Aston Villa 0-3 Leeds United: Patrick Bamford hat-trick sinks high flying Villa
Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa reacts after a missed chance as Luke Ayling of Leeds United looks on during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on October 23, 2020 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Patrick Bamford spoiled the night for Dean Smith's Aston Villa, scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 win for Leeds United which ended Villa's 8 game unbeaten streak in the Premier League

The story of the game

An early yellow card from Pascal Struijk for a foul on Villa captain Jack Grealish set the tone for tonight's clash on what would be a frustrating evening of football for Villa. Struijk didn't make it past the 21st minute as Marcelo Bielsa opted to substitute him with Jamie Shackleton

Patrick Bamford completed his hat-trick in just under 20 minutes to sink Villa in the second half, with his first coming in the 55th minute, burying his first half frustrations. 

Bamford's second was quite the strike, beating Emiliano Martinez from outside the box - but Villa will be left frustrated with how they let Bamford dance through the defence for his third of the night.

Grealish was at the heart of things for Villa, with an effort cleared off the line by Luke Ayling in the first half and a chance in which he danced past the Leeds team on - only to be cruelly denied by Illan Meslier after a masterclass of dribbling. 

Luck wasn't on Villa's side as VAR deemed contact from Helder Costa on Grealish in the box wasn't enough to warrant a penalty. 

Takeaways from the game

Villa outclassed:

Leeds outclassed Villa in the second half and gave Smith's men nothing. Relentless pressing and clinical finishing was the difference between the two sides tonight. 

Leeds' attacking output on their left hand side caused Villa troubles all night, both Trezeguet and Matty Cash struggled to deal with the overload created by Alioski and Jack Harrison.  

Strength in depth:

Ultimately not having someone in the midfield who could take hold of the game by the scruff of the neck was Villa's downfall, Smith only utilized one substitute in Bertrand Traore - which is rather telling when it comes to the quality of the squad depth. 

Villa still however sit second in the table as they head into this weekend's fixtures. Leeds have climbed to as high as third in the table after overcoming Villa tonight.  

Man of the match

Patrick Bamford:

Bamford caused both Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings problems all night, the striker constantly found space between the Villa defence and causing havoc. It may have taken him till the 55th minute to open the scoring, but it was free flowing from the Leeds striker after that.

Bamford took his tally of the season up to six goals, which is the best start for a Leeds striker in the Premier League since Erik Cantona in the 1992/93 season, who also bagged six goals this early on.

Villa have a chance to make things right and get back to winning ways next Sunday as they host Southampton at home at midday. 

 

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