After a very poor opening hour for Aston Villa as we welcomed Everton to Villa Park, few fans would’ve seen the final half hour coming and the stark contrast and improvement in our performance levels sparked by the introduction of summer signing Leon Bailey.
We were poor but very comfortable with the 352 set-up, but we had no punch or composure offensively – with the few chances fashioned though, Everton couldn’t have really complained if we’d had the lead at the half time break.
But Bailey’s introduction was a masterstroke and his quality, added to a subtle formation tweak, saw us click and put Everton to the sword. The score should’ve been greater than 3-0 in reality and most will think we’d have added another one or two had it not been for the disappointment of seeing Bailey then go back off injured.
Arrive. Change the game. Leave.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 19, 2021
Smith was understandably delighted as he spoke to the Official Site at the full time whistle.
“I’m really pleased. It wasn’t a 3-0 scoreline. I felt last week was an unjust 3-0 scoreline and I felt tonight was a tight game and a bit of an arm wrestle at times. With the territory we had, we had the upper hand, but they had the upper hand for the five minutes before we scored. That’s sometimes how momentum swings in football. The goal took the roof off the stadium and lifted us in the latter stages of the game and we went onto score two good goals.”
For me, given the balance of the overall game, this 3-0 is far more justified than our reverse against Chelsea, so Smith is being overly kind to Everton there and I doubt I’m alone in thinking that/
THE NOISE IN HERE. 😍
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 18, 2021