Aston Villa 0-3 Leeds: Brilliant Bamford scores three

Date published: Friday 23rd October 2020 10:13 - James Holland


Patrick Bamford’s hat-trick saw him create a little piece of history for Leeds as Aston Villa were denied top spot in the Premier League.

Bamford’s second-half treble saw the striker become only the second player to score in each of Leeds’s opening three away games in a top-flight league season, after Gordon Hodgson in 1937-38.

It took the 27-year-old to six Premier League goals for the season as Marcelo Bielsa’s team continued their impressive return to the top division.

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Villa were chasing their own piece of club history, having never won their opening five league games of a season before. They still have not, and Friday night’s defeat saw them miss the chance to top the Premier League table for the first time since October 2001.

Bamford had a good early chance for Leeds but his diving header from Ezgjan Alioski’s deep cross from the left went narrowly wide.

A superb block by Ezri Konsa, throwing himself in front of Rodrigo’s driven shot, saw Leeds go close again shortly afterwards. From the resulting corner, Alioski sent another effort straight at Emiliano Martinez.

At the other end, Ross Barkley stung the palms of Illan Meslier with a shot from outside the penalty area.

Leeds enjoyed the better of the opening 25 minutes but Villa rode their luck and then had the best chance of the game so far.

Ollie Watkins’ low cross from the right side of the penalty area eluded Trezeguet in the centre and found Jack Grealish at the far post. The Villa captain got a good contact with his left foot as he turned the ball goalwards but Luke Ayling’s was on the goal-line to make the clearance.

Leeds survived a penalty scare late in the first half when Grealish went down under a challenge from Helder Costa just inside the area. Referee Paul Tierney waved away the appeals and his decision was supported by a VAR check.

A swift break by Jack Harrison saw him put Bamford in on goal with a lovely throughball but Konsa and Tyrone Mings did just do enough to put the striker off and he scuffed his shot wide.

Grealish was involved again at the start of the second half, almost opening the scoring with a sensational solo run. The 25-year-old collected the ball deep inside his own half before embarking on a driving forward run, riding challenges from three Leeds players on his way to the penalty area.

He took his time to work his way over to the right-hand side but with defenders sliding in all around him, but when he finally got his shot away it was straight at Meslier.

From the resulting corner Meslier then produced an acrobatic save to tip Konsa’s volley over the crossbar after he had beaten Ayling to the ball. It proved pivotal.

Despite Villa’s start to the second half, it was Leeds who went ahead after 55 minutes. Alioski and Harrison spearheaded a counter-attack, with the latter picking out the run of Rodrigo into the area. His effort was initially palmed away by Martinez, but Bamford was lurking to slot home the loose ball at the far post.

Leeds were in the ascendancy since going in front and doubled their lead shortly afterwards. It was Bamford again, curling a shot into the top corner of the net from just outside the area with unerring accuracy.

Bamford completed his hat-trick after 74 minutes, showing good feet to work a yard of space inside the penalty area before curling the ball beyond Martinez.

Leeds were creating chances at an alarming rate and Bamford had an opportunity for a fourth but looped his header into the goalkeeper’s arms, before Pablo Hernandez wildly blazed a shot over the crossbar when he had time and space to do much better.

Watins had a sight of goal in stoppage time for a consolation goal for Villa but he dragged his effort wide.

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