Leicester City keep up title pressure with 2-1 Aston Villa win

The Foxes have now lost just once since December, and Rodgers looks to determined to push on and seal a Champions League spot at the King Power Stadium.

And the visitors were on top right from kick off in the West Midlands as Maddison confidently slotted them in front.

The impressive Harvey Barnes found the England star on the edge of the box and he curled a peach of an effort past Emiliano Martinez.

And with Villa unable to react quickly enough, Leicester swarmed them to make it 2-0 just after.

The evergreen Jamie Vardy’s drive was too much for Martinez to hang onto and Barnes was in like a flash to smash home.

But despite barely having a kick in the first 45, Dean Smith’s half time message did the trick after the break, as Bertrand Traore immediately volleyed them back into it.

However, that only proved to be a flicker of light for the Villa as Leicester could and should have made it three late on. with Martinez redeeming himself with vital saves from Maddison and Vardy.

Full Time from Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 1 Leicester City 2

Brighton held to frustrating 0-0 draw with Aston Villa

Graham Potter’s side dominated against the Villa but their all to familiar lack of cutting edge left the Seagulls frustrated.

The hosts looked slick from the word go in this one as Alexis MacAllister powered a header over and Leandro Trossard tested Emiliano Martinez.

And it was to be a one-man war against Brighton as Martinez produced another diving stop from Dan Burn.

It was all one-way traffic again after the break as Dean Smith’s side looked to simply for point.

But as hard as Brighton pushed late on, with Joel Veltman and Danny Welbeck both coming close, Martinez was in no mood to be beaten.

Full Time from the AMEX Stadium it’s Brighton 0 Aston Villa 0

Aston Villa edge out Arsenal in vital 1-0 Premier League win

Dean Smith’s side now have three wins in their last five as Ollie Watkins early strike was enough to see off the Gunners.

Villa have made a habit of fast starts in recent weeks and the in-form Watkins powered them ahead inside the first two minutes.

Bertrand Traore’s persistence forced an error from Cedric Soares on the edge of the box and his low ball was scuffed by Watkins.

But that early strike failed to really spark either side into life with Granit Xhaka’s free kick the only test for Emiliano Martinez.

And with the visitors unable to pick up any steam after the break it was debutant Mat Ryan who was called into action to deny Watkins a second.

But with a stark lack of cutting edge from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, it was Villa that almost wrapped it up late on, as Ryan produced a superb stop to deny Jack Grealish.

Full Time on a big day for the home side at Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 0

Aston Villa edge out Southampton with 1-0 Premier League win

Dean Smith’s side now leapfrog the Saints and move up to 8th in the table as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s hosts slip out of the Top Ten.

Both sides did create chances in rapid start on the south coast with Stuart Armstrong left frustrated as his shot was blocked by Matty Cash before Ollie Watkins tested Alex McCarthy.

And despite there being little to pick between the sides before the break it was Villa that finally found the breakthrough.

Matt Targett’s pass released Jack Grealish down the left and his lofted cross was headed home by Barkley.

The Saints took a while to get up to speed after the break but Che Adams wasted a fantastic chance to find an equaliser.

Danny Ings’ clever pass released him inside the box but Emiliano Martinez was out in a flash to make a brave stop.

And it was the former Arsenal stopper who sealed the win in added time as the Argentinian produced an incredible double stop to deny Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens.

Full Time from the St. Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton 0 Aston Villa 1

Mikel Arteta says trimming Arsenal squad is January transfer window priority

The Gunners were able to offload Emiliano Martinez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on permanent deals in September while a month later Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira departed on loan.

But forgotten man Mesut Ozil remained at the Emirates along with Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac, who have barely featured in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal have been linked with a loan move for Real Madrid playmaker Isco next month, but first of all technical director Edu will attempt to raise funds by moving on those who are surplus to requirements.

One player who is not set to depart is attacker Reiss Nelson, despite failing to play for the club since December 3.

It has been a stop-start campaign for the 21-year-old, who has scored once in eight outings for the Gunners this term. Mikeal Arteta confirmed Nelson had a muscular issue which saw him in and out of training, but not 100 per cent fit.

Aston Villa snatch 1-0 Premier League win at Wolves

In a game of very few clear-cut chances at either end it was Anwar El Ghazi’s 94th minute penalty that clinched three points for Villa.

