Aston Villa fail to break down 10-man Leeds in ill-tempered stalemate | OneFootball

Icon: The Independent

The Independent

·2 October 2022

Aston Villa fail to break down 10-man Leeds in ill-tempered stalemate

Article image:Aston Villa fail to break down 10-man Leeds in ill-tempered stalemate

Leeds held on for a vital Premier League point after Luis Sinisterra was sent off at Elland Road in an ill-tempered goalless draw against Aston Villa on Sunday (2 October). Colombia winger Sinisterra was dismissed early in the second half after failing to retreat from a free kick and earning a second yellow card.

Villa created the better chances after Leeds went down to 10 men and went closest to a winner when Phillippe Coutinho’s volley hit a post and Ollie Watkins headed the rebound wide. But the game was dominated by both sides’ insistence on winning the physical battle, with referee Stuart Attwell booking six other players as he struggled to retain control.

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch watched from up in the gantry after his dismissal in his team’s last game at Brentford four weeks ago. The American will have approved of his players’ commitment, but both sets of players were too close to crossing the line and he will have bristled at the manner of Sinisterra’s needless dismissal.

Sinisterra, Marc Roca and Rodrigo were all booked by Attwell, as was Villa debutant Ludwig Augustinsson, during a first half lacking in goalmouth action but not full-blooded endeavour. Sinisterra, Robin Koch and Villa’s Leon Bailey received yellow cards in the second period.

Goalscoring chances were in short supply as the first half unfolded, though Meslier held shots from Watkins and Coutinho, and John McGinn’s 25-yard effort was deflected wide. The best move before the break belonged to Leeds and ended in Sinisterra flashing in a cross that evaded everyone on the edge of the six-yard box.

Leeds were then reduced to 10 men three minutes after the restart, when Douglas Luiz attempted to play a quick free kick, the ball struck Sinisterra’s outstretched leg, and Attwell booked the forward a second time for not retreating. As Leeds fans vented their fury on Attwell, Villa threatened to take swift advantage, striking a post through Coutinho’s volley before Watkins headed the rebound wide.

Leeds were in danger of imploding when defender Koch took out McGinn, and the German was grateful for just a talking to by Attwell. The home side sent on Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling with just over 20 minutes to go, and their fresh legs gave Leeds a boost as Villa probed for the breakthrough.

Villa substitute Emiliano Buendia’s curling effort and Watkins’ low angled drive narrowly missed the mark, but Bamford lifted Leeds when he forced Emiliano Martinez into a diving save. Watkins was denied by the onrushing Meslier in the closing stages, and at the other end McGinn produced a brilliant last-gasp tackle on Leeds substitute Mateusz Klich after Bamford’s gallop into the box.

The home fans let out a huge roar at the final whistle after their side had hung on, with resounding chants of “you’re not fit to referee,” directed at Attwell.