The tale of Ollie Watkins’ sparkling debut as Villa beat Burton

Ollie Watkins made his competitive Aston Villa debut in the Carabao Cup this evening.

Villa’s £33million signing went into the game on the back of his goal-scoring appearance in the friendly victory over Manchester United on Saturday.

He played in the middle of a 4-3-3, flanked by Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi.

Here’s how he did as Villa prevailed 3-1.

Aston Villa have a new record signing – Ollie Watkins.

The former Brentford hotshot takes the mantle from Wesley Moraes, and big things are expected of the winger/striker at Villa Park.

He’s well known to Villa head coach Dean Smith, and you could get to know Watkins just as well by signing up to our free AVFC newsletter.

In our daily Aston Villa bulletin, we’ll be bringing you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans.

You won’t miss a single thing Watkins performs in a Villa shirt.

How do you sign up?

It’s easy and only takes seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit sign up.

Villa subs.jpg

And that’s it, you’re all set. You can also sign up here.

If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.

And what’s more, it’s absolutely free!

That’s not all…

If you fancy another present, we’ve got plenty of prizes in our FPL league.

Ollie Watkins could help you fire your fantasy side to FPL glory. In our Fantasy League, you could win £250, a new replica 20/21 football shirt of your choice, and the inaugural RFFL winner’s trophy and certificate.

To enter, simply sign up here.

First half highlights

15 Made an incisive run in between the Burton centre backs but Jack Grealish used him as his decoy and won a corer with a blocked shot.

17 Grealish lifted the ball into the middle and Watkins was well-placed, having lost his marker only for Kortney Hause to take the ball off his head.

27 Dropped off and took Nakamba’s pass on the half-turn, showing good touch and pace to approach the area. Unfortunately he slipped and his shot dribbled through to the goalkeeper.

35 Did well to win a corner after heading Elmohamady’s shallow cross offer a defender.

39 GOAL Grealish freed Neil Taylor into the area and the left back steered a low cross for Watkins to tap home from six yards.

45 CROSSBAR Grealish slices along the byeline from the left and finds Watkins eight yards out. Remarkably his left-foot shot went up and on to the woodwork.

Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game during the Carabao Cup match at the Pirelli Stadium, Burton

Second half highlights

53 Grealish fires in an inviting cross from the right which flashes through the six-yard box just in front of Watkins

57 Nudged in the back as he tries to turn home Elmohamady’s cross from close range.

68 Watkins’ eyes light up as Elmohamady swings over a sumptuous cross, he loses his defender and heads down, straight at the goalkeeper. The offside flag goes up.

71 His debut ends as Keinan Davis comes on.


Touches: 33

Shots: 5 (2 on target)

Pass completion: 94%

Aerials won: 3

Dribbles: 4

Fouled: 1

Offside: 1

Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa

Your reaction

@gortavfc: I like what I’ve seen of Watkins and his movement. Samatta and Davis would have been nowhere near the position he was in for his three chances

@NuSoddy: Ollie Watkins, big future ahead for Villa

@Marko7LW: Smith has taken Watkins off because he was making our other strikers look bad

@TJWoolnough: Love seeing Watkins in the claret and blue, think he will

@collantine_s: Ollie Watkins is a baller no cap

@reel_villan: Loving the fact Watkins is getting into such good positions on almost every attack. Very promising.

What Smith said

“I don’t take the pressure off him, the only thing that will take the pressure off him is good performances from Ollie – he knows that.

“The same happened last season with Wesley as well, goal-scorers, centre forwards are there to stick the ball in the back of the net.

“He has made a good fist of that over the last few seasons.

“I have worked with him before, his attitude, his application to his work and the way he has improved is testament to the person he is. I have no doubts about him at this level – that’s for sure.”


What stood out most about Watkins was not so much his goal, nor even the couple of other chances he might have converted – but his movement.

His ability to slip away from defenders meant he was always in a good position in the box. With supply from Grealish on one flank – and a more regular delivery from the opposite flank it looks as though Watkins is going to get plenty of chances.

Of course, the real test will come against Premier League opposition – but this was a hugely promising start.

Source link

Tell Us How You Are Dealing With The QAnon Believers In Your Life

Haller brace sees West Ham past Charlton