Sunday 22 September 2019

Smith urges Villa players to build on first Premier League victory of season

Villa earned their first top-flight win since February 2016.

Aston Villa’s Wesley celebrates his opener in the 2-0 win over Everton (Nick Potts/PA)
Aston Villa’s Wesley celebrates his opener in the 2-0 win over Everton (Nick Potts/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, PA

Dean Smith admits Aston Villa must prove themselves in the Premier League again after their 2-0 win over Everton.

Wesley, the club’s record £22million signing, opened his account before Anwar El Ghazi wrapped up the points in stoppage time.

The win was Villa’s first victory back in the Premier League – and first since February 2016.

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Aston Villa manager Dean Smith wants his players to build on their win over Everton (Nick Potts/PA)

They were relegated from the Premier League for the first time three years ago and Smith knows, despite their top-flight pedigree and £130million summer spend, Villa need to re-establish themselves.

He said: “Two teams finished above us last season (Norwich and Sheffield United) and they’re the new boys in the Premier League, whereas we finished below them and seem to be a more established Premier League team.

“I can see that because of the amount of money we have spent but we had to. We feel we’ve spent that well but it’s going to take time to go and compete with a lot of established teams in this league.

“It was important to get the first win, we put in a performance which deserved the result.”

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The victory ended a run of 20 Premier League defeats for Jack Grealish (Nick Potts/PA)

Victory also ended Jack Grealish’s record Premier League run of 20 straight defeats.

Smith added: “If you look at the total minutes he played in those 20 games there’s probably four games in them. It’s a monkey off everyone’s back and he’ll be as pleased as anyone.”

Wesley opened the scoring after 21 minutes when he fired in across Jordan Pickford from Jota’s neat pass.

It came against the run of play but Everton never recovered and wasted two late chances.

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Anwar El Ghazi scored Villa’s second goal against Everton (Nick Potts/PA)

Alex Iwobi was denied a debut goal when he hit the post and Theo Walcott blazed an unmarked volley over with a minute left.

It came before El Ghazi rolled in from John McGinn’s pass in injury time.

The Toffees missed the chance to go top of the early Premier League table after conceding their first goals of the season.

Boss Marco Silva said: “My first feeling is we didn’t achieve what we deserved.

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Marco Silva felt his side did not get what they deserved (Nick Potts/PA)

“When you play away and create three or four clear chance to score and you don’t, the result will not be the best for us.

“The first time they got into our box they scored the goal. They tried to play fast free kicks all the time and we lost focus in that moment and they created the chance.

“I’m not saying it was a good performance. When you don’t win a football match the performance is not the best.

“We controlled all the second half, it’s not easy to play against a team with nine players around their box.”

PA Media

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