Both set of players looked rusty in the opening exchanges at Molineux with Daniel Podence and Leander Dendoncker testing Emiliano Martinez.

Wolves did look to be edging at after the break as teenage striker Fabio Silva was presented with a perfect chance to put them in front.

The Portuguese international slipped past two Villa challenges inside the box but his snapshot fired back off the post.

Nuno Santo’s side pushed hard for a breakthrough in closing, but Martinez showed his class once again as the Uruguayan denied Roman Saiss and Nelson Semedo.

And with Wolves unable to find a way past Martinez in the closing stages Villa ducked in to take advantage in a chaotic last five minutes.

Douglas Luiz was shown a second yellow card for Villa before Mike Dean controversially pointed to the spot as Semedo tangled with John McGinn inside the box.

El Ghazi kept his cool to slot past Rui Patricio as Wolves’ protests spilled after the final whistle with Joao Moutinho joining Luiz for an early bath.

Full Time at Molineux it’s Wolves 0 Aston Villa 1

Brighton fight back to secure 2-1 Premier League win at Aston Villa

Goals in either half from Danny Welbeck and Solly March secured a vital three points for the Seagulls as Dean Smith’s Villa slip to a third defeat of the season.

Neither side created much in a busy opening quarter of an hour before Welbeck showed an ice cool calmness to put the visitors ahead.

Villa’s attempt to play a high offside trap were exposed by Adam Lallana’s through ball and Welbeck strode on an confidently chipped past Emiliano Martinez.

That early breakthrough opened the game up at both ends, with Bertrand Traore firing a brilliant chance against the post and Neil Maupay bringing the best from Martinez.

Villa worked hard to turn the tide after the restart, and Ezri Konsa deserved edged them level on 47 minutes.

Traore’s deep free kick evaded a line of Brighton defenders and Konsa bravely slid home at the back post.

But just as Villa looked on course to wrestle control of the game away from Brighton, March produced a brilliant strike on the hour.

Pascal Gross switched play to him on the edge of the box and with Villa unable to recover in time, he whipped a fantastic effort past Martinez.

But just as the game seemed to be drifting to a quiet end, referee Michael Oliver put himself right at the centre of the action in added time.

Firstly, he sent off Tariq Lamptey for two tired tackles on Jack Grealish before controversially awarding Villa a 93rd minute spot kick.

He originally awarded a penalty for March’s late challenge on Trezeuget inside the box, but in yet another VAR talking point this season, he opted to overturn the decision and hand Brighton all three points.
Full Time at Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 1 Brighton 2

Southampton edge out 4-3 Premier League thriller at Aston Villa

The Saints have been on of the top-flight’s most in form teams in recent weeks and some spectacular finishing from birthday boy James Ward-Prowse just about secured all three points at Villa Park.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have developed a reputation as fast starters this season and they were on the front foot early here as Theo Walcott fired against the bar.

And with all the pressure coming from the visitors they found a breakthrough on 20 minutes as Jannik Vestergaard nodded home Ward-Prowse’s corner.

Ward-Prowse then took control of things for the Saints as the England international fired home a pair of superb free kicks before the break.

Villa did try to force their way back into the game after restart with Trezeguet and Jack Grealish both forcing saves from Alex McCarthy.

But the Saints were in no mood to let their lead slip away as Danny Ings got in on the act to make it 4-0.

Stuart Armstrong fed the former Liverpool man inside the box and he curled another brilliant effort past Emiliano Martinez.

But despite the game appearing dead and buried in the closing stages, Dean Smith’s side launched an incredible late rally as Tyrone Mings headed home Grealish’s cross.

Villa threw everything at it in the final moments as Ollie Watkins fired home from the penalty spot and Grealish tucked past McCarthy.

But in the end there just was not quite enough time to haul back the Saints.

Full Time at a brilliant end at Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 3 Southampton 4

Aston Villa secure fifth straight Premier League win at Leicester City

The former Everton man has looked revitalised following his loan move to Villa Park and his added time intervention makes it five straight wins for Dean Smith.

Villa skipper Jack Grealish was at the heart of it for the hosts in the early exchanges as his fizzed free kick brought the best out of Kasper Schmeichel.

The Foxes did improve after the break, but without Jamie Vardy spearheading their attack, the Foxes were restricted to half chances as Youri Tielemens tested Emiliano Martinez.

