Aston Villa 2021/22 Season is Taking Shape Nicely After Their Win at Manchester United
A Rocky Start
There was reason to be concerned in the very early stages of the campaign for Villa fans. A seeming inconsistency, that was rarely seen throughout the 2020/21 season, was creeping in after captain and talisman Jack Grealish made the switch to Manchester City.
A defeat, a win and a draw in their first three Premier League fixtures suggested that the Villains may have been in for a rocky season without the man they sold for £100 million this summer.
Dean Smith’s side’s opening day 3-2 loss at Watford was a bitterly disappointing outcome against a side tipped by many to go straight back down to the Championship. Subsequently, a 1-1 draw against Brentford to follow up their 2-0 victory over Newcastle United seemed to demonstrate a lack of killer instinct and ability to carry the momentum forward.
A Promising Few Weeks
However, it seems as though the new arrivals have well and truly integrated into the Villa squad. New faces like Leon Bailey, Emi Buendia and Danny Ings have done nothing but furthered and enhanced the squad’s dynamic and tenacious attitude. And that is really coming through now.
Their September kicked off with one of the toughest fixtures in English football. It’s difficult to expect anything positive from a trip to Chelsea but, despite an eventual 3-0 loss, Smith had plenty to smile about.
An energetic, bright and generally encouraging performance made the 3-0 scoreline incredibly flattering to Thomas Tuchel’s Blues. And, while many would sink after not getting what they merited, Smith’s men did the opposite.
Their following fixture at home to Everton was just as dazzling and hungry, with a blistering nine-minute spell in the second half giving them a well-deserved 3-0 victory over the Toffees. A complete blitz of a club with similar European ambition, it was result and performance that meant much more than just three points. It signalled that Villa are a serious outfit this year.
Win at Manchester United a Clear Indication Of Aston Villa’s Quality
And, after matching Chelsea until an eventual penalty shootout loss to exit the League Cup in midweek, Aston Villa’s victory at Old Trafford on Saturday was proof that their season really is taking shape.
With tenacity, physicality, passion and unwavering commitment on show all over the pitch, they were tough, disciplined and generally immovable up against a club tipped for the title.
From Matty Cash’s barnstorming showing up and down the right, Kourtney Hause’s commanding and match-winning afternoon and to Douglas Luiz’s subtly phenomenal dominance in midfield – Villa bettered Manchester United throughout.
Bruno Fernandes provided a heart in mouth moment as he stepped up to take a last-minute penalty. However, in hitting his spot-kick into row Z, the Portuguese sealed Hause’s dramatically late and totally unexpected header as the decisive moment.
In the end, it was an afternoon won by collective responsibility and determination over individual brilliance. And it was utterly deserved.
We may be six games into the Premier League season but, following a bumpy start, Aston Villa’s 2021/22 campaign looks to be taking shape in a very promising way.