Lions Maul the Foxes!



Given how great today's result ended up it might be easy to forget the sloppy start Villa made to the game. Organisation and discipline has been an early staple of Gerrard's reign at Villa Park but the opening 15 minutes was anything but as Leicester broke through the Villa defence like it was a training session.


Harvey Barnes' goal had been coming and a defensive mix up between Cash and Nakamba opened the door for Patson Daka to put through Barnes who finished beautifully past Emi Martinez who was helpless as he tried to defend his near post.


Thankfully the opening goal seemed to wake up Steven Gerrard's claret and blue army because seconds later Buendia found the back of the net with a well placed header from a Matty Cash assist after a set piece. Or so we thought.. On closer inspection it turned out the goal came off Ezri Konsa's boot which at first felt a little unfair on Buendia. However there appears to be one angle in particular that hints the ball might have been heading towards the post if not for Konsa's touch so a Konsa goal might have been fair after all.


The drama was far from over as not long before half-time Jacob Ramsey smashed the ball home for what should have been his second Premier League goal of the season. However VAR asked Michael Oliver to go take a look and the goal was shambolically overruled due to Kasper Schmeichel getting a hand on the call for a split second before Ramsey struk the ball. It appears that either Michael Oliver forgot the rules or didn't realise Schmeichel had fumbled the ball before getting a hand to it. Either way it sent Villa Park into uproar going into the break and rightfully so.


I can't help but feel previous Villa teams would have become hung up on such a poor decision and gone on to lose a game like this but not this team. Villa came out all guns blazing in the second half looking for justice and got it in the form of a second Ezri Konsa goal from a John McGinn corner. It's no secret that Leicester have been diabolical at defending set pieces this season and Villa took full advantage of this weakness and stormed to a 2-1 lead.


Overall the second half was an outstanding performance for the Villa and on more than one occasion we had the opportunity to put the game to bed but didn't quite manage it. Ollie Watkins was unlucky not to score as he had a good shot saved by Schmeichel but Watkins was also guilty of being a little selfish as he went for goal again despite having Matty Cash clear through at goal to his right.


Leicester only really had one real opportunity to make Villa pay for their missed chances with an excellent guided header from the earlier goal scorer Harvey Barnes. Thankfully though Emi Martinez was on hand to produce a world class save to keep it at 2-1 which is how the game ended.


Leicester pushed hard and brought on the likes of Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho who have both had joy against Villa in the past but it was to no avail. After already giving Carney Chukwuemeka and Morgan Sanson a run out, Gerrard saw the game out by bringing on Axel Tuanzebe to bolster the defence meaning the mighty Villa left with all 3 points and jumped up ahead of Leicester to tenth in the table.


You know it was a good day at the office when deciding on a man of the match is this difficult. For me personally I'd give it to Marvelous Nakamba who continues to thrive under Gerrard but Ezri Konsa and John McGinn definitely came close with their outstanding performances today. Just the small task of Liverpool away next for Aston Villa this coming Saturday, until then make sure you're following AVFC Faithful to keep up to date with everything Villa.


Managers comments:


On today's result: "You kick every ball on the side. It was a tough game and obviously it went right to the wire. I think we saw two sides of us today as in the second half we were outstanding to a man, all over the pitch."


"We started winning our duels and winning the second ball, and we started to compete better. In the first half, we gave the ball away too much and were too open."


"Leicester caused us too many problems on the transition so there's lots for us to look at as well. It's really important we reacted after Leicester's good start. We were too passive in too many areas of the pitch."


"We were far too open and sloppy on the ball. I wasn't happy with our first-half performance at all, so we had to give them a few home truths at half-time. The reaction we saw was much more like what we want to see."


On the return to Anfield: "It's about the team and preparing them well to get a result. I will not make it about me. If others do, I can't control that, but it's about us going there with confidence and belief."


"I Just want to go there and try and win and take what we can. For us, we’re not competing with Liverpool, in terms of the level we’re both at."


@MikeyGalaszia


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