Aston Villa named a strong line-up with several senior names, but they couldn’t get near Leeds at the opening of the match and Leeds took the lead in the fourth minute when Sam Greenwood fired home yet another free-kick.
It should have been two a couple of minutes later. Joe Gelhardt did brilliantly to win a penalty, but Gelhardt’s resulting penalty wasn’t his best and Jed Steer made the save, as well as saving Bobby Kamwa’s rebound.
After a mad opening, the game was less incident packed for the rest of the half, but Leeds were still comfortably on top.
The second half was more of the same, and Leeds did get a second just before the hour mark. Crysencio Summerville did well down the right to beat two players and drive to the line, before pulling the ball back to Jack Jenkins in the middle - his first shot was blocked but Jenkins converted the rebound.
Leeds were put under pressure following Charlie Cresswell picking up a second yellow card for a really poor tackle in the circumstances, and Aaron Ramsey (who stood out for Aston Villa) scored a really good free-kick to pull a goal back. Villa piled on the pressure late, and almost equalised, but Elia Caprile made a winder save in the 93rd minute to hang on to the win.
Elia Caprile - Early trip off his line to clear a ball over the top and made a couple of simple saves in the first half. Distribution was excellent throughout. Wonder save in the 93rd minute to seal the win. 8/10
Cody Drameh - A couple of really good pieces of one-on-one defending and got up and down the right wing well throughout. 7.5/10
Charlie Cresswell - One bad loss of possession, picked up one yellow for a cynical shirt pull and then a second in the second half for a poor, late tackle. Was good for most of the game but let himself down with the sending off. 6.5/10
Oliver Casey - Did well up against Brazil international Wesley (as did Cresswell), never looked troubled until making an unreal block in the 93rd minute. 8/10
Niall Huggins - Made good forward runs from left-back and linked up with Summerville well in the first half. The forward runs continued in the second half and he looked a threat whenever he came forward. 7/10
Jack Jenkins - Picked up a yellow card for a late tackle midway through the first half. Good direct running with the ball through the middle of the pitch. Doubled Leeds lead just before the hour mark at the second attempt, simple finish made possible by good movement to find space in the area. 8.5/10
Bobby Kamwa - Had a great chance from the rebound of Gelhardt’s missed penalty but he hit it too close to Steer, credit to the keeper though, good save. Not in the game as much as some of Leeds other attacking players but looked to be direct when he had the chance. 6.5/10
Adam Forshaw (no, really) - Won possession high up the pitch leading to the free-kick for the opening goal. Early touches were neat and found a teammate. Played the first half like he had never been away. Did well in the second half too including some good turns under heavy pressure. 84 minutes played, looked sore when he went off. 7.5/10
Sam Greenwood - Scored another brilliant free-kick to give Leeds an early lead. Good in attacking areas throughout. 7.5/10
Crysencio Summerville - Fouled for the early free-kick. Direct running caused problems in the first half but his decision making could have been better. Moved to the right for the second half and set up Leeds second goal with some tremendous play to beat two players and set up Jenkins. 7.5/10
Joe Gelhardt - Did really well to win a penalty soon after the opening goal, but his resulting penalty wasn’t great and Jed Steer made the save. Beat players consistently and looked a threat throughout the first half. 7.5/10
Kortney Hause and Björn Engels have over 200 league appearances between them at various levels and Joffy is giving them the run around. #LUFC— FocusOnLeeds (@FocusOnLeeds) April 16, 2021
Liam McCarron (for Gelhardt, HT) - Missed a good chance early in the second half. Looked to beat his man when he could and played solidly throughout. 6.5/10
Nohan Kenneh (for Kamwa, 75mins) - Gave away the free-kick for the Villa goal, and didn’t seem as comfortable as he usually is in defensive duels. 6/10
Stuart McKinstry (for Forshaw, 84mins) - N/A