[Editor’s Note] Every match, Liam - our young writer - selects a ‘man of the match’ - win, lose or draw. Today, his selection is Conor. Thanks Liam!
A bright-on evening on the South Coast for Dean Smith’s side as goals from Jota, Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane helped secure Aston Villa a place in the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup after the Villans beat Brighton 3-1!
A comfortable victory for the boys in claret and blue with the away side dominating possession throughout the cup tie with 62% compared to Brighton’s 38%. The skilful Spanish winger opened the scoring for Villa in the 22nd minute after he struck the ball past a helpless David Button into the net. Hourihane made it two with a precise finish into the bottom right hand corner after brilliant work down the left hand side from Keinan Davis. Brighton’s Haydon Roberts pulled a goal back for the home side in the 61st minute after the defender’s powerful header beat last seasons Play-Off hero Jed Steer however Aston Villa’s skipper Jack Grealish’s precise finish secured Dean Smith’s side a place in the next round of the Carabao Cup.
With the Villans possessing a large squad, tonight’s fixture would always be an interesting watch for the Villa faithful with players who haven’t had enough game time being able to showcase their talents in one of England’s classic cup competitions. Even though tonight’s opposition fielded a squad full of youth talent, several players proved a point to Dean Smith and his management team including Conor Hourihane who once again was heavily involved in play.
With a goal and an assist, the Irish midfielder consistently portrayed his composed disposition as well as a clinical edge with an accurate yet powerful finish into the bottom right hand corner for Aston Villa’s second goal. With the Villa faithful contemplating which midfielders should play on Saturday surely Hourihane will be in with a chance after 3 goals in two brilliant performances in the Carabao Cup. The Irishman possesses the tenacious qualities that are required of a defensive midfielder as well as creativity and precision , a perfect well-rounded midfielder. Surely he should be starting against Burnley on Saturday?
With Wolves at home in the Fourth Round, let’s hope that the Villa boys from Aston can secure a victory against Nuno’s men in what looks to be a fantastic cup tie!