The real MVP of Aston Villa's European night against Lille revealed

Lille OSC v Aston Villa: Quarter-final Second Leg - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24
Lille OSC v Aston Villa: Quarter-final Second Leg - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24 / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Aston Villa's progression to the Europa Conference League semi-finals was largely due to the outstanding performance of centre-back Ezri Konsa in their victory over Lille. The 26-year-old England international put on a defensive clinic, providing a solid foundation for Villa's hard-earned win, which was ultimately decided through a tense penalty shootout.

Konsa's impact on the game was evident from start to finish. His defensive statistics highlight his significant contribution to Villa's success:









Duels won




These numbers demonstrate Konsa's dominance on the pitch, as he consistently nullified Lille's attacking efforts. His ability to anticipate danger, read the game, and make vital interventions was crucial in maintaining Villa's defensive resilience.

Konsa's partnership with Pau Torres at the heart of the defence has been a cornerstone of Villa's European campaign. The pair's understanding and coordination have created a reliable platform for the team to build upon, enabling them to compete against formidable opponents.

Manager Unai Emery's decision to utilise Konsa as both a right-back and centre-half has highlighted the player's versatility and adaptability. His consistent performances across various positions have made him an indispensable member of the team, especially in high-pressure matches like the one against Lille.

While goalkeeper Emi Martinez may have grabbed the spotlight for his heroics in the penalty shootout, it was Konsa's defensive prowess that laid the groundwork for Villa's victory. His tireless work rate and unwavering concentration throughout the game were essential in keeping Lille at bay and ensuring that Villa remained in the contest until the final whistle.

As Aston Villa continues their pursuit of success on multiple fronts, including a top-four finish in the Premier League and further progress in the Europa Conference League, Ezri Konsa's role in the squad will be vital. His ability to deliver top-quality performances under pressure in crucial matches will be a determining factor in the team's fortunes.

Konsa's standout display against Lille showcases his growth and development as a player. As an England international, his consistent performances at the highest level will undoubtedly bolster his case for further involvement with the national team.

Ezri Konsa's defensive brilliance against Lille was a pivotal moment in Aston Villa's European journey. His contributions, both measurable and immeasurable, were instrumental in securing a hard-fought victory and propelling the team into the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League. As Villa continues to chase their ambitious goals, Konsa's presence and performances will be key in shaping the club's future success.

The defender's rise to prominence has been a captivating story, and his recent performances have only added to the growing excitement surrounding his potential. As he continues to develop and refine his skills, Konsa is poised to become a mainstay in both the Aston Villa and England squads for years to come.

His ability to read the game, anticipate danger, and make crucial interventions has drawn comparisons to some of the greatest defenders in the history of the sport. While it may be premature to place him in the same category as these legendary figures, there is no denying that Konsa possesses the raw talent and determination to reach the very top of his profession.

As Aston Villa prepares for their semi-final clash in the Europa Conference League, they will undoubtedly rely on Konsa's defensive prowess to help them navigate the challenges ahead. With his unwavering focus, tireless work ethic, and exceptional skills, Ezri Konsa is sure to play a vital role in the club's quest for European glory.