Match: Aston Villa v Swansea
Date: Saturday 5th January 2019
Competition: FA Cup, Third Round
Venue: Villa Park
Baker-Richardson (2), Dyer (47), Fulton (78)
Kalinic; Hutton, Bree, Elphick, Taylor; McGinn, Whelan (Lansbury 60), O’Hare (Kodjia 55); Adomah, Hogan (Davis 72), El Ghazi. UNUSED SUBS: Steer, Bjarnason, Elmohamady, Revan.
Story in brief
Nothing went right for Villa as we bowed out of the FA Cup following defeat at the hands of Swansea City.
Dean Smith’s side, showing six changes from the line-up that faced QPR on New Year’s Day, were out of sorts in a 3-0 defeat to the Swans.
Villa had beaten Swansea in Smith’s first game in charge and had completed a Championship double at the Liberty Stadium on Boxing Day, but this time they were very much second best.
Yet Villa could have been ahead after just 18 seconds, Scott Hogan firing narrowly wide following Callum O’Hare’s fine pass and Anwar El Ghazi’s low cross from the left.
The visitors responded with a close-range opener from Courtney Baker-Richardson before two minutes had elapsed, and Villa struggled for the remainder of the opening period.
Hogan must still be wondering how keeper Erwin Mulder kept out his sixth-minute shot from a couple of yards, but otherwise the visitors were not seriously inconvenienced, and they doubled their advantage through Nathan Dyer’s low angled shot just after the interval.
The introduction of three substitutes gave Villa more impetus, with John McGinn, Henri Lansbury and Albert Adomah all going close before hopes of a revival were killed off by a third Swansea goal from sub Jay Fulton, who tapped in from close range 12 minutes from the end.
While it was far from a classic, this tie created a small piece of club history – Villa had never faced Swansea at home in the FA Cup.
The only two previous Cup ties between the clubs were both played at Swansea’s old Vetch Field ground, in February 1924 and January 1925.
The Swans have, however, played here in the Cup – they lost 2-1 to Preston in the semi-final in 1964.
We’re back to the Championship next Saturday, travelling to Lancashire to take on Wigan Athletic.
The match is a return fixture from the opening game of the season at Villa Park, when Villa emerged 3-2 winners in an exciting contest.
A similar outcome at the DW Stadium would go down very nicely ahead of back-to-back home games against Hull City and Ipswich Town.
The game against Paul Lambert’s side will go ahead as scheduled on Saturday 26th January following the Tractor Boys’ shock Cup exit at Accrington Stanley.