Leeds lose again on Marsch’s first home assignment

Leeds 0 Aston Villa 3

Leeds United remain firmly embroiled in a Premier League relegation battle after they slipped to a 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa on Thursday in American coach Jesse Marsch’s first home game in charge.

Sitting two points above the drop zone coming into the match, Leeds lacked quality in forward areas as they looked for a first win in eight games, with the hosts falling behind in the 22nd minute when Philippe Coutinho’s strike crept in.

The Elland Road crowd grew frustrated as their team misplacing pass after pass, allowing Villa to add a second through full back Matty Cash in the 65th minute and end the clash as a contest.

There was still time for Calum Chambers to curl a sublime third for Villa as fans headed for an early exit, with their side two points clear of Burnley in 18th but having played two games more.

Villa’s third win in a row lifted them to ninth in the standings.

Wolves 4 Watford 0

Watford’s dwindling Premier League survival hopes suffered another blow as a dreadful opening 21 minutes saw them beaten comfortably at Wolves.

A 4-0 defeat at Molineux leaves Watford with just one win from their last 16 Premier League outings, with Roy Hodgson’s side three points from safety with 10 games remaining.

Everton in 17th have a superior goal difference and three games in hand as an early strike from Raul Jimenez, a Cucho Hernandez own goal and a Daniel Podence effort saw Wolves coasting with less than a quarter of the game gone — and a fine Ruben Neves chip rounded off a commanding display late on.

Three defeats on the bounce for the home side never looked like becoming four as they maintain hopes of securing European qualification at the end of the season.

Hodgson doffed his cap to the trio of strikes scored by Arsenal to down Watford on Sunday — but here he was left shaking his head in disbelief.

Jimenez was given all the time he needed to control a pass from strike partner Hwang Hee-chan and convert from just six yards out to open the scoring with 13 minutes on the clock.

Eight minutes later and the game was well beyond Watford, Hernandez tamely diverting a Rayan Ait-Nouri cross into his own goal before goalkeeper Ben Foster fluffed his lines from a clearance and presented the ball to Podence, who made no mistake from 25 yards.

Foster, with the full force of the Wolves fans in the South Bank now on his back, once again found Podence with an errant clearance but this time the forward could not lift a shot back over the goalkeeper from 40 yards out.

Almost all of the chances were coming the way of the home side as substitutes Pedro Neto and Fabio Silva came close to extending the lead.

Wolves would strike again in the closing stages, Neves deftly controlling the ball on the edge of the box before lofting an inch-perfect finish over Foster.

Southampton 1 Newcastle 2

Bruno Guimaraes scored the winner for Newcastle United with a brilliant back-heeled volley as his side came from a goal down to secure a vital 2-1 victory at Southampton.

Stuart Armstrong gave Southampton the lead midway through the first half with a deflected header, but Chris Wood equalised for the visitors with a precise header from Jonjo Shelvey’s superb inswinging cross in the 32nd minute.

It was the striker’s first goal in his eighth appearance for Newcastle, and Guimaraes also grabbed his first for the Magpies with an audacious piece of skill in the 66th minute, reacting quickest to back-heel the ball into the net following a corner.

Martin Dubravka pulled off a superb save from Mohammed Salisu late on as Newcastle preserved their unbeaten league run in 2022 to move to 31 points, 10 ahead of 18th-placed Burnley. Southampton are 10th on 35 points.

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