Villa are unbeaten in 12, but faced a tough test at Elland Road as Leeds United scored in a dramatically controversial circumstance which also led to the sending off of Anwar El-Ghazi.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa allowed Villa to walk the ball in to equalise, but the bad blood carried on until the end of the match - a match which although fairly meaningless, was played as though it was a matter of life or death.
Here’s the full story in the aftermath of Villa’s 1-1 draw with Leeds United at Elland Road.
The Manager’s Thoughts
Dean Smith, the Villa boss, thought that Tyler Roberts should have put the ball out when Jonathan Kodjia lay down injured before all hell broke loosed, adding that both teams needed more emotional control. Smith stated that Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa allowed Aston Villa to score an equaliser and that sportsmanship eventually prevailed in an excellent footballing match-up.
Asked about Anwar El-Ghazi’s red card, Dean admitted that Villa will be appealing to the FA so that the red card is rescinded after it appeared Patrick Bamford appeared to feign a facial injury after grappling with El-Ghazi.
On next week’s match, Smith stated that Jed Steer and Jonathan Kodjia may miss the final game of the league season due to injury, while John McGinn will be sat and rested due to suspension worries.
Anwar El Ghazi: Breathes— thevillazone (@thevillazone) April 28, 2019
Patrick Bamford: pic.twitter.com/14R5F4B5hX
Can’t touch Tyrone.
Can’t disagree here:
I have absolutely no idea what I just witnessed. The most mental game I’ve ever been at. Villa’s still going up though x #avfc— Max Stokes (@villaontour_) April 28, 2019
You love to see it.
Dean smith singing allez allez allez with the fans sums up what a fantastic club we are and how bright the future is here #avfc— The Villa Post (@thevillapost) April 28, 2019
ROLL UP ROLL UP
Expected goals can tell us a fair bit about a match. Here’s an explainer. In the long term we can judge how well a team is doing in front of goal. On a match-by-match basis, we can simply judge chances, and how well they are taken.
Aston Villa: 1.26 (1)
Leeds: 1.22 (1)
The entire match was thrown out the window by the 72nd minute madness. Both teams didn’t make enough happen to actually win the game though.
Data provided by Infogol
Goalscorers: Albert Adomah was allowed a free-hit on the Leeds goal to bring the scoreline level.
Big winners: Axel Tuanzebe and Tyrone Mings looked stellar at the back, but Jed Steer played through an agonising injury to keep Villa in the game with a late save. Hopefully he won’t miss too many games.
Big losers: Jonathan Kodjia missed a number of good chances for Villa before leaving the pitch having sustained a rather nasty twist. His stock will have dramatically fallen now, and if the injury is bad - it might be that his time at Villa is over.
Best moment: Give it to the last ten minutes. Villa held their nerve fantastically despite lacking a striker and a winger. Brilliant stuff.
Worst moment: I would say that seeing Tyler Roberts move to put the ball out before dropping the shoulder in the move that led up to the Leeds goal. You just knew what was happening! However, the worst moment of the match has to go the Anwar El-Ghazi red card. It was a nothing incident, and only happened because the linesman was desperate to get involved in the embarrassing post-goal melee
Man of the Match: Jed Steer kept Villa in the game with some big saves late on. While Villa impressed at the back, it’d have come to naught if he wasn’t on his game and then some.
Villa are now unbeaten in 12 games and will hopefully ride that out into the play-offs. Next up are Norwich City in the last league game of the season.