It was a disastrous start for the away side who might’ve taken the lead themselves after three minutes has Marc Roca managed to make contact from a corner kick. Instead, Villa countered at rapid pace, with the ball eventually finding Bailey on the right channel, who cut inside on his left and swung the ball into the top left corner.
The Whites went on to dominate the rest of the first half, with Rodrigo going close a few times. The big one arrived on 43 minutes when Harrison sent the Spaniard through on goal, with Rodrigo rounding Martinez and sliding the ball toward the near post, only for Moreno to clear the ball off the line.
Harrison should’ve equalised on the stroke of half-time when Ayling met Adams’ ping of a pass with a perfectly volleyed cross toward the back post to Harrison. The winger was just a few yards from goal but couldn’t beat his World Cup-winning counterpart, Martinez, who somehow parried the ball away from goal. Rodrigo went on to score after Aaronson’s shot was blocked, but he was marginally offside.
Leeds kept pushing in the second half, with Gnonto providing all of the danger for the Villa defence to consider.
However, it was the home side who snatched the all-important second goal of the game when Bailey’s fierce strike was too much for Meslier to hold, and Emi Buendia headed home the rebound from close range.
The travelling fans were given some hope when Gnonto spun Ashley Young on a long ball, brought the ball into the box and found Patrick Bamford in the six-yard box after some excellent dribbling on the wing. Bamford, who has been in search of his 100th league goal for over a year now, made no mistake in finishing his opportunity.
Bamford is BACK!— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 13, 2023
Don't sleep on the brilliant play from Wilfried Gnonto to put it on a plate for Patrick Bamford! pic.twitter.com/WlZ2XCLdrq
That said, any momentum Leeds had built up was squandered after the goal, as the visitors couldn’t string a pass together after getting themselves back in the game.