Aston Villa won their penultimate pre-season friendly 4-1 at The Valley. An inspired performance from our Scottish International, John McGinn helped Villa on their way.
The Scot scored twice as he made a 90-minute appearance alongside captain Jack Grealish. Dean Smith did, however, tinker with the rest of his deep squad.
Recent summer signing Trezeguet made his debut on the right-wing, with El Ghazi returning on the opposite side providing a threat with Keinan Davis. Conor Hourihane completed a midfield trio. Neil Taylor, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa And Ahmed Elmohamday sat in front of Jed Steer in goal.
El Ghazi return
Coming back from his injury niggle, El Ghazi marked his return with the opening goal in the first period. After a slick passing move, Grealish slipped in the Dutchman, who, with composure tucked the ball beyond Dillon Phillips in the home goal.
A goal up at the interval, Villa added a second swiftly after the match resumed through Andre Green. Another passing move ended up at the feet of Grealish who again assisted on the left channel, as he teed up Green to double Villa’s lead.
As Charlton failed to handle the firepower in Villa’s ranks, McGinn added a third to settle proceedings on the hour mark. Advancing through the final third, space opened for the Scot to strike with his favoured side. Unleashing a shot of pure power, the ball was too hot for Phillips to handle.
On the day Ezri Konsa came back to The Valley, he showed his naive side, by clumsily fouling Lyle Taylor inside the box. Taylor emphatically dispatched his spot-kick against former teammate Jed Steer.
Though, Villa and McGinn restored a three-goal advantage seven minutes from full time, with a goal that epitomised the tenacious, brilliant McGinn.
Winning the ball back in the Charlton half, McGinn drove towards the Charlton by-line before riding a challenge. He stayed honest and through his close control was rewarded as he danced past the goalkeeper too, all before finishing from an acute angle.
Four wins from four is an ideal pre-season campaign for starters. Villa now travels to Leipzig to end their schedule before the 2019-2020 Premier League return.