Jesse Marsch’s Elland Road debut fell apart after halftime as Aston Villa kept up its table climb with a 3-0 win over Leeds United on Thursday.
Matty Cash had a goal and an assist and Philippe Coutinho joined Calum Chambers on the score sheet as Villa hit ninth on the table after 27 matches.
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Leeds’ only good news is that Patrick Bamford returned off the bench and Watford and Norwich City lost their Thursday matches.
Leeds’ 23 points remains two points ahead of Burnley, who’s played one fewer match.
Leeds vs Aston Villa final score, stats
Leeds 0, Aston Villa 3
Goals scored: Coutinho (22′), Cash (65′), Chambers (73′)
Shots: Leeds 4, Aston Villa 15
Shots on target: Leeds 1, Aston Villa 9
Possession: Leeds 51, Aston Villa 49
Three things we learned from Leeds vs Aston Villa
1. Marsch’s biggest problem? Leeds getting out of own way. The Leeds boss might want to play a certain way but he’s going to need the bounces to start going away. Leeds’ first goal was a missed block that deflected past Illan Meslier. The second was a cross to a streaking Matty Cash, who cut his mark out of the picture before blasting home. The third goal, well, we’ll get to that beauty. But if Leeds wants to win it’ll have to do more than work hard and have a decent share of possession.
2. Calum Chambers?!?!?!?! Yes, that Calum Chambers did this.
3. Bamford’s back, good. Now about Kalvin Phillips… Know what would make Leeds’ back line a lot better? The cover in front of it being one of the best in the Premier League. Kalvin Phillips has been out since leaving a 2-2 draw with Brentford on Dec. 5. Brentford got its second within minutes of his subbing off and Leeds has allowed three or more goals on nine occasions in the ensuing 13 games. Phillips missed nine games last season and Leeds allowed four goals in three of them. Come back soon.
Man of the Match: Matty Cash — The Polish prince took his goal with class and got an assist to boot.
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Defensive mistakes by the dozen
Villa was better in the first half and Leeds superior for a good portion of the second but the story of this game wasn’t tremendous attacking passages from Villa as much as it was two Leeds errors at the back (and a sensational hit from an unusual place in Chambers’ wonderful goal.