Aston Villa spark comeback at Elland Road, gather draw

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: dSteve Bruce, manager of Aston Villa looks on with Colin Calderwood during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: dSteve Bruce, manager of Aston Villa looks on with Colin Calderwood during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images) /

On a cold Friday night in Leeds, England, Aston Villa saw their three-match winning streak snapped at Elland Road. A second-half comeback handed Steve Bruce’s side one point after an ineffective first-half. The weekend’s results will determine whether Villa stay put in fourth place, or drop to fifth in the EFL Championship.

All good things must come to an end, or so goes the saying. Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa squad dropped a decent performance in Northern England to begin match-week 20. The draw sees the club drop its first non-win since November 4th after successive victories over QPR, Sunderland, and Ipswich Town.

Villa were the worse club in pretty much every facet from the get-go.

Sloppy passing, so little possession, nothing incisive on the break, defensive mistakes clouded the first-half. Leeds’ Samuel Sáiz, Pablo Hernandez (until his untimely injury exit), and Caleb Ekuban threatened despite a relatively low number of shots on target. The halftime break gave Bruce the opportunity to switch things around, and that he did in the 65th-minute.

Jack Grealish replaced the disappointing Josh Onomah in a double switch that saw the return of Henri Lansbury after an extended injury absence. The pair rejuvenated Villa efforts with Lansbury utilizing a wonderful collection, run, and hit to score the equalizer. His first for Villa in awhile.

Full credit to Aston Villa and Bruce’s changes on getting a point against a really tough away opponent. The choppy affair totaled an incredible 31 fouls in total, 15 on the home side, 16 away.

GK. Aston Villa. SAM JOHNSTONE. 5.0. Pontus Jansson’s opener was a bullet header no mortal human could save. Still, not Sam Johnstone’s brightest performance. SJ was caught out after Kalvin Phillips beat James Chester on a looping cross. Moreover, his long-ball kicks resulted in several dispossessions – a compounding issue on a day in which the claret and blues saw so little of the ball (at least until the ~65th-minute).

5.5. Fared fairly well despite being asked to cover acres of territory. Alan Hutton didn’t offer much in the attack aside from a first-half cross to Albert Adomah , which was fortunate to find its marker.. RB. Aston Villa. ALAN HUTTON

4.5. It was always going to be a tall task to mark Pontus Jansson on dead-ball situations, but Samba struggled. Beaten several times for quickness to add to Jansson’s opener. Far better in the second half, ended with six aerial duels won.. RCB. Aston Villa. CHRISTOPHER SAMBA

6.5. The more sure-footed of the two Aston Villa central defenders. Chester completed over 90% of his passes in the dreadful first-half of a team performance.. LCB. Aston Villa. JAMES CHESTER

6.0. One of the few Villa players actively involved in both the attack and defense in the first-half. The Wales international forced a strong challenge that led to a dangerous Davis/Taylor counter attack. Statistics weren’t too kind to Taylor, but he was one of the more stand-out performers.. LB. Aston Villa. NEIL TAYLOR

Aston Villa. GLENN WHELAN. 6.5. Solid performance from the Republic of Ireland veteran, and the squad needed it. Completed 91.7% of his passes in the first-half, but offered very little that was incisive. His left-footed finish missed the net, but asking <em>Glenn Whelan </em>to score an off-footed volley is a bit unfair. Whelan had to cover a <em>ton </em>of space and anchored Villa to one point.. CDM

Very anonymous and extremely ineffectual. Hourihane was booked in the 27th-minute which ended up being the highlight of his match. Taken off for Henri Lansbury in the 65th-minute who hit a <em><strong>BEAUTIFUL </strong></em>low strike off the post for a Villa equalizer.. CM. Aston Villa. CONOR HOURIHANE. 4.0

Aston Villa. ROBERT SNODGRASS. 5.5. A tale of two halves from Robert Snodgrass. Easily his worst half ever in an Aston Villa shirt to begin the match; the Scotland international looked laggard in his pressing. Passing was way off and could have seen a straight red card in the first half for a reckless from-behind challenge. Better in the second half, however, as set-piece delivery was pretty good.. RM

Mixed bag from Albert Adomah. Uncle Albert recorded a meager 44.4% pass success rate in the first half, but did start the break on a few Villa half chances and recorded two shots on target. Regroup and recover along with the rest of the squad. Replaced by Ahmed Elmohamady in the 89th-minute.. LM. Aston Villa. ALBERT ADOMAH. 5.5

3.0. Perhaps his worst in a Villa shirt. Completely anonymous and unsure of what to to defensively. Onomah will recover, obviously, but the on-loan Tottenham youngster did nothing to spark life in the attack. Needs to do better than an awful 42.9% pass rate on 20 touches in the #10 hole. Taken off for Jack Grealish in the 65th-minute.. CAM. Aston Villa. JOSH ONOMAH

5.0. Passing was pretty terrible, but Keinan Davis’s hold-up play was one of the few outlets in the attack. Needs to work on developing different on-the-ball skills to keep defenders guessing.. CF. Aston Villa. KEINAN DAVIS

Villa host Millwall next Saturday at Villa Park on December the 9th. All data provided by WhoScored match center.