Premier League club Aston Villa were back in action over the weekend after several weeks with the 4-0 thrashing of English League Two opponents Walsall in a preseason friendly game. Villa had not played a single game for 48 days since they almost put spanner in the works of Manchester City’s quest to win the Premier League title for the second successive season. They almost succeeded with a two-nil lead into the final quarter of the game before City managed to turn things around with three goals in a little over five minutes to win the game 3-2 at home and a fourth league title in five seasons as a result. Dropped points against Aston Villa would have led nearest challengers Liverpool to the title.
In what’s the first preseason game for both Walsall and Aston Villa, the Premier League team had too much class for the team from the fourth tier of professional football in England.
Aston Villa registered the first goal of the friendly encounter with Walsallat Bescot Stadium on Saturday in the seventh minute through Jamaican international Leon Bailey who thrashed the ball into the back of the net leaving Owen Evans with no chance of making a save in the Walsall goal. Evans denied Burkina Faso player Bertrand Traore on two occasions before the lead was doubled by young striker Cameron Archer. Goals from Bailey and Archer gave Villa a 2-0 lead at the end of the first 45 minutes.
Aston Villa made a lot of changes at the half-time interval with Tommy O’Reilly providing the assist for England international Ollie Watkins to score before a direct corner kick from Brazilian star Douglas Luiz sealed the big win with twenty minutes to run.
After the straightforward win over Walsall, Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard and his players are next in action on Saturday, July 23.