Aston Villa won their first away game since September, thrashing Derby 3-0 at Pride Park. Two goals from midfield, including a Conor Hourihane pearler and John McGinn’s second of the season put Villa in control. Abraham got his fifth of the campaign.
Dean Smith selected an unchanged side to face Frank Lampard’s Rams. With only Birkir Bjarnason replacing Anwar El Ghazi on the bench.
Villa controlled and dominated the early proceedings. They limited the hosts to long ranged efforts for much of the first period. Keeping successive clean sheets, goalkeeper Orjan Nyland didn’t have to make any notable stops in a half that the away side created all the chances.
Having somewhat of a resurgence under Smith, Albert Adomah impressed on the left flank, looking to cross as early as possible. Smith wants more players inside the box. With Abraham and John McGinn waiting, the former couldn’t beat Scott Carson in the Derby goal.
Adomah, this time popping up on the right side slid across the box for Jonathan Kodjia. But the Ivorian couldn’t redirect the ball into the net, as Villa started to pile pressure on the hosts.
Scoring 12 in their last 5, Derby carved out a golden chance to take the lead. as former Villa stopper Carson punted the ball downfield. James Chester failed to deal with the bouncing ball, allowing Tom Lawrence to pounce. With the former Leicester man bearing down on Nyland’s goal, he fired over from seven yards.
Villa bounced back by getting more numbers into the box. Abraham came the closest to converting an Ahmed Elmohamady cross from the right flank. Abraham’s impressive movement gave him a yard on Richard Keogh but the Chelsea loanee headed over the bar.
Looking ever more dangerous, McGinn this time came within inches of breaking the deadlock. Again darting towards the near post, the Scot almost flicked in from Kodjia’s left-wing cross.
Putting Derby to the sword
It took until the 74th minute for Villa to deservedly lead the contest, four minutes after the introduction of Yannick Bolasie. The powerful winger got the better of Jayden Bogle with ease before expertly measuring his delivery from the left side. McGinn arrived in the box and converted from yards out.
The former Hibs man then became the provider. Working a similar move on the flank and crossing towards Abraham who got the wrong side of Craig Forsyth. Before finishing past Carson.
A third goal came in an emphatic 11 minutes for the visitors. Hourihane gave Carson absolutely no chance with a trademark free kick. Angled towards the left of the goal, Hourihane curled up and over the wall before the ball nestled in the top corner. A goal from the top drawer to end an excellent display.