Aston Villa made it five wins in a row, as they defeated Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at Villa Park. Tammy Abraham’s 22nd goal of the season, followed by Tyrone Mings’s header was enough to get past an out of form Rovers.
Dean Smith selected an unchanged side after beating Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough before the international break. Axel Tuanzebe returned to the substitute bench after a three-month injury lay off.
Villa out of the blocks
Scoring eleven goals in the last four, Villa made a lightning quick start to this one, scoring within the first eight minutes. Breaking his three-match duck, Abraham tapped in from Anwar El-Ghazi’s cross from the left side, after neat play from John McGinn.
Villa dominated the first half, as manager Dean Smith described it as ‘one of the best’ he had seen during his time at the club. Villa came close to doubling their lead when McGinn could’ve assisted Abraham for his second of the game on the 15th minute. McGinn steadied himself on the left wing before rolling back towards Abraham whose strike at goal was foiled by David Raya.
With Gareth Southgate watching on in the stands, Jack Grealish was under the microscope at Villa Park. He came close to assisting midfield partner McGinn on the twenty-minute mark. The Scot’s drive towards goal was parried by Blackburn’s keeper, and with Abraham following up, Raya gathered the ball before Villa could double their lead.
Though, Villa knew they’d have to work harder in the second period to claim their ninth home victory of the campaign. Craig Conway rattled Jed Steer’s crossbar after a Charlie Mulgrew corner was reworked from the right wing.
Villa didn’t manage to grab their second before the interval as McGinn also hit the woodwork at the other end after a sweeping counter-attack almost caught out Tony Mowbray’s side.
A stuttering start to the second half
With the hosts stuttering in the second half, another goal finally came on the hour mark as Mings grabbed a second. McGinn – involved in everything Villa did all afternoon – crossed towards the defender. With determination to get his name on the scoresheet, Mings rose above Mulgrew to double the advantage.
Conceding a single goal in a fine run that has propelled Villa into the top 6, but gifting a goal to the away side tarnished the almost perfect display. Mulgrew’s free kick was only beaten away by Steer who presented the opportunity for Amari’i Bell to halve the deficit on the 74th minute.
In a nervous twenty minute spell for Villa, Abraham again squandered the chance to put the game to bed. The Chelsea loanee blasted over from close range after substitute Conor Hourihane slipped in the on loan forward.
Holding out for a fifth win in a row, Aston Villa now travels to Sheffield to face former boss, Steve Bruce, before Rotherham welcome Dean Smiths’ men to the New York Stadium.