[Editor’s Note] Every match, Liam - our young writer - selects a ‘man of the match’ - win, lose or draw. Today, Conor gets the nod. Thanks Liam!
A stylish performance from the boys in claret and blue as Dean Smith’s side ran out 6-1 winners against Crewe Alexandra. Aston Villa opened the scoring in the 4th minute as defender Ezri Konsa scored his first goal for the club after the Englishman headed the ball into the top right-hand corner. Conor Hourihane scored two more goals before half-time with a composed finish into an empty net in the 23rd minute and a powerful header in the dying moments of the first half. Keinan Davis made it 4-0 after the powerful striker beat Dave Richards from close-range, and an exquisite finish by Frédéric Guilbert followed by a low driven shot by Jack Grealish secured The Villans a place in the third round of the Carabao Cup. Ryan Wintle’s superb solo goal late in the second half proved to only be a consolation as David Artell’s side lost 6-1 at The Alexandra Stadium.
Dean Smith’s team were impressive throughout the fixture with Villa oozing style and professionalism. Each player contributed to a magnificent team performance however there was one man who emulated a maestro in The Villans midfield and he was my Man of the Match, Conor Hourihane.
Alongside Henri Lansbury, the midfield pair defended well as a unit as well as both players consistently contributing to Aston Villa’s attacking play with Hourihane scoring 2 of the away sides’ six goals. Also Conor’s positional play was perfect as the midfielder made some intelligent attacking runs as well as being constantly a free option to pass to all over the pitch. Unfortunately the Irishman’s place in Villa’s regular starting XI has been taken by the Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz, however if Conor continually plays well when selected then he could certainly find himself back in contention.
A brilliant display against The Railwaymen with Aston Villa winning their second consecutive game in all competitions. Let’s see if Dean Smith’s side can take some confidence from tonight’s performance into Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace.