Aston Villa are through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after a 3-0 win over Bristol City tonight at Ashton Gate. Dean Smith’s men will now take on Stoke City in the next round at Villa Park next week.
Smith opted to make wholesale changes to the side that beat Sheffield United 1-0 on Monday night. Jed Steer was named between the sticks as Frederic Guilbert, Ahmed Elmohamady, Kortney Hause and Neil Taylor made up the defence. Jacob Ramsey was given his second start of the season and he lined up alongside Henri Lansbury and Marvelous Nakamba in a midfield three. Keinan Davis, Anwar El Ghazi and new signing Bertrand Traoré made up the front three.
Bristol City also made a host of changes with just three players keeping their place following their 2-0 victory over Stoke City at the weekend.
Villa quick out the traps
The away side came close on seven minutes when Guilbert finds Davis in the box who turned and could only look on as his chance was denied by Bristol keeper Max O’Leary.
Villa were in the lead just four minutes later, however. Davis held off his defender and gets to the byline and then, instead of shooting from an awkward angle picks out El Ghazi to slot home from the six-yard box.
El Ghazi could have doubled his tally and Villa’s moments later but his chance went over the bar.
Villa did double their lead over Bristol City on 14 though. This time it was new signing Traore. Ramsey played a beautiful crossfield ball to Traoré who finished a lovely move as his side-foot volley hit the back of the net.
Bristol’s first chance of note came when Antoine Samenyo shot from outside the box but Steer was strong as he parred the effort away.
Watkins finishes it off
As the first half come to a close, Villa looked in complete control. Their second-string side was enjoying themselves playing some really good football.
Bristol City tried to pick up their effort levels and tempo in the second half and tried to cause Villa some problems but wasn’t able to really trouble Steer in the Villa goal.
Smith brought on Ollie Watkins and Trezeguet for Davis and Traoré with twenty minutes left on the clock.
It took Watkins just three minutes to score his third goal in three games for Villa. Another nice move when Hause played the ball up to Watkins who was able to hold and turn on the ball where he found El Ghazi. The winger then switched the ball to Trezeguet who in turn played a low cross for Watkins to score from close range.
When the team sheet was released, the tie had the potential to be a banana skin for Villa but credit where its due to Villa’s second-string side. They brushed aside an in-form Bristol City and gave manager something to think about when Villa head to Fulham on Monday night.