Villa player ratings vs Leeds: Classy ace superb as Bailey bounces back

Aston Villa secured a 2-1 win over Leeds Utd on Friday night at Villa Park, in a thrilling game that was decided by big moments from us.

Goals from Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia ultimately secured all three points for Villa, but it certainly wasn’t our best performance under Unai Emery, particularly in the first half.

READ MORE: Emery leaves door open for double Villa exit

After scoring early, Villa came under real pressure as the half went on and especially in the latter stages, but key interventions ensured we successfully protected our lead.

While Buendia’s goal provided us with a crucial cushion, there was still time for a nervy ending, but that’s now 13 points from six matches under Emery as Villa continue to build and make progress under the Spaniard.

He’ll know we’ll need to be much better than what we showed in this one though, as while we can take plenty of positives from the display whether it be the goals or individuals producing match-defining moments to lead us to victory, we need to control games better and continue to implement the style that Emery wants to see.

Villa player ratings vs Leeds Utd:

Emi Martinez, 8.5 – Another top performance overall as he made a couple of decent saves as the game went on to keep us ahead. However, it was his effort to deny Harrison that stood out, as it was a superb piece of goalkeeping as he produced a world-class save diving across the goal to protect our lead. Incredible stop.

Ashley Young, 8 – Had his hands full up against Gnonto, but the wily veteran was up to the task as he battled hard throughout and nullified him as much as possible. Did struggle at times, particularly in the second half as he appeared to have picked up a knock, but stuck to his task brilliantly.

Ezri Konsa, 7.5 – Solid performance as he was alert to danger in key moments and intervened to contain the threat Leeds posed in front of goal. Entire backline will feel they could have kept things tighter, but Konsa was strong and also accurate with his distribution out from the back for the most part.

Tyrone Mings, 7.5 – Similar to Konsa in that the pair both put in a good shift defensively to help us protect our lead and deny Leeds more clear-cut opportunities. Almost made a costly mistake in the second half with his slip in possession, but on hand to clear danger throughout.

Lucas Digne, N/A – Forced off with what looked like a collarbone injury early on. Hopefully it isn’t too serious and he won’t be sidelined for long.

Jacob Ramsey, 7 – A real boost having him back in the Villa XI as he offers us penetration and a threat with his running from midfield into the final third with or without the ball. Linked up well with Moreno on occasion, while his energy and speed helped us get up the pitch and create problems.

Douglas Luiz, 7 – Wasn’t quite at it in possession, as we look to him to help us maintain control over the tempo of the game. However, he dug in and helped us keep Leeds at bay for the most part with his defensive work, and he’ll hope he can start getting us ticking on the ball again soon.

Boubacar Kamara, 8.5 – Brilliant once again. Disruptive from a defensive perspective as he kept winning back possession, the drop of the shoulder to lose his man and create time and space for himself, the composure and elegance on the ball and an assist to top it all off for our first goal. Such a classy operator in the heart of the side.

Emiliano Buendia, 7.5 – Improved in the second half after a frustrating opening 45 minutes. Constantly probing and looking for a way to influence the game, and it eventually came as he popped up with the all-important second goal to secure the win. Love his character and determination on the pitch, and if he can make decisive contributions consistently, he’ll continue to be a fundamental player for us.

Leon Bailey, 8 – So good to see him get his goal early on and give himself a huge confidence boost. Has looked short of it in the last two games, especially after that big miss against Wolves, and so it was important for him to bounce back in this one. He did exactly that with a top finish for his goal, and was pivotal in the build-up to our second as he was a threat throughout with his pace, skills and direct running down the right.

Ollie Watkins, N/A – One of two injury blows in the first half as he was forced off with what looked like an ankle issue. Tried his best to run it off and stay in the game, but couldn’t manage it. Hopefully nothing serious.


Alex Moreno, 7.5 – An excellent debut from the Spaniard, especially when considering how little time he has had to acclimatise both on and off the pitch since his arrival on Wednesday. Defensively sound and stood up to the challenge he faced, plenty of touches of the ball in our build-up play and got forward into dangerous positions to go close to making a decisive impact in the attacking third too.

Danny Ings, 6 – Had a difficult time creating space and getting onto chances but worked hard throughout after coming on in the first half. Had one effort that he will probably feel he could have done better with, as he did offer a threat at times.

Philippe Coutinho, N/A – Tried his luck with a speculative effort from distance, but didn’t have much time to do much more.

Morgan Sanson, N/A – Did the hard part tracking back to mark Gnonto as he showed good energy and determination in the latter stages, but then lost him too easily before the cross that led to Leeds scoring their goal. Hopefully not a farewell cameo appearance given recent speculation over his future.