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The Verdict: Walsall 1-5 Aston Villa

Gallery: Trezeguet arrives Replay: Walsall 1-5 Aston Villa
The Verdict: Walsall 1-5 Aston Villa

Game details

Match: Walsall v Aston Villa
Date: Wednesday 24th July 2019
Venue: Banks's Stadium

Scoring summary

Jota (2), Wesley (2), Grealish

Sinclair

Line-up

Kalinic, Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett, Hourihane, Lansbury, Grealish, Jota, Green, Wesley. SUBS (ALL 70'): Taylor, Bree, Hause, Suliman, Bjarnason, McGinn, Hepburn-Murphy, O'Hare, Davis, Hogan.

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Story in brief

Aston Villa rounded out comfortable winners in their third pre-season friendly, coming away with a 5-1 win over Walsall.

Our new signing duo Jota and Wesley were all action for the first four goals, netting twice each and also registering an assist apiece.

Jota's first followed some excellent, free-flowing football as he glanced in Frederic Guilbert's low-driven cross.

The winger then turned provider as Wesley finished well on the turn to double our advantage.

The Brazilian quickly added to his tally from the penalty spot, before Jota did so too after pouncing on a loose ball and drilled into the bottom corner.

It was Wesley's turn to grab an assist in the second half, putting it on a plate for Jack Grealish to thump in our fifth of the night.

Andre Green was a matter of inches away from his first goal of pre-season just prior to Grealish's strike. He impressively skipped past two Walsall defenders before crashing his shot against the crossbar.

Scott Hogan was too denied a second consecutive goal late on, being flagged for offside.

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Red Jot

After promising displays against Minnesota United and Shrewsbury Town over the last seven days, it's fair to say Jota took it up another notch at Banks's Stadium on Wednesday.

The silky Spaniard was involved in three first-half goals, while his work rate was also noticeably high.

His first strike was well guided into the net after a crisp low ball in from Guilbert, and his second nestled beautifully into the bottom right.

Those finishes came either side of a perfectly-weighted through ball for Wesley, who duly slotted home his first Villa goal.

It's little over two weeks until that Spurs fixture. Jota is certainly putting his name forward for the big opener.

Wesley shines

Two goals and an assist also capped a good night for our record transfer Wesley, who enjoyed his most productive outing yet in a Villa shirt.

He brilliantly finished on the turn for his maiden goal, before emphatically smashing home his spot kick.

But it was perhaps his assist for Grealish that was most impressive. After his original loose touch got away from him, he chased down what looked a lost cause to keep the ball in play, before fending off his man and picking out his team-mate for our fifth.

Powerful, clinical and with desire in abundance – the early signs are good.

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Engels makes his bow

We finally got to see new defender Bjorn Engels in action following his arrival at the club just over a week ago.

The Belgian was paired alongside Tyrone Mings, in what could prove a hugely powerful, aerially-commanding centre-back partnership.

Rarely troubled, Engels will face sterner tests in the coming weeks, but is officially off the mark in England at least.

Next up

We go to Charlton Athletic on Saturday in a 3pm kick-off at The Valley.

Then, it's a trip to RB Leipzig next weekend to round off our Premier League preparations.

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 24th July 2019