Aston Villa played in their final pre-season friendly this summer against Champions League outfit RB Leipzig.
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Starting XI: Tom Heaton, Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings, Bjorn Engels, Frederic Guilbert, Conor Hourihane, John McGinn, Jack Grealish (C), Jota Peleteiro, Anwar El Ghazi, Wesley Moraes
The likes of Timo Werner, Yussuf Poulsen and Dayot Upamecano faced off against what is expected to be Aston Villa’s first XI for the Tottenham Hotspur game.
The game looked to be causing a bit of bother for referee Steven Greif within the first ten minutes as Jack Grealish nudged Leipzig captain Diego Demme before a small tussle ensued.
Just a minute later, an on-rushing Tom Heaton managed to get a touch to an in-swinging ball – but the touch sent it towards goal. Luckily for Aston Villa, Bjorn Engels was able to just get a balanced enough touch on it to clip it onto the post and out for a corner rather than an own goal.
Aston Villa were awarded a free-kick in the 15th minute as Wesley was dragged down just outside of the box by Dayot Upamecano. Hourihane stepped up for the kick, which he played to Jack Grealish – with the captain stopping the ball dead for Hourihane to curl around the wall and into the net past Péter Gulácsi.
Tom Heaton showed why he was purchased just after the twenty minute mark as a marauding Leipzig midfielder punted a shot towards goal that forced the veteran goalkeeper into a sublime save.
Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen combined well just before the 30 minute mark, after RB Leipzig had been threatening for a number of minutes. Werner rushed into the box after some half-tackles and tried to curl it into the top-right corner, but the ball took a disgusting deflection from Frederic Guilbert’s back and into the path of the unmarked Poulsen.
Another Conor Hourihane free-kick could have provided Aston Villa’s second of the game in the 32nd, with an in-direct free-kick bouncing in front of Tyrone Mings – who stretched for the ball and poked it onto the bar.
Both sides had chances to take the ball to the opposition but the game died down a little after this. Overall, an exciting first half against quality opposition.
The game started for the second half with no changes from either side.
John McGinn came close within the first minute of the half as Wesley was strong in winning the ball from Konate, before playing a ball into the middle for the Scot, who’s touch lead him past the goalkeeper before he fired into the side netting.
Shortly after, Tom Heaton was forced into a save from a long-range, belting effort from Christopher Nkunku.
In the 52nd minute, Tom Heaton made another sublime save as a close range header diving header from Marcel Sabitzer looked a certain goal for RB Leipzig, but the goalkeeper got down low to his right to palm the ball wide.
Shortly after, Dayot Upamecano was booked after a poor challenge on Wesley.
In the 60th, after two big chances in one move from Wesley and McGinn, Conor Hourihane was booked for a challenge to stop Leipzig’s counter attack.
Jota did exceptionally well to keep a hold of the ball with three men on him in the 65th, which resulted in him being taken down and winning a free-kick and Dayot Upamecano hobbling to the advertising board with a supposed injury. Joscha Wosz replaced the departing Upamecano shortly after.
Timo Werner could have given RB Leipzig the lead in the 71st, but his volley was at an awkward trajectory and it bounced in front of Tom Heaton who dived to save the ball.
Frederic Guilbert was yellow carded shortly after for a professional foul. Phillip Tschauner replaced Péter Gulácsi in the Leipzig net directly after.
With fifteen minutes to go, Anwar El Ghazi was fouled and seemed to be in a bit of pain with audible, agonising groans. He was replaced shortly after by Trézéguet. Jonathan Kodjia replaced Wesley for his first minutes of pre-season also.
Tyrone Mings and Timo Werner were both booked after an altercation which happened after a poor challenge saw the German kick out at Jack Grealish’s knee.
Conor Hourihane grabbed his second goal of the game with a top-corner special free-kick from the right-hand side of the box. The ball screamed into the top left corner of the Leipzig net.
With four minutes remaining, Hourihane could have had a hat-trick with another free-kick as his ball in skipped over Tyrone Mings in front of an open net and then bounced just wide of the post.
Aston Villa sealed their victory after Trézéguet found himself with acres of space on the left, before throwing his weight a little more centrally and playing a cross-field ball to an on-rushing John McGinn who finished sublimely into the bottom right of the Leipzig net – which was pretty much the last major part in the game.
Don’t get too excited, as it’s only pre-season – but Aston Villa just beat top four Bundesliga, and Champions League side RB Leipzig.