Aston Villa advanced to the third round of the EFL Cup with a 4-1 second-round victory over Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday, Villa drew Manchester United in the third round and will visit Old Trafford in November. It is remarkably the sixth time Villa have drawn United in the third round of a domestic cup since the year 2000.
League One Bolton provided Villa a unique challenge after a dismal 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday, but the hosts were sluggish from the start and fell behind 1-0 in the 24th minute when Dion Charles beat Emi Martinez.
Douglas Luiz brought the match level in the 36th minute when he curled a corner kick around the Bolton keeper, and it wasn’t until the 63rd minute that the Villa took the lead (2-1) when Danny Ings converted a penalty kick.
Lucas Digne extended the Villa lead to two goals three minutes later (3-1) and substitute Leon Bailey capped off the evening’s scoring with a cool, left-footed finish in the 87th minute.
Overall it was a nervy outing for a very strong Villa side that featured the likes of captain John McGinn, Tyrone Mings, Philippe Coutinho and both Ollie Watkins and Ings up front.
After a poor performance at Palace, it was vital for Villa to find a bit a confidence. Though Steven Gerrard’s side started slow, their quality eventually overwhelmed Bolton en route to a key moral victory.
Gerrard said post match that “we came here extremely motivated.
“It was a bit of a setback going a goal behind. I thought the game was a little bit too much end-to-end for our liking, we wanted more pockets of control. But I thought they worked extremely hard and played at an intensity, they tried to stay with us, and they did for large parts of the first half.
“I’m really happy with the result and the outcome of the game.”
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