Dean Smith admitted that the first goal in Aston Villa’s defeat to Leeds was the defining moment that ended their unbeaten Premier League run.
After narrowly avoiding relegation last season, Villa have begun the season in fine form. They won their first four league matches, and a fifth would have been a club record.
Their perfect start came to an end when they came across Leeds on Friday night, though. Patrick Bamford’s second half hat-trick was the difference as all three points went back to Elland Road.
While the loss takes some of the gloss off of Villa’s start to the season, manager Smith remains pleased with how they have performed so far overall.
However, he admits he was disappointed by the way his side became “disillusioned” after falling behind for the first time in the league this season.
He told BT Sport: “I thought it was fairly even in the first half in terms of chances but you have to make the most of your moments.
“I was disappointed after the first goal – I thought we lost the game after the first goal, we got disillusioned and they were very good.
“But after five games we have 12 points. Credit to Leeds, their work-rate was very good.
“They got their first goal and that changed the game. We looked disappointed and surprised.
“We didn’t handle it very well and it’s something to learn from. If someone offered 12 points from five games we would have taken it.
“We knew we could make history today with five wins [at the start of a season] and we’re disappointed we haven’t done that.”
Smith left wondering what might have been
While Villa remain in the top four for now, they will naturally be disheartened to lose their 100% record in the league.
Continuing his reflections on the game to Match of the Day, Smith admitted it could have been different if they had responded to going behind.
He added: “Very frustrated, especially with the last 40 minutes. I thought the first half was very even.
“They scored the first goal and we got worse and they were very good. We probably got away with a 3-0 in the end with the chances they had.
“Who knows what would have happened if we had scored? That is the first time we have been behind in a game and we didn’t handle it very well.”
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