By David Woods

26th Oct, 2020 | 2:23pm

'Defining moment' – Keown highlights 'brilliant' Leeds 20y/o who was key to win v Villa

Former Arsenal and England man Martin Keown believes that Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier was key to the Whites 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

A Patrick Bamford hat-trick was the difference between the two sides at Villa Park on Friday night, but Keown singled out the Leeds stopper for specific praise.

One of the key saves of the night came after a 70-yard run from Jack Grealish, who made his way into the Leeds box only for his effort to be smartly kept out by the Frenchman.

With the game still in the balance at the time, the ex defender said that Meslier’s save was crucial in the context of the match.

“This young French player Meslier, he is fantastic,” Keown told Football Focus (10:10).

“He just stands up brilliantly and that was a defining moment in the game. If they had scored at the point it could have been different.”

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Meslier is real bargain buy

Yet to turn 21, Meslier looks to have cemented his place as Leeds number one this season and has been an ever-present in the Premier League so far this term.

Aside from his impressive shot stopping, the French Under-20 international has made waves with his accurate and consistent distribution.

No goalkeeper in the English top-flight has completed as many as his 35.3 accurate passes per match, as per WhoScored.

Of players that have played more than 90 minutes for Leeds this season, Meslier has the seventh-best passing accuracy of 81.1%, while he is even averaging 0.2 key passes per 90.

In six matches Leeds have conceded nine goals, although the youngster now has two Premier League clean sheets to his name.

The Whites face Leicester City in their next match at Elland Road and Meslier will hope to continue his good form against a dangerous Foxes team.

In other Leeds United news, Dom Matteo claims Leeds duo are two ‘most improved players’ in the country