John McGinn Aston Villa Under A Gaslit Lamp

The two newly promoted sides faced off in a pre-season friendly and Charlton player Chris Solly’s testimonial.

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Starting XI: Jed Steer, Ahmed Elmohamady, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Neil Taylor, Conor Hourihane, John McGinn, Jack Grealish (C), Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet, Keinan Davis

Aston Villa faced off against Charlton Athletic in their final domestic friendly of pre-season, and Charlton star Chris Solly’s testimonial.

The first ten or so minutes had Aston Villa asking the majority of the questions, but a number of crosses either flew over Keinan Davis or were headed out for a corner.

Conor Hourihane came close with a free-kick in the 15th minute which flew just over the Charlton bar. Both him and El Ghazi could have taken the shot, but the Irishman decided it was his.

The first half an hour or so of the game was extremely laboured, with neither side really making much of their time on the ball. Aston Villa were dominant, but struggled to get the ball into the box or positions that could be considered ‘attacking intent’.

New signing Trezeguet had made some decent runs and shown off some of what he can do with some clever passes as he adjusts to English football.

Anwar El Ghazi broke the deadlock seven minutes before the end of the half as Jack Grealish played the ball through to the Dutch winger who slotted home. A well worked goal for Aston Villa to break down the Charlton defence saw a string of passes link together until Anwar put it away.


Jota, Andre Green and Frederic Guilbert joined the fray in the second half as Ahmed Elmohamady, Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet went the opposite way.

Charlton’s Chuks Aneke forced Jed Steer into his first proper save of the game just before the fifty minute mark, taking a shot at the near post which the ‘keeper pushed around the post.

Some great hold-up play from Keinan Davis was the reason behind the second goal of the game. The young forward held the ball up well, before playing it into Jack Grealish who played it into the path of the oncoming Andre Green from left wing. Green placed the ball well into the bottom right corner of the Charlton net.

John McGinn made it three shortly later, finding himself with acres of space on the edge of the box and firing low and fast towards goal. The ball slipped towards the Charlton ‘keeper before bouncing again him and hitting the back of the net.

Charlton equalised through a penalty by Lyle Taylor, which was fired towards the right of the goal. Jed Steer went the right way, but couldn’t quite get a hand to it. The penalty was awarded as Ezri Konsa fouled Taylor in the box.

The 65th minute saw Matt Targett, Henri Lansbury, Kortney Hause and Scott Hogan arrive for Neil Taylor, Keinan Davis, Ezri Konsa and Conor Hourihane.

Charlton could have had a second in the 70th, as the ball trickled across the face of Jed Steer’s goal.

John McGinn joined the pre-season brace club with eight minutes to go as he stormed between two Charlton defenders to pick up a loose ball, before rushing into the box, shrugging off a challenge and then edging forward. He turned the keeper before finishing strongly into the roof of the net with his left foot.

Shortly after Aston Villa’s fourth, Bjorn Engels replaced Tyrone Mings.

All in all, a stronger second half from the Aston Villa boys, with more fitness gained, and another decent run-out for a range of players.

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