Having seen our opening fixture of 2020/21 immediately postponed as Manchester City have a lazier start to the Premier League this season, Aston Villa are finally in action – albeit the EFL Cup against locals Burton Albion.
We made another trip to the Pirelli Stadium earlier this evening and we were looking to build on the friendly Manchester United victory and completely avoid the banana skin that Burton became back in 2018.
Well, Jack’s deal was a great start to the day and head coach Dean Smith certainly selected an unexpected side and I hadn’t even sat down to watch yet but two minutes in we were 1-0 behind. I decided to come back later and saw a nice flowing move, finished off well by newbie Ollie Watkins.
1-1 and I’m now watching – I just wish it wasn’t some of these players. After such a statement, surely this is the last chance saloon for some, even if we have to pay them off. We can forgive some sloppiness for our first proper game back following a strange old summer, but when some consistently offer nowt you can defend them.
Into first half stoppage time a lovely run from Jack set Watkins up for his brace but he somehow conspired to hit the bar, the fact the two seem to already have a loose understanding is promising though. The performance of Jacob Ramsey did stand out though, but 1-1 at the break.
Second half we dominated possession but didn’t do an awful lot with it and it wasn’t entirely great to watch, but games like this rarely are. We were crying out for a change to give us some extra spark. But there was some invention up top, and Watkins again was unlucky to not make it 2-0 with just over 20 remaining in the game.
Enter Keinan Davis and Douglas Luiz.
We had the better of the game still, created more chances but the final ball wasn’t really worth talking about, albeit Jota’s effort was a bit tasty.
Jack’s certainly was as penalties looked like the outcome – great little volley, Lansbury amazingly provided the delivery and 2-1.
Not a classic but these games rarely are, plenty to learn, plenty still to improve upon and a little bit sorry for Burton as if some of our players had their spirit, we’d have been out of sight.
Jota did add a third before the referee decided he was offside, looked tight to me so the replays will be interest and then Keinan Davis was set through by Douglas Luiz, and my, that was a tidy finish – it might change a few minds.
Maybe today was a good day then after all?
Squad depth leaves us with massive questions, but a win is a win and you can only beat what’s in front you. The final score is unfair on Burton, but maybe that kind of finish will bring some greater confidence.
The players who stood out are obvious…as are those who didn’t.
EFL Cup Round Two
15/09/2020 7:45 pm
Referee: Oliver Langford
|Watkins (39), Grealish 88), Davis (92)