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Match report: GAK Graz 0-8 Villa

Villa in Austria tour diary: Amavi on Di Matteo, Elphick, Gollini and Euro 2016 Villa in Austria picture special: Best images as Petrov returns
Match report: GAK Graz 0-8 Villa

Two goals from Jordan Ayew, Rudy Gestede and Joe Bennett, as well as efforts from Micah Richards and Libor Kozak, ensured a comfortable 8-0 win for Villa here against GAK Graz.

The victory was significant for the return into a claret and blue shirt of Stiliyan Petrov, who was forced to retire through leukaemia just three years ago.

There were also the first sights of Tommy Elphick and Pierluigi Gollini after summer moves.

Roberto Di Matteo will have been happy with the workout for his team – and the confidence gained by the goals scored.

First up was Richards on 12 minutes as he converted a header at the far post before Ayew hammered home the first of his two just seven minutes later.

Kozak produced a neat finish on 21 minutes, firing home after a great cross from the left by Aly Cissokho.

Ayew made it four with his second on the night – another long-range effort which flew in beautifully.

It remained that way until the break but, moments after the whistle blew again, Villa had five.

Bennett, part of a completely different second half team - except Alan Hutton who came on in the first half – blasted home a 20 yard free-kick on 46 minutes.

Gestede made it six just after the hour mark, finishing well at the far post.

There were two more in the final 10 minutes.

Bennett showed off his free-kick skills once again, firing home another 20 yarder.

And Gestede completed the scoring after a lovely free-flowing move.

Hutton bombed on down the right and pulled the ball back to the Benin international, who finished clinically.

First half: Gollini, Richards (Hutton), Elphick, Baker, Cissokho, Gana, Gardner, Gil, Veretout, Ayew, Kozak.

Second half: Bunn, Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bennett, Westwood, Petrov, Grealish, Agbonlahor, Sinclair, Gestede.

Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 9th July 2016