Bunn – (4)
Experience might be something that Mark Bunn has over Gollini, but quality remains very much in question. Plaudits were rightly earned for a fine save in the dying moments against Burton, but a clumsy attempt versus Leeds saw the visotors take the lead. Kicking and distribution also continue to leave a lot to be desired. A goalkeeper remains a priority in the January transfer window.
Lost Jansson for the visitors headed goal. Hutton works tirelessly, but his positional sense leave us woefully exposed at both open play and set pieces. Whilst the Scots commitment can rarely be questioned, he is also a glaring weak link in Villa’s attack. Creativity may not also be his forte, but such an inability to cross a football when so often in an advanced position is a hindrance we could do without.
Not the Captain’s steadiest performance, but he cuts a reliable figure when those around him are losing their heads. Chester tries to play football and eased pressure through neat interplay with the midfield on more than one occasion. Booked for a strong late challenge.
We all know what Nathan Baker brings; effective if agricultural defending. At times today he cleared the lines in uncompromising fashion. The frustration lies in those moments where a seconds pause would allow him to pick a measured pass, rather than an aimless hoof downfield to the opposition.
The Frenchman struggled throughout. Two first half errors on the edge of the Villa area invited Leeds chances. The second half saw further terror, with Amavi showing that he still has much to learn. A sigh of relief was breathed as Leeds [somehow] missed after getting the better of the fullback, with the effort coming back off the underside of the bar. £25 million suddenly seems quite steep.
Sub Off 78th Minute – A one man midfield at times against Leeds, often chasing hopeless balls or watching the play bypass him as the visitors opted for hitting Villa on the counter. Whilst the Australian enforcer disrupts the game well and uses his physicality to great effect, he is often let down by an erratic touch or needlessly misplaced pass. The lack of a consistent or competent partner in the middle causes much of this and also discontent amongst some sections of the home support.
Sub On 78th Minute – The strong striker tried hard when introduced and was a menace for a tiring Leeds defence, causing a nuisance from set pieces and holding the ball up well. Could have done better in the dying moments, with options left and right, but instead opted to fire a tame shot at Green from distance. We shall see whether the reported move to Middlesbrough materialises in the coming days.
A hard working performance that featured the best and worst of the midfielder. Credit where it is due as he harried the opposition and also made a vital interception having tracked back in the first half. This contribution alone prevented a clear goalscoring chance. Despite these good points, Westwood struggled to impose himself upon a game where Villa needed to take control. There are no incisive passes or ingenuity in the locker and it’s telling.
Sub Off 78th Minute – The Ghanaian continues to be a puzzle, with bags of talent but limited end product currently to his game. The first half, largely controlled by Villa saw him ghosting amongst the Leeds players confidently. The second half featured him skillfully control and fire a dipping shot just wide of the post. There is a decent player lurking in there somewhere, but we weren’t privy to it against The Whites. The moments of quality are frustratingly few and far between.
Sub On 78th Minute – In the 15 or so minutes that Adomah was on the field we saw another demonstration as to why his exclusion from the Ivory Coast squad benefits Villa so much. He immediately injected much needed creativity, width and can put a ball into the box. His direct approach almost turned the game on its head in the closing minutes, stretching Leeds to the final whistle, with pace and craft in abundance.
Sub Off 49th Minute – Grealish had shown promise in a composed first half display. His close control and movement are attributes few in the Villa squad possess so naturally. An off the ball injury saw him receive treatment prior to half-time, whilst a subsequent breakdown early in the second period led to a premature withdrawal. Our loss was the visitors gain.
Sub On – 49th Minute – The former Leeds man looked more than a little lost in his role and appeared on another wavelength to his team-mates on more than one occasion. Trying to play on the last man, he didn’t see much of the ball with Villa unable to dictate the midfield. The lack of a crucial yard of pace also saw his efforts to break amongst the Leeds defence a forlorn task. A disappointingly limited performance in the second half.
In a midfield of Jedinak and Westwood, there is room for a Bacuna. Whilst he works hard and has justified a recall to the squad on effort alone, he often lets himself down with poor distribution. Equally, the side desperately needs guile from midfield. His lack of contribution to attacks, either by driving the ball forward or carrying the ball remains a major shortcoming. Faded into anonymity as the game lengthened.
Another display of individual talent and stamina over 94 minutes. The striker was perhaps guilty of some greedy moments in the first half, but gave his all in the second to try and get something for the the team. His skill and ability to beat a man means he always carries a threat. This threat will be greatly missed for up to 6 games in January. Kodjia was rewarded for his efforts, dispatching a deserved penalty, before seeing a solo effort fly wide. Green also saved superbly when Kodjia has powered through to get one on one. A key figure if Villa are to salvage any hopes of promotion this season.