Leeds 1-1 Aston Villa: Substitute Henri Lansbury earns point with first Aston Villa goal
By Dan Long
Last Updated: 01/12/17 11:50pm
Henri Lansbury came off the bench to score his first goal in an Aston Villa shirt and earn a 1-1 draw against Leeds in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday night.
Steve Bruce's Villa came into the game off the back of a better run of form, but it was their opponents who took the lead inside 20 minutes when Pontus Jansson fought off Chris Samba to nod home Pablo Hernandez's corner (19).
The pendulum swung in the opposite direction after the break and though Villa put Leeds on the backfoot, it took them until the 71st minute to restore parity when Lansbury drove a low shot past Felix Wiedwald that crossed the line via the far post (71).
Just the one enforced change for Steve Bruce's men as Christopher Samba replaces the injured Mile Jedinak. Leeds also changed just one following their 2-0 win over Barnsley last weekend, too - Ronaldo Vieira replaced Eunan O'Kane.
The draw lifts Thomas Christiansen's men to seventh, while Villa remain in fourth spot, just a point behind Sheffield United, who play on Saturday.
Leeds started the game with a high-intensity approach and though they edged the first 15 minutes or so, they had nothing to show for their well-worked build-up play despite Caleb Ekuban and Ergjan Alioksi's energetic displays.
Johnstone had lived a relatively charmed life for much of the game's opening exchanges, but he could do nothing to keep out Jansson's header with 19 minutes on the clock.
Reportedly carrying a groin injury, Samba was made to look inexperienced when his opposite number Jansson managed to divert Hernandez's corner home despite being hauled to the deck by the veteran Congolese defender.
Leeds: Wiedwald (6), Ayling (6), Jansson (7), Cooper (6), Berardi (6), Phillips (6), Vieira (8), Alioski (7), Hernandez (6), Saiz (6), Ekuban (6)
Subs: Roofe (6), Sacko (N/A), Grot (N/A)
Aston Villa: Johnstone (6), Hutton (6), Chester (6), Samba (5), Taylor (6), Snodgrass (6), Whelan (5), Hourihane (5), Adomah (6), Onomah (6), Davis (6)
Subs: Lansbury (7), Grealish (6), Elmohamady (N/A)
Man of the match: Ronaldo Vieira
They do say football is a game of two halves, though and that certainly proved to be the case at Elland Road; Villa found themselves comfortably in possession as the second half began, with Leeds unable to penetrate their backline.
And their improved showing was rewarded when substitute Lansbury drove home his first Villa goal with less than 20 minutes remaining.
Neil Taylor's foray forward was curtailed by a nasty looking 50/50 with Jansson, but the ball found its way to the feet of fellow substitute Jack Grealish, who left the ball for Lansbury to hit a low shot off the far post and over the line.
The final stages were played at a rapid pace as Samu Saiz and Keinan Davis both looked to force a late winner for their respective sides, but deep into an extended spell of stoppage time Peter Bankes blew his whistle to bring the game to a close.
Man of the match - Ronaldo Vieira
In the starting eleven as a replacement for the injured Eunan O'Kane, Vieira produced an assured performance in midfield - particularly in the second half - to keep the refreshed Villa attack at bay. The youngster has risen through the ranks at Elland Road and quite clearly has a bright future in the game.
Thomas Christiansen: "It was clear that Aston Villa need to go up in the game and try to equalise. In the second half we didn't allow them any opportunities, we didn't have the possession and that meant we dropped a little bit back.
"I have a feeling we played one of the best teams in the league, with the quality they have up front, we knew it would be difficult but we always believed in the victory. We had chances to close the game in the second half, but generally, I'm very satisfied with the performance of the team."
Steve Bruce: "I was delighted with the response in the second half in particular. I thought the two lads who came on gave us the spark - credit to them.
"There was more purpose and more intensity [in the second half] and we looked after the ball better. We had good opportunities in the first half without damaging or hurting them. All in all we'll take a point after a decent second half."
Both sides are next in action on Saturday 9 December - Aston Villa host Millwall, while Leeds travel to the capital to take on QPR at Loftus Road.