The Villans took the lead in the third minute as they brilliantly counterattacked from a Whites corner. Boubacar Kamara travelled half the length of the pitch and teed up Leon Bailey to cut inside and curl into the far top corner of Illan Meslier‘s net to make it 1-0.
Villa’s Argentine goalkeeper then produced a moment of magic of his own as he spread himself to deny Jack Harrison from point-blank range after Luke Ayling played the ball across the six-yard box.
Emiliano Buendia eventually made it 2-0 in the 64th minute as excellent work from Bailey on the right forced Meslier into a parry straight into the path of the former Norwich man to head into an almost empty net.
Wilfried Gnonto’s brilliance down the left flank later allowed Patrick Bamford to smash in a goal with just under ten minutes left to play but Villa were able to hold on for all three points.
Whilst Bailey scored the opener and had a big hand in the second goal, the real hero for Unai Emery‘s team on the night at Villa Park was defensive midfielder Kamara, who dominated the Whites.
The Frenchman put in an outstanding display in the middle of the park as he showcased his quality in and out of possession throughout the match.
As per Sofascore, the former Marseille machine won eight of his nine individual battles on the pitch (89%), whilst also making two blocks, two clearances and three tackles for his team to cut out opposition attacks.
This shows that he dominated the Leeds midfield and attack by winning the vast majority of his duels and putting his body on the line to stop Martinez from needing to make saves at times.
Kamara also played a key role for Villa in possession as he set up the opening goal for Bailey with his composed play on the counterattack and completed 81% of his attempted passes over the course of the 90 minutes.
Ahead of the match, FFC published an article explaining why the £150k-per-week midfielder deserved to start as he had the potential to dominate the game and make the difference, which is exactly how it turned out for Villa on the night.
Therefore, Kamara was the real hero for Emery and Villa due to the value he provided at both ends of the pitch from minute one until the final whistle, and he dominated the game in the middle of the park.