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Walsall 0-5 Villa report: Top five-star friendly display

Walsall v Villa WATCH LIVE: All the action on AVTV from 7.15pm Walsall 0-5 Villa verdict: Lambert - We were excellent
Walsall 0-5 Villa report: Top five-star friendly display


Villa hit five for the second game in a row in a morale-boosting victory at the Banks's Stadium.

And there were five different goalscorers too in an exciting pre-season display from Paul Lambert's team.

Fabian Delph and Gabby Agbonlahor opened their accounts for the campaign, Christian Benteke continued his red-hot form and academy graduates Jack Grealish and Gary Gardner scored their first senior goals.

The visitors looked razor sharp from the outset with Agbonlahor in full flow.

On seven minutes, he motored down the left and produced a clever cutback for Andi Weimann who fired wide at the near post.

Villa were ahead moments later when Delph gathered possession inside the Walsall half and beat goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell with a rasping left-foot drive.

Then, on 33 minutes, the Saddlers defenders were caught out by Agbonlahor's blistering pace as the Erdington-born hotshot doubled the advantage.

There was no stopping Agbonlahor as he surged past three defenders before nutmegging O'Donnell with his finish.

Further attempts by Agbonlahor and Graham Burke deflected just wide, while Benteke clipped the woodwork with a curling shot from around 18 yards.

Boss Lambert made seven changes at the break but frontmen Agbonlahor, Benteke and Weimann were given another 15 minutes to impress.

And the fearsome forwards continued where they left off.

The third goal arrived seven minutes after the restart when substitute Nicklas Helenius brilliantly picked out Weimann with a pinpoint diagonal pass.

Weimann crossed for Benteke who timed his arrival perfectly to score from six yards.

Helenius showed tremendous vision once again to tee up another substitute Grealish on 67 minutes.

It was a huge moment for boyhood Villa fan Grealish, who kept his cool to slot past replacement keeper Shane Lewis for his first senior goal.

Gardner saved the best until last, drilling home a magnificent 35-yard free-kick four minutes from time.

WALSALL: O'Donnell, Purkiss, Butler, Featherstone, Chambers, Westcarr, Benning, Baxendale, George, Morris, Sawyers. Subs: Holden, Mantom, Lalkovic, Hemmings, Downing, Chambers, Flanagan, Heath, Roberts, Griffiths, McQuilkin, Lewis, Hewitt.

VILLA (first half): Steer, Vlaar, Baker, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Luna, Delph, Benteke, Burke, Weimann, Agbonlahor.

VILLA (second half): Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Helenius, Agbonlahor, Westwood, Luna, Sylla, Benteke, Weimann, Herd. Subs: Donacien [for Herd, 61], Carruthers [for Agbonlahor, 61], Gardner [for Benteke, 61], Grealish [for Weimann, 61].

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 31st July 2013
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