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Match Reports

Walsall 1-5 Aston Villa

24 July 2019

Match Reports

Walsall 1-5 Aston Villa

24 July 2019

The Saddlers were thoroughly outclassed as Premier League new boys Aston Villa cruised to a convincing pre-season victory.

Darrell Clarke's men started brightly, with Josh Gordon registering the game’s first effort after four minutes when he lashed a right-footed drive wide from 20 yards.

But newly-promoted Villa, managed by former Walsall boss Dean Smith, showed their top-flight quality with a well-constructed opening goal on 10 minutes.

Jack Grealish released Frederic Guilbert down the right and the full-back delivered a driven centre for Jota to provide a clinical close-range finish.

The former Birmingham winger turned provider as the Villans added a quick-fire second, slipping in Wesley Moraes who slotted first-time beyond a helpless Liam Roberts.

The influential Jota almost created another, scooping an inventive pass over the Walsall defence but Grealish couldn’t keep his effort down, volleying over on the stretch.

Walsall were largely penned back but almost halved the deficit when Elijah Adebayo outmuscled Guilbert and surged towards goal before stroking an effort wide of the far post.

Villa, though, made their superiority tell with a third just before the half-hour.

James Clarke was penalised for tugging Moraes, who stepped up to send Roberts the wrong way with an emphatic penalty into the roof of the net.

The Saddlers pulled one back almost immediately, Stuart Sinclair picking out the top corner with a lovely curling finish after some intricate play on the edge of the box.

Henri Lansbury went close to restoring the visitors’ three-goal cushion when he exchanged passes with Jota before unleashing a rasping strike which Roberts beat away.

A fourth Villa goal was soon forthcoming, Jota drilling a low left-footed drive beyond Roberts at his near post on the cusp of half-time.

It was nearly 5-1 nine minutes into the second half, Andre Green jinking between two players before thundering a blistering drive against the bar.

Not even the woodwork could come to Walsall’s rescue as the Villans extended their lead five minutes later.

Moraes turned away from Callum Cockerill-Mollett on the byline and crossed low towards Grealish, who swept the ball smartly into the bottom corner.

Villa had the ball in the net for a sixth time but Scott Hogan’s tidy volleyed finish was disallowed for offside.


Saddlers team: L Roberts (Rose 45’), Norman (Facey 67’), Pring (McDonald 67’), Sinclair, Clarke, Scarr, Guthrie (Hardy 60’), Adebayo (Bates 60’), Sadler (Cockerill-Mollett 45’), Gordon (Ferrier 45’), Kinsella.


Attendance: 8,400

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