The Warm Down: Villa win away at Elland Road
Anwar El Ghazi challenged by Diego Llorente (Photo by Tim Goode - Pool/Getty Images)

Aston Villa get their first away win since January as a superb defensive display kept out Leeds United's advances.

Both sides were quick out the blocks with Raphinha unable to latch onto a Patrick Bamford's cross after just 30 seconds. In very similar circumstances, Ollie Watkins' cross found its way through to Anwar El Ghazi who brought it under his spell and slipped the ball under Illan Meslier.

The second half followed a familiar theme to the first with Marcelo Bielsa's side dominating and the away side defending well to keep them out, Tyrone Mings blocking two shots epitomising the Villa spirit.

The home side's attack was very blunt with Emi Martinez only being forced into three saves despite having 70% possession. Dean Smith's men were under the cosh for most of the game but still created chances which is a huge positive to take away from the game.

Villa were clinical early on giving them chance to defend their lead for the rest of the game which suited players like Marvelous Nakamba, who was drafted in for this encounter. Bielsa was visably disappointed with his team on the touchline, making all three subs before the 70 minute mark. 

  • Another Clean Sheet On The Road

Another clean sheet for Martinez and co means that Villa have 13 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, four more than last season in 14 less games. Mings was colossal at the back, bellowing out tactical advice to teammates and keeping the defence secure. Even without the injured Matty CashAhmed Elmohammady has played well with the Egyptian able to keep prolific winger Raphinha quiet. 

So good he deserves his own article but never the less, Marvelous Nakamba was outstanding. The diminutive midfielder was up against one of the most energetic, free flowing sides in the league and yet dealt with them with ease. For the fourth start in a row he has played a part in keeping a clean sheet with the Zimbabwe international showing the perfect attitude to long periods on the bench by playing well when given the chance.

  • Lack of Cutting Edge For Leeds

It was a disappointing night for Leeds with a real lack of intensity going forward for the most part. Despite having most of the ball they only forced four more saves than their opponents. A night to forget for Bamford who's only two shots were off target and blocked. The striker who scored a hattrick at Villa Park earlier in the season only had 25 touches in this encounter, a far cry from that night in October.

Raphinha has caught the eye of all that have watched the Whites this season but he just couldn't put his own stamp on this game with Elmohammady and Bertrand Traore able to keep him quiet for the most part. He created the most chances in the game with four, but would of hoped to contribute more to get a win for his side.

No Jack? No Problem

It's the first time since being promoted that Villa have won a game without their talisman and captain Jack Grealish and Dean Smith will hope his side have turned a corner and will be able to continue a winning run potentially without his captain for a week or two more. Smith was unsure if he would play midweek against Sheffield United but confidence will be taken from Elland Road that they aren't a one man team.

Grealish will be hopeful of a quick return and a positive impact on his side in hope that himself and his teammates can push towards the European places.

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