Bamford Hat-Trick Lifted Leeds To Third, Negates
Villa’s Perfect Start
Leeds United ended Aston Villa’s winning outing and ruined their chances of reaching the top of the Premier League thanks to a brilliant hat-trick by Patrick Bamford.
Villa came into Friday’s game having won his first four games of a league campaign for the first time since 1930-31, but three expert finishes from the Leeds forward prevented the hosts from making it a club record with five consecutive wins to open the season.
The result lifts Leeds to third place, their highest position at the end of a day in the division since September 2002.
It was a reward for a relentlessly positive performance by an injury-stricken visiting team that probably should have given more goals.
In the first half, Bamford missed with a header and then went wide after being found by a low cross from Jack Harrison at the end of a quick counter move.
Leeds record signing Rodrigo was also guilty of missing good chances, cutting off a wide shot before seeing an effort blocked by Ezri Konsa.
Dean Smith’s Villa team, who had scored seven goals against champion Liverpool in their previous home game, saw a Jack Grealish shot cleared off the line by Luke Ayling after the ball had fallen to the midfielder from a missed shot from Trezeguet. .
The Villa captain also approached with a saved effort at point blank range after having shown great tenacity and ability to carry the ball from within his own field.
But Bamford had the decisive word, finding the corner of the net just a few feet away after Emiliano Martínez had overcome Rodrigo’s low shot.
If the first was simple, the second and third were impressive: an upward effort into the top corner from 20 yards after Mateusz Klich found it in the 67th minute and a dug and curved finish after Helder Costa’s low ball seven minutes later.
Leeds are now two points and one place behind Villa, who remains second, one point behind leaders Everton.