By Jonty Banks

13th Jan, 2023 | 8:51pm

Gary Neville stunned by Rodrigo live on Sky Sports for Leeds United v Aston Villa

Gary Neville was left astonished at the technical brilliance of Leeds United striker Rodrigo in the first half of their clash against Aston Villa on Friday night (13 January), live on Sky Sports.

The Whites were caught napping after just three minutes as Leon Bailey finished off a rapid counterattack from a Leeds attacking corner.

Despite the early setback, Jesse Marsch’s side looked bright in attack and produced a brilliant opportunity after some neat work from Jack Harrison down the right wing.

After drawing Aston Villa debutant Alex Moreno into a sliding challenge, Harrison whipped a low cross into Rodrigo, who took a superb first touch before Tyrone Mings slid in to stop him from taking a strike from a few yards out.

Commentating live on Sky Sports (Friday 13 January), pundit Neville sang the Spaniard’s praises for his moment of quality.

He said: “The touch as it comes into the box from Rodrigo is absolutely sensational.

“He just couldn’t get that second one out of his feet, that was the problem, but the first one, to be able to kill that dead, is just brilliant.

“They’re bright Leeds, they really are in attack.”

Main man

Rodrigo has been Leeds’ main goal threat this season, having reached double figures in goals for only the second time in his whole career.

After coming off the bench against Cardiff and netting a typical poachers goal, he carried this confidence into the clash at Villa Park. If Leeds were to find a goal, it was going to come through the Spanish striker, and this brilliant piece of play highlighted his undoubted quality.

The ball that was played into him was hit at some pace by Harrison, and taking it under control was by no means an easy feat. His first touch was beautifully cushioned, and he would have had an easy tap in if it wasn’t for a last-gasp tackle from Mings.

Rodrigo could have possibly looked to link up with teammates a little more often, but he sniffs out chances and is always a threat in the final third.

In other Leeds United news, a key member of Marsch’s leadership council posted his three-word reaction as a first-team player completes a permanent exit.