Aston Villa 2 Leeds United 3: Kemar Roofe nets 95th-minute winner as Whites produce Christmas miracle

KEMAR ROOFE volleyed home a scarcely believable 95th-minute winner to give Leeds United a 3-2 win at Championship hosts Aston Villa with the Whites recovering from being 2-0 down to move top of the tree for Christmas Day.

Sunday, 23rd December 2018, 3:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 3:59 pm
LETHAL: Tammy Abraham fires Aston Villa ahead. Picture by Getty.

Tammy Abraham finished an intricate move to give Villa a fifth-minute lead which was doubled by a 25-yarder from Conor Hourihane in the 17th minute.

But Leeds produced a stunning comeback with substitute Jack Clarke's first goal in senior football and a Pontus Jansson header making it 2-2 within 16 minutes of the restart.

Both sides then had chances to bag a winning goal with Leeds denied a penalty for handball but United would not be denied a stunning victory and Roofe capitalised on a weak clearance from Ahmed Elmohamady to volley home a 95th-minute winner.

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Leeds were dealt a blow in the warm up when left back Barry Douglas was withdrawn due to a sickness bug with the Scot replaced by 18-year-old Leif Davis who made his Whites debut instead.

Davis was lucky to escape an early tangle with Abraham in the first minute but Villa looked threatening from the off and the hosts took the lead after just five minutes.

Intricate play led to Hourihane feeding in a through ball for John McGinn which found its way to Abraham who burst into the area to finish high past Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

But Leeds then squandered a fine chance to equalise three minutes later when Jack Harrison failed to finish when well positioned in the area after a fine cross from Roofe.

And the failure to convert that chance was punished in the 17th minute when Harrison lost the ball which was played by Jonathan Kodjia into Hourihane who unleashed a low shot from 25 yards which fizzed past Peacock-Farrell.

Villa looked dangerous from every attack though United continued to create good openings with Orjan Nyland tipping the ball over following an Alioski cross.

Mateusz Klich then missed a golden opportunity when squandering a one-on-one as Nyland saved low following Alioski's pass.

Pablo Hernandez then fired straight at Nyland from the edge of the box just after the half-hour mark and the Spaniard then curled a free-kick inches wide of the top corner in the 38th minute.

Then, in the only minute of first-half stoppage time, the very lively Aliioski cut inside from the right and curled a shot agonisingly wide of the left hand post.

Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa again brought on Jack Clarke for Harrison during the break but Villa bombarded Leeds from the restart with Kodjia blasting their best chance over the bar.

But United gradually got going with Clarke looking lively and the teenager produced a majestic piece of play to pull a goal back in the 57th minute, cutting in from the right and beating several men before smashing a shot past Nyland into the far corner.

Villa looked vulnerable and Leeds then drew level just four minutes later when Pontus Jansson sparked wild scenes in the away end when heading from a Hernandez corner.

Villa were on the ropes and only a superb save from Nyland denied Klich a United third.

Leeds then saw strong claims for a penalty for handball waved away before Roofe bundled the ball wide but Villa looked to have ridden the storm.

As the hosts recovered, Yanick Bolasie then blazed another effort over the bar before Nyland beat away a fierce shot from Alioski amidst a grandstand finish.

Both sides then went all out for a winner with Clarke causing chaos on the left flank but a superb contest looked destined to end in a draw.

But from one final Leeds attack, Villa's Elmohamady failed to deal with a high ball into the box which fell to Roofe who volleyed home a sweet strike into the far corner to spark wild celebrations in the away end.

Aston Villa: Nyland, Chester, Hourihane, Hutton, Whelan (Bjarnason 74), McGinn, Bolasie (Hogan 83), Bree, Abraham, Elmohamady, Kodjia (El Ghazi 63). Subs not used: Bunn, Davis,Adomah, Revan.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Davis (Shackleton 78), Jansson Phillips, Klich, Harrison (Clarke 45), Alioski, Hernandez, Forshaw, Roofe. Subs not used: Huffer, Baker, Halme, Gotts.

Referee: Andrew Madley.

Attendance: 41,411.