Gabriel Agbonlahor has hailed rarely-seen Aston Villa defender Ahmed Elmohamady for his “perfect” display shutting out Raphinha against Leeds United.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer claimed Elmohamady’s solid display meant Leeds’ flying winger Raphinha had his “quietest” performance in a white shirt.
The Egypt international made just his third Premier League start of the season with first-choice right-back Matty Cash out injured.
Raphinha has been arguably Leeds’ best player this season with five goals and five assists since his summer move from Rennes.
But he lost possession a staggering 22 times against the Midlands giants and put in just two successful crosses from 10 attempts, according to sofascore.
Agbonlahor claimed he was played perfectly by his canny direct opponent on the night.
“Sometimes experience is key and Elmohamady has experience at the highest level, internationally and at club level,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“He knew exactly how to play against him, he didn’t get too tight when he didn’t need to.
“It was a perfect display from a right-back and I think that was the quietest I’ve seen Raphinha all season.
“At certain times Bertrand Traore wasn’t helping him too much and he still coped fine. So, it was great play from Elmohamady.”
The win for Villa means they remain within just four points of the top six with two games in hand.
Dean Smith said after the game: “We’ve got the chance [to finish in the top six] but there are some top teams in there. We’ll just take it game by game.”