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Aston Villa beat Leeds to guarantee play-off spot

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Lewis Grabban scores for Aston Villa

Aston Villa secured their place in the Championship play-offs and boosted their automatic promotion hopes with victory over mid-table Leeds United.

Villa deservedly went in front when Lewis Grabban powerfully headed in Jack Grealish’s cross from six yards.

Glenn Whelan cleared Kalvin Phillips’ shot off the line as Leeds improved but Grabban, Jonathan Kodjia and Albert Adomah all had chances for the hosts.

Villa’s victory leaves them two points behind second-placed Fulham.

The Cottagers play their game in hand at home to Brentford on Saturday, while third-placed Cardiff are a point ahead of Villa but have played two games less than Steve Bruce’s side.

However, Villa, who handed striker Kodjia a first start since late October’s second city derby with Birmingham after injury, did all they could to keep up the pressure on their two promotion rivals and can concentrate on trying to overtake them in their final three games after guaranteeing their play-off spot and a likely home tie in the second leg of the semi-finals.

Ezgjan Alioski gave them an early scare when he forced Villa keeper Sam Johnstone to tip over his 20-yard drive in the opening minutes, but after that the home side gradually took control.

Robert Snodgrass saw a shot well saved by Leeds keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell before Grealish retrieved an over-hit cross from Ahmed Elmohamady and floated it back into the box for Grabban to score his 17th Championship goal of the season and fifth for Villa.

Leeds posed more of a threat after the break but Phillips’ effort was the closest they came to an equaliser.

Grabban, Kodjia and Adomah all had shots saved by Peacock-Farrell, but Villa held on to claim a 14th home league win this season, the first time they have achieved that since 1983-84.

Villa boss Steve Bruce told BBC WM:

“We’ve done enough to win the game. It was never a classic but we’ve got over the line.

“After a big game against Cardiff, this is now back to back wins, which is always important.

“We got the job done, but there were some tired bodies out there.”

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Johnstone
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 5Chester
  • 15Jedinak
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Whelan
  • 7Snodgrass
  • 10Grealish
  • 18OnomahSubstituted forSambaat 85′minutes
  • 45GrabbanSubstituted forHoganat 78′minutes
  • 22KodjiaSubstituted forAdomahat 67′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Samba
  • 8Lansbury
  • 9Hogan
  • 14Hourihane
  • 16Bree
  • 31Bunn
  • 37Adomah

Leeds

  • 30Peacock-Farrell
  • 15Dallas
  • 37O’Connor
  • 5Pennington
  • 46Pearce
  • 10AlioskiSubstituted forGrotat 66′minutes
  • 23Phillips
  • 25Vieira
  • 19Hernández
  • 7RoofeSubstituted forLasoggaat 78′minutes
  • 45EkubanSubstituted forSáizat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Lonergan
  • 8Anita
  • 9Lasogga
  • 11Grot
  • 14O’Kane
  • 21Sáiz
  • 50Struijk
Referee:
Tony Harrington
Attendance:
33,374

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamLeeds
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home17
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home7
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Aston Villa 1, Leeds United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, Leeds United 0.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United).

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa).

Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Aston Villa. Ahmed El Mohamady tries a through ball, but Robert Snodgrass is caught offside.

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa).

Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Leeds United).

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa).

Samuel Sáiz (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Christopher Samba replaces Josh Onomah because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Josh Onomah (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

Attempt blocked. Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Josh Onomah.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Pierre-Michel Lasogga replaces Kemar Roofe.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Scott Hogan replaces Lewis Grabban.

Foul by James Chester (Aston Villa).

Samuel Sáiz (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross following a set piece situation.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Pablo Hernández (Leeds United).

Attempt saved. Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack Grealish with a through ball.

Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Tom Pearce (Leeds United).

Attempt missed. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Josh Onomah (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Kemar Roofe (Leeds United).

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Tom Pearce.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Albert Adomah replaces Jonathan Kodjia.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Jay-Roy Grot replaces Ezgjan Alioski.

Attempt blocked. Pablo Hernández (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kalvin Phillips.

Attempt missed. Kemar Roofe (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stuart Dallas with a cross.

Offside, Aston Villa. Jonathan Kodjia tries a through ball, but Lewis Grabban is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Lewis Grabban (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass.

Attempt missed. Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt missed. Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Samuel Sáiz following a corner.

goal

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