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Aston Villa player ratings vs AZ Alkmaar as Bailey, Tielemans and McGinn shine in 4-1 win

Aston Villa outclass AZ Alkmaar to claim 4-1 win in the Europa Conference League - Sports Mole

After hammering AZ Alkmaar 4-1 at the AFAS Stadion, Aston Villa has assumed control of Group E of the Europa Conference League.

Before goals from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn in the second half, Villa had a two-goal lead thanks to goals from Leon Bailey and Youi Tielemans. Ibrahim Sadiq’s excellent goal was merely a consolation for the home team. With two more triumphs at home against AZ and Legia in November, Unai Emery’s team will go to the knockout stages of the league after winning back-to-back victories in the competition (they also overcame Zrinjski Mostar earlier in the month).

Emery decided to make four changes to the team that on Sunday defeated West Ham 4-1. Ezri Konsa, Pau Torres, Nicolo Zaniolo, and Moussa Diaby were moved to the substitute bench, and Diego Calros, Clement Lenglet, Tielemans, and Bailey entered the game.

Aston Villa player ratings vs AZ Alkmaar as Bailey, Tielemans and McGinn shine in 4-1 win - John Townley - Birmingham Live

Villa opened the score early on and demonstrated their control over the game from the beginning. Bailey ensured he received a clean shot at goal shortly after squandering his initial opportunity, as Villa resorted to one of their opening attacks of the match. The winger gave Villa the lead by drilling the ball past former Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan from the edge of the area.

 

Ten minutes after the score was tied, Villa’s lead was increased thanks to Tielemans. The AZ player gave up control to McGinn after the midfielder put pressure on Sven Mijnans. McGinn then found the Belgian in the area, where he was able to tuck the ball under Ryan.

After grabbing their second goal, Villa almost gave themselves a double when Boubacar Kamara mishandled the ball on the edge of the box, only for AZ attacker Vangelis Pavlidis to shoot wide.

Six minutes after the interval, Watkins added a third, and McGinn then joined in, heading Bailey’s cross in at the near post. Sadiq, an AZ winger, cut into the lead late in the game by beating Martinez at the far post, but Emery’s team had already secured a crucial three points to take first place in Europa Conference League Group E.

Player ratings

Emi Martinez

barely saw any action in the first half, but he did come out to claim a few of crosses. Ibrahim Sadiq put up a fantastic fight in the second period, which ultimately led to his defeat. 7/10

Cash Matty

Once again, very nothing went down his right flank. Cash put on yet another strong performance; it seems like he’s elevated his game this season. After Konsa took a break, he had huge shoes to fill, and he succeeded admirably. 8/10

José Carlos

Carlos received his sixth start for the team in all competitions tonight. Carlos last appeared for Villa in the 1-1 draw with Wolves before the October international break.8/10.

Clement Lenglet

Make his third start for Villa after spending the previous two seasons playing in the Europa Conference League. He was booked for a professional foul in the first half, but otherwise he played a terrific central defensive role with Carlos, which caused Villa some difficulties throughout the match.8/10.

Lucas Digne

I gave it everything I had on the field once more. Digne has played an absurd amount of games since the start of the season, and each time he has performed admirably.7/10

Boubacar Kamara

Kamara made several important blocks and tackles tonight in the middle of the park, displaying his domineering presence. He lost the ball on the edge of Villa’s box and should have been sent off by Pavlidis, but he was released after Villa took the lead.8/10.

David Luiz

As is so frequently the case against most of his opponents, he was one step ahead of the AZ midfielders. After he was replaced in the 69th minute, Villa’s dominance in Game 8 was compromised.

J. McGinn

had the foresight to spot Tielemans inside the area, resulting in Villa’s second goal, before coming up with Villa’s fourth. Outstanding work from the Scot. 9/10

Youri Tielemans

Named in the starting side for the fifth time this evening. This was by far his best performance in claret and blue since joining on a free transfer. He making the right pass selections and was always making space to receive the ball in pockets between the lines. 8/10

Leon Bailey

Came back in the team after last starting from the off against Zrinjski and scored his sixth goal in all competitions this evening. He opened the scoring with a brilliant strike past Ryan. 9/10

Ollie Watkins

Led the line well tonight. His pace in transition caused problems as the AS defenders were occupied by his intelligent runs off the ball. Bagged his first goal of the group stage. 8/10

SUBS

Nicolo Zaniolo (for Luiz, 69): The Italian saw little of the ball after coming into the game after Villa had completed their business. 6

Moussa Diaby (for McGinn, 81): N/A

Jhon Duran (for Watkins, 85): N/A

Leander Dendoncker (for Kamara, 85): N/A

Bertrand Traore (for Traore, 85): N/A

Subs not used: Olsen, Marschall, Torres, Konsa, Chambers.

GOALS

AZ Alkmaar: Sadiq (65)

Aston Villa: Bailey (13), Tielemans (23), Watkins (51), McGinn (5

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