Steven Gerrard believes his Aston Villa forwards need to ‘step forward and be more ruthless’ after they failed to score against 10-man Leeds at Elland Road.
Aston Villa were given a golden chance to pick up their first away league win of the season when Leeds had a man sent off early in the second half. Luis Sinisterra, who was already on a yellow, blocked a free-kick in the 48th minute and this forced the referee to show him a red.
Aston Villa hit the post two minutes later when Philippe Coutinho connected with a Leon Bailey cross. He got great power on the shot but couldn’t quite send it into the far corner.
Ollie Watkins appeared set to put the Villans in front in the 89th minute when Emi Buendia sent him through on goal. However, the striker hesitated and this resulted in Illan Meslier saving his shot.
At the other end, John McGinn had to put in a great tackle to prevent Mateusz Klich from giving Leeds an injury-time winner.
After the match, Gerrard spoke to Sky Sports. He praised his defenders but was left ‘scratching his head’ as his team had somehow failed to score.
“I’m scratching my head and I’m frustrated. I’m sure my attacking players will be as well because we created more than enough to win this match,” Gerrard said.
“We came here to frustrate Leeds and maybe we would have taken the point before the game but we could have had three.
Steven Gerrard forced to question his strikers
“It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t question my attacking players and I need more quality. We have had 19 shots on goal and 12 inside the area so we need to be better.
“Leeds defended well and dug in and you would expect that. But we created more than enough and it was that last bit that was missing. If we had found that we would have been happy.
“At times Leeds wanted to go to war and we did that. We frustrated Leeds and the crowd. When our moments came we got the ball into the right areas and to the people we wanted to but it didn’t happen.
“We need more goals. We need our attacking players to step forward and be more ruthless. That tally [six goals so far] is not enough at this stage of the season and we know where we want to go.
“We keep working and putting the sessions on a rehearsing the moments that will come their way. We have improved slightly defensively and we need to continue that. But we need to keep creating these moments and hopefully our players will gobble them up.
“It feels like we dropped two points today and we missed an opportunity to take two more points and move into the middle of the league.”
Villa player Ashley Young added: “When you play against 10 men and create the chances we do and can’t score, it does feel like a disappointment not claiming all three points. But when you come to a place like this and walk away with a point it’s a good point.
“I think we had 12 entries into the box and 19 shots but that’s the disappointment. It’s hostile here and walking away with a point, we’ll look back on it as a good point.
“Everyone thinks it’s easy when a team goes down to 10 men. But we created chances and couldn’t get the ball in the back if the net.”