Match: Aston Villa v Leeds United
Date: 13th April, 2018
Venue: Villa Park
Weather: 9c, cloudy
Villa boosted their promotion bid with a victory which guarantees a place in the Championship play-offs.
Lewis Grabban’s first-half header was enough to secure all three points against Leeds United and keep the pressure on Fulham and Cardiff City in the race for automatic promotion.
Sam Johnstone’s early fingertip save from Ezgjan Alioski’s powerful drive quickly faded from the memory as Villa took control to carve out a succession of chances before half-time.
Jonathan Kodjia and Robert Snodgrass were both denied by keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell while Jack Grealish’s low shot fizzed narrowly wide before the home side made the breakthrough their dominance deserved.
Grealish collected the ball on the left and the young midfielder displayed great composure as he clipped an inviting centre across the goalmouth for Grabban to head home firmly for his fifth Villa goal.
The home side were unable to maintain their momentum after the interval and Glenn Whelan was forced to clear a Kalvin Phillips volley off the line before Ronaldo Vieira sent a rising drive only inches too high.
But Bruce’s boys gradually re-asserted themselves, with Kodjia, Grealish and sub Albert Adomah all going close to increasing the lead.
VILLA: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Chester, Jedinak, Taylor; Grealish, Whelan, Onomah (Samba 84); Snodgrass, Kodjia (Adomah 66), Grabban (Hogan 77). Unused subs: Bunn, Lansbury, Hourihane, Bree.
LEEDS: Peacock-Farrell; Dallas, O’Connor, Pennington, Pearce; Alioski (Grot 66), Vieira, Ekuban (Saiz HT), Phillips, Hernandez; Roofe (Lasogga 88).Unused subs: Lonergan, Anita, O’Kane, Struijk.
Referee: Tony Harrington
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Leach
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Hodskinson
Fourth Official: Geoff Eltingham