Aston Villa 1 Leeds United 0

Aston Villa moved to within two points of the Championship automatic promotion places with a 1-0 win over Leeds.

Grabban’s first-half header was enough to give them victory at Villa Park as Leeds fell to their 10th defeat of 2018.

Villa, who at the very least are guaranteed a play-off spot, have played one game more than 2nd-placed Fulham, while Cardiff – a point better off than Steve Bruce’s side – have played two games fewer.

Villa completely dominated the first half but had a more difficult job on their hands after the break when Leeds started to cause some problems.

Jack Grealish, who produced a winning goal on Tuesday against Cardiff, again provided some silky play as he tormented Leeds and played a leading role in Villa dominating for long spells of the first half.

Villa, buoyed by their success over Cardiff, were relentless from the start and Leeds had to stage a rearguard action to keep on level terms.

Leeds appeared content to operate defensively and relied heavily on the impressive Paudie O’Connor, making only his third appearance, and Matthew Pennington to contain Villa’s free-flowing attack.

But Villa broke the stalemate in the 29th minute through the on-loan striker Grabban’s fifth goal for the club.

Some slack defending from the visitors allowed him to head in a seemingly harmless left-wing cross from Grealish.

In sharp contrast to their indifferent first half, Leeds were more positive after the break and took advantage of some casual Villa play.

The Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas went close to an equaliser with a fine dipping shot while Ronaldo Vieira fired just over.

But Villa were still a threat and only a reflex point-blank save by Bailey Peacock-Farrell prevented Jonathan Kodjia – on his first home start of the season – opening his account in the 60th minute.

Kodija was withdrawn after 66 minutes and Villa saw out the remaining time to record a third straight home win.

Aston Villa

  • 1 Johnstone
  • 27 Elmohamady
  • 5 Chester
  • 15 Jedinak
  • 3 Taylor
  • 6 Whelan
  • 7 Snodgrass
  • 10 Grealish
  • 18 Onomah
  • 45 Grabban
  • 22 Kodjia

Substitutes

  • 4 Samba (s 85')
  • 8 Lansbury
  • 9 Hogan (s 78')
  • 14 Hourihane
  • 16 Bree
  • 31 Bunn
  • 37 Adomah (s 67')

Leeds

  • 30 Peacock-Farrell
  • 15 Dallas
  • 37 O'Connor
  • 5 Pennington
  • 46 Pearce
  • 10 Alioski
  • 23 Phillips
  • 25 Vieira
  • 19 Hernandez
  • 7 Roofe
  • 45 Ekuban

Substitutes

  • 1 Lonergan
  • 8 Anita
  • 9 Lasogga (s 78')
  • 11 Grot (s 66')
  • 14 O'Kane
  • 21 Samuel (s 46')
  • 50 Struijk