Aston Villa’s Latest Win More Proof It Can Go From Near-Relegation To Europe In One Season
Get the best email in soccer.
Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings was sent off just before halftime with his side nursing a one-goal lead against Crystal Palace. Then Villa really showed how good it is.
Despite playing the entire second half down a man, Aston Villa throttled Crystal Palace 3-0 on Saturday. Remarkably, it was Villa’s fifth 3-0 victory of the season, which begs the question: Can this club actually compete for a spot in Europe?
Bertrand Traoré scored in the fifth minute, Kortney Hause and Anwar El-Ghazi struck in the second half and it took some sort of magic to prevent Ollie Watkins from getting on the score sheet as Dean Smith’s side played with 10 men perfectly. Palace finished with 61 percent possession, but Villa recorded 21 shots to 13 for the visitors.
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace Highlights
Saturday’s win was the type of performance you expect from the very best clubs in the Premier League, not a club that escaped relegation by one point last season.
Few clubs have impressed as much this season as Aston Villa. Sure, Liverpool currently leads the league, but no one is surprised about that. Some might say Leicester City has overachieved to sit in second, but the Foxes still have plenty of title-winning experience.
In October, we asked if this Aston Villa side was real, if the remarkable start was sustainable. At that point, the club sat in second place behind Everton, and it was clear the table would not end that way.
As Saturday’s match ended, Villa sat in sixth, four spots back, but a position in which no one should be surprised if they finish, especially considering it has a game in hand. Villa boasts the third-best goal difference at plus-14, aided by those five 3-0 wins and that epic 7-2 destruction of Liverpool (the Reds’ only EPL loss this season). Only Manchester City has allowed fewer goals.
Since a rough run of form at the end of October and through November (four losses from five, only beating Arsenal 3-0), Villa has turned things around, taking 13 points from 15 available in December, including two more 3-0 wins.
Saturday’s inspiring performance highlighted what this team can be. While it’s hard to beat that 7-2 over Liverpool, this was one of the team’s best performances yet — it’s no easy feat to look so superior to a club with a man advantage.
Villa’s form shows it can string together results as well as any team in the Prem. Will Aston Villa be in position for European football at the end of the season? So far, we’ve seen no reason to not think they can do it.