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Villa flash the Cash in one-sided clash

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Elland Road witnessed an Aston Villa masterclass, as Steven Gerrard’s men schooled Leeds United via a 3-0 scoreline, and duly inflicted the Yorkshire side’s sixth successive defeat in the Premier League.

Clashes between Leeds and Villa have rarely failed to entertain, and a new era for the former under American coach Jesse Marsch kicked off amid hopes of overturning their shambolic form in recent weeks. Both sides began on equal footing, going at each other with conviction, before Steven Gerrard’s men drew first blood midway through the first half. An impressive team move was set in motion on the left wing by Lucas Digne, the end of which saw Philippe Coutinho bag the opener with a composed but deflected finish from just inside the box.

Villa continued to threaten the home outfit, with chances falling to Douglas Luiz and John McGinn further down the clock. Despite landing no first-half shots on target, the hosts initially responded well after the restart, with the introduction of Patrick Bamford on the hour mark upping the ante for a side who had begun play with just one win from nine home league H2Hs against Villa.

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Unfazed by that switch, the ‘Villans’ doubled their lead, thanks to right wing-back Matty Cash’s nonchalant strike after latching onto a perfect cross. The match was then put to bed just as the final-quarter hour kicked in, with new signing Calum Chambers opening his Villa account via a terrific poacher’s finish in the top left corner.

The ‘Claret & Blue Army’ ultimately marched to their third victory on the trot against a rather rakish Leeds outfit. The Yorkshire side are still strong contenders for one of the three relegation spots, as they sit just two points above the drop zone after a 15th straight match without a clean sheet, with teams beneath them possessing some potentially crucial games in hand.

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