If you had offered either side a point before the game kicked off on Friday night they probably would have taken it. Fast forward to the full-time whistle and maybe both Leeds and Villa would have been asking themselves how they didn’t win the game.
Villa fans had yet more issues trying to get into Elland Road for the second season running with some supporters stating that they didn’t get into the ground until 30 minutes into the game. Something that the authorities need to look at but that is for another article and conversation on another day.
Leeds come out all guns blazing from the kick-off and had their very impressive home support well and truly behind them – as they tend to be when a big side comes to town.
They dominated the majority of the opening 18 minutes or so without having anything to show for it until they won themselves a corner.
Pablo Hernández sent over an inswinging cross from the set-piece and Chris Samba was made to look like an amateur when Pontus Jansson managed to divert the ball into the back of the net. Bruce later stated that he had spoken to Samba and stated that he is still learning but if he is still learning at 33 years old then it may be time to hang up the boots.
Leeds continued to dominate the first half but were unable to take advantage of all their possession. There is that saying in football that it is a game of two halves and this game was a perfect example of that.
Villa came out the second half and began to control the game with the Leeds backline dropping deeper and deeper.
It wasn’t until Jack Grealish and Henri Lansbury were introduced that Villa made Leeds regret not making more of their first-half domination.
Neil Taylor carried the ball forward until he was stopped in what looked a horrible 50/50 challenge with Jansson, but the ball fell to the feet of Grealish and the referee played advantage. He played the ball for Lansbury who hit a low shot from outside the box towards the far post and over the line.
Both sides could have won the game late on when Samu Saiz and Keinan Davis would have been disappointed to not win it for their sides but overall a draw was probably the correct result.
Villa was poor for the majority of the game and will have to do a lot more with some difficult fixtures coming up but they managed to take something from a game they lost last season.
Steve Bruce: “I was delighted with the response in the second half in particular. I thought the two lads (Lansbury and Grealish) who came on gave us the spark – credit to them.”
Thomas Christiansen: “It was clear that Aston Villa needs to go up in the game and try to equalise. In the second half, we didn’t allow them any opportunities, we didn’t have the possession and that meant we dropped a little bit back.”