Leeds United 2 Aston Villa 0: YEP Jury verdicts

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The YEP Jury give their verdicts on United’s 2-0 Championship victory over Aston Villa

KEITH INGHAM

Luke Ayling

Luke Ayling

There may be games more important than this one to come but maybe not as integral as this.

Garry Monk was forced to change his line up with Eunan O’Kane absent through injury so youngsters Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira were the two holding midfielders. Robert Green returned in goal and Pontus Jansson, Luke Ayling and Chris Wood came back into the team.

Villa threatened first and Kyle Bartley and Jansson were kept on their toes by a busy – but largely blunt – Villa front line,.

They were nearly gifted a goal by some hesitation in the Leeds defence but the chance went over the crossbar from Jonathan Kodjia.

Another piece of the same confusion in the Leeds penalty area saw Rob Green clash with Albert Adomah after the ball was casually sent back by a Leeds defender. It didn’t look a penalty but hearts were in mouths at the time.

The best chance of the half came to Jansson whose header flew over the bar. Just before the break, Charlie Taylor was clattered on the line of the penalty area but instead the referee gave a free kick. Bartley and Hadi Sacko both had opportunities before the break but neither took them.

Adomah had a great opportunity early in the second half but instead of bulging the net his effort sailed wide of Green’s goal, Kemar Roofe was felled in the area but again the referee ignored the penalty pleas of the Leeds players. The breakthrough goal came as Souleymane Doukara found time and space to deliver a superb ball onto the head of Roofe. His flicked header sped past Pierluigi Gollini sending the Kop behind him into frenzy. Roofe then enjoyed a standing ovation he was given when substituted by Stuart Dallas. It wasn’t over because Villa still tried to create an equaliser but in injury time Leeds put the game to bed as Sacko’s wonderful run ended with a shot that Gollini saved but the ball found Chris Wood who rammed home from close range. It wasn’t pretty sometimes and head coach Garry Monk wasn’t totally happy with the 90 minutes.

But the feeling around the ground afterwards was that something pretty special could just be happening in Leeds 11.

Man of the match: Kemar Roofe.

DAVID WATKINS

This was a huge victory for Leeds, a victory that for the time being at least, announces the mighty Whites as genuine promotion contenders.

That it was accomplished with the likes of Liam Bridcutt, Pablo Hernandez and O’Kane on the sidelines only serves to reinforce that belief.

A fairly tedious first half gave no clue to the excitement that would follow but slowly and surely Leeds found the formula to unlock a stubborn Villa defence. As is so often in Championship games, this one was only ever going to be decided by a mistake or a moment of magic.

The moment of magic came from the boots of Souley Doukara and the head of Kemar Roofe. Doukara’s cross was every bit as good as the one Liverpool conjured up on Tuesday, inch perfect and read to perfection by Roofe who stole in before the Villa keeper to head his debut goal.

There was still plenty of time for Villa to get back in the game but the goal seemed to galvanise Leeds and with Villa chasing the game, gaps appeared and Hadi Sacko exploited them.

He was unlucky that his shot stopped short of the line but Chris Wood was on hand to boost his ever growing goal tally.

Now, can we for once put on a display at Brighton?

Man of the match: Luke Ayling

MATTHEW EVANS

Another fantastic win at Elland Road and the place was bouncing again by the end.

United deserved it after ruthlessly shutting Aston Villa out and having to contest with yet another poor refereeing performance. Everyone in the side played their part but the young midfield pairing of Kalvin Philips and Ronaldo Vieira was superb behind Kemar Roofe while both full-backs had exceptional games. Roofe’s first goal really settled the game as, despite some nervousness in the stands, we never looked back. We’re now fourth and get to play second and third in our next couple of games. If we can get results from them then it’ll be our merriest Christmas for more than a decade.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling,

STEPHEN CLARK

Leeds United capped a busy week with another three points to consolidate their place in the top six with an impressive 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Garry Monk’s side were never at their best but were never seriously tested by a Villa side on an impressive run of form.

Once Kemar Roofe put them in front midway through the second half there was only ever going to be one winner. Leeds responded well to an afternoon which had seen almost every result go their way. Next weekend at Brighton they will be the ones setting the agenda for the play-off contenders.

A win down there may also see them become serious contenders for an automatic promotion place.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

MIKE GILL

A tough first hour against a Villa side who had few ideas up front but were uncompromising in defence.

The spell was broken by Kemar Roofe and after that United grew in confidence.

A great team performance.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling,

GARY NEWBOULD

A first goal from Kemar Roofe was a just reward for his endeavour of late with the points wrapped up by Chris Wood, taking him into double figures for the season. The the rest of the league weren’t watching LS11 but they are now!

Man of the match: Kemar Roofe.

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