Roofe caves in for Villa as they succumb to epic Leeds comeback
Aston Villa 2 Abraham 5, Hourihane 17 Leeds Utd 3 Clarke 56, Jansson 61, Roofe 90
Kemar Roofe snatched victory in stoppage-time to send Leeds United top of the Championship table at Christmas and complete an extraordinary comeback after Aston Villa squandered a two-goal lead at Villa Park.
Just as it looked as though Villa would play the unwelcome role of the Grinch, a superb second-half riposte by Leeds earned Marcelo Bielsa’s side a sixth straight win after victory in an exhilarating encounter.
Tammy Abraham and Conor Hourihane saw Villa race into the lead inside 16 minutes, but the substitute Jack Clarke powered home before goals by Pontus Jansson, and then Roofe – with 90 seconds to play – sealed a memorable win.
The turnaround was sufficient for Leeds to dethrone Norwich City off the summit of the Championship.
This was a topsy-turvy game, played at a frenetic pace. Abraham swept his 13th goal of the season into the roof of the net after a teasing ball by Hourihane and Villa assumed control, when the Republic of Ireland midfielder arrowed a sweet strike into the corner of Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s netl.
Bielsa was baffled but the coach summoned the lively Clarke, who made the desired impact 11 minutes after the break. He sashayed into the area before finding the far corner of Ørjan Nyland’s goal.
That goal gave Leeds a new lease of life and a newfound belief and, when Pablo Hernández whipped in an inviting corner, Jansson rose highest, above James Chester and Alan Hutton, to nod in a leveller.
An enthralling game, in front of a sellout crowd, witnessed a frantic finish, with Roofe having the final say. – Guardian