We have further evidence that this Aston Villa team under Dean Smith is legit. The claret and blues smacked Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough 3-0. Goals from James Chester, Tammy Abraham, and Glenn Whelan fueled the victory.
Before the international break, Aston Villa dispatched a strong Derby County side 3-0. They showed glimpses of what was possible under Dean Smith then.
We’re beginning to realize it again after the club beat Middlesbrough 3-0 on Saturday. In a similar lineup to the one that drew Nottingham Forest 5-5 midweek, Dean Smith trusted his starting players on short rest. Ahmed Elmohamady came in for the suspended Alan Hutton; whereas Anwar El Ghazi got the nod over Jonathan Kodjia on the wing.
From the opening whistle it was a dominant display. Villa controlled possession as Boro decided against any form of forward press. If not for a super save from ‘keeper Darren Randolph, it would have been 1-0 very early on. A first-half set piece goal from James Chester ensured 1-0 lead into the break.
Tammy Abraham was denied a penalty right before that, but he was rewarded with a close-range finish after halftime.
Substitute Glenn Whelan added a third for good measure on his first touch. His shot from outside the box bounced off Randolph’s hands and in.