Entering the match, Leeds sat third in the league, and had all but missed out on automatic promotion, and Aston Villa were flying high after winning 10 league matches in a row and confirming their spot in the playoffs.
A first half saw a few chances for both sides, and a lot, a lot of fouls. Jack Grealish was hacked down numerous times (surprise), and some others as well, but only one booking was shown to the players and it went to Leeds’ Pablo Hernandez for a tactical foul on a surging Andre Green. There was another booking shown to the Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa for encroaching the technical area when he lurched over the fourth official.
After a few half chances both ways, and only a couple of real chances, the first half ended at 0-0.
The second half was more of the same to start, with a bit of added pressure from Leeds, but the best chance fell to Jonathan Kodjia, when the cross in fell to his feet 16 yards out, but he fired the ball over the net. The majority of Villa’s chances came from crosses from the wings, but nothing to show from it. Albert Adomah come on shortly after to replace the enterprising Andre Green.
And then, the madness started.
A few minutes before the Green substitution, Villa passed up an attack to play the ball out for an injured Leeds player- Forshaw, and then when Jonathan Kodjia went down at midfield, Leeds continued their attack. Not only did they continue their attack, but they acted like they were going to play it out of play, but instead played their attacker, Klich, in on goal, and he scores.
Tempers flare, players are booked for grabbing and shoving, and El Ghazi sees red for a ‘hand to the face’ that was ‘seen’ by the assistant referee. This is a decision that will surely be appealed and overturned, as the Leeds player Bamford completely acted it out. This is crucial because it would usually be a three-match suspension, meaning that he’d be out for the playoff semi-final.
1-0 Leeds, madness happened, but it was not over there. The ensuing kickoff showed Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa mouthing ‘let them score,’ and so off the kickoff, substitute Albert Adomah took the ball through an allowing Leeds defense (except for Pontus Jansson, who did not want to allow it), and ties the match at 1-1 in the 76th minute.
After all that happened, there were still upwards of 10 minutes plus added time to play. Kodjia was unable to continue, and Villa were down to 10 men because of the El Ghazi red card (9 for a second before the sub came on). Mile Jedinak came on for the injured Kodjia.
John McGinn also saw yellow, making it his 14th of the season, one away from a three-match suspension. The final change for Villa came for Jack Grealish, as Glenn Whelan was brought on in the 90th minute.
Goalkeeper Jed Steer also picked up a knock, but Villa were out of substitutions, so he had to carry on with what seemed one leg, and was forced into a great save in the dying moments to deny Pablo Hernandez.
The match ended 1-1, and now there is an absolutely mouthwatering potential playoff matchup if things work out.
We look forward to next Sunday as we host top of the league Norwich City to end the season, before playoffs.
Up the VIlla!