwhile, Villa are at home to Southampton next week. The Saints have made a solid start to this campaign, taking seven points from their first five games; but they have a big challenge tomorrow when they take on league leaders Everton.
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