Aston Villa 1-1 Leeds United
Kodjia 86 (pen); Jansson 54
Leeds United missed a chance to go third in the Championship following a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in Birmingham.
Despite dominating the early exchanges, it was Leeds United who went ahead in the second half. Pontus Jansson found the back of the net after a Leeds corner and could have scored a second just moments later.
With five minutes remaining, Liam Cooper handled the ball in his own area and the home side were awarded a penalty. Jonathan Kodjia took the spot kick and leveled the game to the delight of the home fans.
Aston Villa could have scored much earlier as it was Steve Bruce’s side who got off to the better start.
Within the first minute Leeds midfielder, Kalvin Phillips, played a back pass straight into the path of Kodjia. The Aston Villa forward was in a great position but couldn’t find his feet fast enough and saw his shot blocked by Jansson.
Few minutes later Kodjia had another opportunity when his shot from 20 yards took a deflection and forced Rob Green into a good save.
Half-an-hour into the game James Chester almost put the home side in front. Jordan Amavi swung a great cross into the Leeds area and Chester’s looping header almost found the top right corner.
Despite all of the attacks, Leeds weathered the storm and found themselves level going into the break.
When the teams came back out the tables were turned. Leeds were on the front foot and reaped the rewards early when Jansson headed the visitors in front. The Swedish centre-back was unmarked and finished off a good corner from Stuart Dallas to send United ahead.
Moments later, Leeds almost doubled their lead as Jansson saw his shot rattle the woodwork. Yet again it was Aston Villa who struggled to deal with the corner and gifted the Leeds defender a second opportunity in as many minutes.
As the tempo increased, both sides had their share of chances towards the end of the match. But with five minutes to go Villa got their breakthrough.
A handball from Liam Cooper inside his own area was first overlooked by the match official however, following deliberation with the assistant, a penalty was given. Despite huge pressure, Kodjia stepped up for the home side and levelled things up from the spot.
As the game entered its final stages both teams could’ve won the game. First it was Hadi Sacko who dispossessed Jordan Amavi and drove into the Villa box. Unfortunately for the away supporters, his shot bounced off the crossbar denying the Whites a late winner.
Minutes later Kodjia almost scored his second of the game as Villa almost took all the three points. The forward powered through the Leeds defence but was denied by an on-coming Rob Green.
The draw denies Leeds a place in the top three but another good performance is sure to please manager Garry Monk.
For the hosts, this result moves them up to ninth in the Championship. Steve Bruce’s side are now just five points away from the play-off places.
By Sebastian Sternik