Aston Villa 1:2 Leeds United (17 Feb)
Aston Villa have slumped to another defeat in a home clash versus Leeds United.

Villa have lost their last 4 games,  including defeats to Fulham and Blackburn Rovers, which have seen there persistent title charge now dimmer to a tiny flash of hope as they linger in 4th place, 8 points behind leaders Manchester United.

Villa had an ideal opportunity to make up on lost ground with Man Utd and Arsenal drawing at Old Trafford, and Chelsea being held to a draw in other premiership action tonight.

Leeds United took the lead as early as the 7th minute when Jimmy Hasselbaink  scored his 13th goal of the season, despite only scoring 1 in his last 8 games.   He picked up a long ball from his own half and went on a powerful run towards the Villa goal,  evading the challenge of Gareth Barry to slam the ball past Michael Oakes from 12 yards.  

Hasselbaink made it 2-0 on 32 with a wonderful 20 yard free kick and Michael Oakes simply rooted to his line.  Dutch  winger Willem Korsten who is online, was persisting in a chase for a ball, forcing Southgate into a foul from which a curling stunning free kick added further to Villa's woes.

Hasselbaink could have had a hat trick when 5 minutes before half time he got on the end of a Harry Kewell pass only to see his effort come back off the wood work. 

Villa too had chances in the first half - Lee Hendry going very close,  and a rasping effort from Ricardo Scimeca stinging the fingers of Leeds keeper Nigel Martyn.

Alan Thompson made a return from a 2 month injury lay-off in the 66th minute, replacing the quite disappointing Gareth Barry.

The Villa goal that their efforts deserved did eventually come,  in the 76th minute Thompson swung a corner for Scimeca to get on the end off.  The headed goal was his second of the season,  and Villa looked as if they could go on to score again as surely they deserved to.

Julian Joachim squandered a good opportunity firing into the body of Martyn.  Collymore could have also pulled it back for Villa, a great late performance from him saw him come close with a flick header in the dyeing moments.

Martin Sivorn © 1999.E-Mail Me