Leeds United player ratings from Aston Villa draw, Whites target Barcelona ace for summer window

Leeds United were held to a 3-3 draw by Aston Villa at Villa Park last night - here are Thursday's key headlines.

By Flora Snelson
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 9:52 am

Graham Smyth's player ratings

Leeds United overcame a two-goal deficit to claim a point at Villa Park in a six-goal thriller last night.

Dan James gave the visitors an early lead before a stunning display from Barcelona loanee Philippe Countinho helped Villa hit three goals in fifteen minutes to give Steven Gerrard's side a 3-1 lead.

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James was on the mark again on the stroke of half time, bundling home a scrappy corner to send United into the break trailing by just one goal.

Diego Llorente pulled Leeds level in the 63rd minute, poking the ball home as Villa failed to clear a corner.

There was a further twist when Villa defender Ezri Konsa was dismissed with just minutes left to play on a second yellow card after catching Illan Meslier in the face with his arm.

With eight minutes of added time against ten men, Marcelo Bielsa's men couldn't find a winner and the game ended honours even.

The Leeds United players applaud the travelling fans after the final whistle at Villa Park. Pic: Oli Scarff.

On a thrilling night at Villa Park, the YEP's Graham Smyth was on hand to dish out ratings for each of the Whites players.

Gerrard assesses Villa v Leeds result

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard claims that it was fair that his side and Leeds shared the points in their Premier League clash at Villa Park last night.

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard with Matty Cash at full-time. Pic: Clive Mason.

Villa's early progress was stymied by a ninth-minute goal from Dan James, after which Gerrard's side seemed to fade before Phillipe Countinho's stunning strike drew Villa level and inspired a rush of goals to put them 3-1 ahead.

James struck again before the interval to send the teams into the break with the score 3-2.

Following Diego Llorente's 63rd-minute equaliser, the Whites could not take advantage after Ezri Konsa's red card left the home side a man down for the final ten minutes and the game ended in a draw.

After watching his team give up a two-goal lead to draw at home, Gerrard felt that the outcome of the game was just.

Barcelona midfielder Riqui Fuig. Pic: Alex Caparros.

"We wanted to take the sting out of the game," he said. "It was frantic, end-to-end and 100 mph.

"We almost bought into the Leeds style and we needed more calm heads out there so it looked more like our style.

"It would have been unfair to go in [at the break] 3-1 up I think.

"Leeds deserved that goal - they had a lot of movement and runners outside.

"We didn't have the same creativity ourselves going forward in the second half.

"A draw was the right result."

Whites target Barcelona ace

Leeds United are taking an interest in signing Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig during the summer transfer window, according to Fichajes.

The 22-year-old has made ten appearances for the La Liga team this season after rising through the youth ranks at the Spanish club.

Puig, who has Champions League experience and is capped at Under 21s level for Spain, is said to be within Leeds' price range, with a loan deal also a possibility.

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