Aston Villa have made it nine wins in a row with a two goal win over Bolton - but it wasn’t always as cosy as the scoreline suggested. A sluggish Villa took a while to get started, with both John McGinn and Anwar El Ghazi failing to bury close-range chances.
However, Villa decided to stop coasting in the second half. Excellent play from both Tammy Abraham and Jack Grealish result in the pair scoring goals set up by each other. For the first, an Abraham cross was met by the head of Grealish while Grealish found Tammy for a tap-in for Villa’s second goal.
Commiserations to Bolton Wanderers, who will once more undergo the trauma of being relegated as a result of poor ownership. We can only hope that better days are on the horizon for those lot.
Here’s the full story in the aftermath of Villa’s 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers.
The Manager’s Thoughts
Dean Smith, the Villa boss, thought that it took Villa a while to get going, but once they started moving the ball quicker they capitalised by taking the lead. Dean was defiant, offering a message to the rest of the Championship:
“I don’t care who we play against, if we play like that we can go and score goals against anyone.”
Unfortunately, Smith isn’t sure how bad the injuries to Tammy Abraham and Axel Tuanzebe actually are, but they were both bad enough for the players to leave the pitch.
The coaching staff aren’t convinced that a play-off place is secured for Aston Villa just yet and that a professional job will have to be done against Millwall - but with a sold out ground at Villa Park they’ll have every chance of winning ten games in a row.
Curse? What Curse?
The pride of Europe - that’s us!
Don’t count us out.
Anyone else in this league goes on a long winning run and the press are all over… Villa do it and all we get is pundits and journalists trying to down play it. This time last season they were all jizzing over Fulham. We’ll trigger so many people if we get promoted. #AVFC— Adz (@AdzW90) April 19, 2019
ROLL UP ROLL UP
Expected goals can tell us a fair bit about a match. Here’s an explainer. In the long term we can judge how well a team is doing in front of goal. On a match-by-match basis, we can simply judge chances, and how well they are taken.
Aston Villa: 2.6 (2)
Bolton: 0.5 (0)
This one is as simple as they come. Villa made three big chances and scored two. Funnily enough, that’s how you win games.
Data provided by Experimental361
Goalscorers: Jack Grealish opened the scoring and Tammy Abraham followed up with a second.
Big winners: Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor continued their late-season blossom with another fine performance. Keinan Davis continued his impressive cameo streak and could’ve scored a goal. Jack Grealish bagged a goal and assist to pad the ‘important’ stats
Big losers: Axel Tuanzebe and Tammy Abraham will be praying that their injuries aren’t as bad as they currently seem. Both were taken off in the second half.
Best moment: Glenn Whelan’s one-man press in the first half to create chance will take some beating - but then Jack Grealish scored another fine goal. We’ll give it to Super Jack.
Worst moment: Seeing Tammy Abraham come off the pitch with a shoulder injury. He was in agony.
Man of the Match: While it’d be hard to take it away from the usual suspects - Ahmed Elmohamady barely put a front wrong, especially so when Bolton turned up the pressure. Great performance from him, followed by Neil Taylor.
The Play-Off Race
Nine wins in a row - 27 straight points - has made it easy for Villa to take a solid foothold in the Championship play-off race. While the Villa should have it all locked down from here, they’ll need to be wise about fending off a resurgent Middlesbrough and ensure that Bristol City do not capitalise on any drop in performance during Villa’s final two games. If results go their way, AVFC could go a long way towards sealing the deal on Monday, when they face Millwall.