27/08/2019 7:45 pm
Referee: Jarred Gillett
|Crewe Alexandra||Aston Villa|
|Wintle||Konsa, Hourihane (2), Davis, Guilbert, Grealish|
Two first-half goals from Conor Hourihane helped Aston Villa through to the 3rd Round of the EFL Cup at the Alexandra Stadium last night. Ezri Konsa, Keinan Davis and substitutes Frederic Guilbert and Jack Grealish were also on target for the Villa with Ryan Wintle getting the hosts’ consolation.
Manager David Artell made 4 changes from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Newport County with Dave Richards, Rio Adebisi (making his senior debut), Callum Ainley and Owen Dale all coming into the team with Will Jaaskelainen, Nicky Hunt, Paul Green and Daniel Powell all dropping down to the bench.
The opening chance of the game came in the 4th minute as a Villa corner was kept alive at the far post with Konsa heading home on his Villa debut before the Alex had a couple of chances on 18 minutes with Chris Porter getting on the end of a Tom Lowery corner before the following corner ended up in the Villa net as the same players combined to see Dale head home from a position that was a couple of yards offside.
Charlie Kirk brought the next save out of stand-in keeper Jed Steer before the visitors would double their lead after 24 minutes with Anwar El Ghazi breaking through an offside trap to square the ball for Hourihane to finish into the empty net. The third came a minute before the break with a left-wing cross from El Ghazi was headed in by the midfielder for his second, although it could have been disallowed for a foul by another forward on another day.
After a half-time change that saw new signing Chuma Anene come on for Chris Porter for his Alex debut, we started on the front foot with Perry Ng then Ainley forcing Steer into saves before El Ghazi hit the post just before the hour-mark after being put through by Davis.
Villa would extend their lead with 20 minutes to play as substitute Grealish would cross for Davis to score from close-range before a corner was played short to fellow sub Guilbert to curl in his first in Villa corners 6 minutes later. Anene would get an opportunity to score on his debut but fired his shot just wide before Wintle would score arguably the goal of the night, beating 3 Villa players and firing past Steer into the bottom corner. There was still time for the half-dozen to be brought up with Henri Lansbury backheeling the ball into Grealish’s path to score with 3 minutes left to play.
What can we take from this game?
It sounds weird coming from a game that finished 6-1 to the opposition but we were very much in the game for the opening 60-65 minutes before Lowery came off (our best player by a distance) with Saturday in mind and they brought Grealish on, although Villa were the much better side in both boxes throughout the game.
Young left-back Adebisi didn’t look out of place in the side, which for any player making his first few appearances for the senior team is what I’m looking for from any player and there’s no doubt that he’ll have a future in the senior team at some point over the next 12-18 months, although he was caught out of position on a couple of occasions.