Leicester lack of cutting edge meant the door remained open to Villa in the closing stages as Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash both tested Schmeichel.

But despite looking well placed to hang on for the draw Leicester were undone by a flash of magic from Barkley.

John McGinn’s clever ball found him in space outside the box and his rocket of an effort flew past Schmeichel.


Martinez Delighted With Aston Villa Debut

The debutant saved John Lundstram’s penalty in a topsy-turvy first half, which also seen Sheffield United reduced to ten men when John Egan was sent off for tussling with Ollie Watkins. Martinez gave his side the platform from which to build, and Ezri Konsa’s header eventually won it for Dean Smith’s side.

The Argentinian shot stopper, who signed from Arsenal in a move worth around £20m just last week, compared his performance to scoring a hat-trick and urged his team mates to push on for the rest of the season.

He said: “When you get three points, a clean sheet and a penalty save; it’s like scoring a hat-trick for me. “I have to give confidence to the back-four. That was my only target, today I did it, and hopefully I keep doing that during the whole season, with consistency.

Villa will be hoping to build on a season where they barely survived the drop, and have splashed the cash during pre-season. Watkins and Matty Cash also made their first Villa appearances alongside Martinez against the Blades, and Lyon winger Bertrand Traore is set to make his debut soon as well.

Aston Villa 1-0 Sheffield United: 10-man Blades pay price for penalty miss

Villa were playing with a man more than their opponents from the 12th minute when Blades captain John Egan was shown a straight red card having been deemed to have denied Ollie Watkins a goalscoring opportunity.

But it took a great stop from debutant Martinez to prevent them from falling behind in the 36th minute as the summer signing from Arsenal kept out John Lundstram’s spot-kick.

Konsa then headed home in the 63rd minute, having been teed up by fellow defender Tyrone Mings.

While Dean Smith’s Villa celebrate a winning start, the result leaves Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United pointless after two matches.

Martinez was one of two players in the Villa starting line-up making their debut for the club, along with full-back Matty Cash, while there was a league bow for record-signing striker Watkins.

Wilder made three changes from his team’s 2-0 loss at Wolves a week earlier, with forward Oliver Burke among those coming in, for his league debut.

Cash was involved early on as he lofted a delivery to John McGinn, whose effort went off-target.

The visitors were then reduced to 10 men when Egan was red-carded by referee Graham Scott after tussling with Watkins as the striker attempted to latch on to a long ball forward from Mings, the decision standing after a VAR check.

As Villa attempted to take advantage, United – who replaced David McGoldrick with Ethan Ampadu around the half-hour mark – dealt well with the pressure that was applied, with Aaron Ramsdale having little problem collecting a Douglas Luiz header.

The visitors were then handed the a golden chance to take the lead after Chris Basham went down in the box following a tackle from Matt Targett and Scott pointed to the spot.

Once another VAR check had been completed, Lundstram stepped up to take the penalty – and saw his effort from 12 yards pushed away in fine style by Martinez.

Conor Hourihane subsequently sent a shot into the stand in the 41st minute, and Watkins headed too high 10 minutes into the second half.

Eight minutes later Villa made the decisive breakthrough as Targett’s corner was flicked on by Mings and Konsa headed past Ramsdale.

The hosts’ subsequent attempts to add a second saw Jack Grealish send a couple of efforts wide, with Trezeguet and McGinn doing likewise.

But there was no further addition to the scoring and Smith’s team were up and running at the first time of asking.

Premier League Preview: Aston Villa Host Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United

Dean Smith’s side were granted an extra week of preparation and he’s expected to field all three of his summer signings against the Blades.

Club record transfer Ollie Watkins should lead the line at Villa Park, with Emiliano Martinez and Matty Cash also set for their league debuts.

Smith is also expected to recall Douglas Luiz and Conor Hourihane after they were given a rest for the midweek cup win at Burton.

For the Blades, they started the new campaign with a defeat, as Chris Wilder’s side lost 2-0 at home to Wolves.

Wilder has no new injuries to contend with following that game, but he is expected to make some changes.

Sander Berge and David McGoldrick both made an impact off the bench against Wolves and the pair could come in from the start in this one.

And it will be all eyes on the West Midlands tomorrow night, with a 6pm kick off at Villa Park.