Over the weekend, Aston Villa travelled to Duisburg in Germany to compete in a pre-season tournament, the Cup of Traditions. The tournament consisted of 4 teams, them being Aston Villa, Malaga, Hertha Berlin and of course MSV Duisburg. Below is a round up of the weekend in Germany.
The first game of the tournament was against the hosts themselves and the team lined up like this: Steer, Hutton, Chester, Terry, Taylor, Elmohamady, Doyle-Hayes, Hourihane, Green, O’Hare and Hogan.
Ahmed Elmohamady impressed on his debut giving striker Scott Hogan the service he has been craving for from very early on.
Andre Green opened the scoring for Villa with a neat finish that hit the crossbar twice before eventually finding the back of the net. The goal came from some brilliant work by Elmohamady, and then the youngster Callum O’Hare slotting Green the ball to finish.
The second goal in this game was scored by Hogan, assisted once again by a great ball from Elmohamady. Hogan hit the ball first time and it cannoned into the back of the net at the goalkeepers near post.
Hogan sealed the win with Villa’s third goal and his second when he cleverly turned the defender and slotted the ball into the bottom corner from a tight angle. Let’s face it though, the defender may as well have not been there.
After Villa comfortably progressed into the next round, Hertha Berlin came from behind to beat Spanish side Malaga, which meant that Villa and Hertha Berlin would meet in the final.
Hertha Berlin finished sixth in the Bundesliga (Germany) last season so this was going to be a decent test for Steve Bruce’s men.
The team for the final was completely changed, and this is how it lined up: Steer, Bree, Richards, Samba, Amavi, Bjarnason, Whelan, Lansbury, Grealish, McKirdy and Agbonlahor.
Micah Richards continues to be, well, Micah Richards when he came off very early on with an injury.
New signing Chris Samba was another who impressed while out in Germany. The defender who signed a contract a few days ago marked his first game as an official Villa player with a goal.
Henri Lansbury whipped the ball in from a corner and the big centre half rose like a salmon to head the ball into the back of the net, leaving the goalkeeper rooted to the spot. The Villa faithful are really taking to the former Blackburn defender who is already nicknamed the ‘beast’ some supporters.
As well as his hard work, ability to get stuck on and his aerial ability he also showed he could chip in with a goal or two.
The game was very open from this point on, with both teams creating chances and both teams attacking.
Fortunately, the next goal of the game was scored by Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor tackled the defender which saw him through on goal, I personally had faith in the Villa Veteran tucking it away and he did just that as he nicely took it around the goalkeeper and had an open goal to put the ball in.
The new boys impressed while in Germany and I think overall we played well but we can’t get too excited as it is only pre-season. As a Villa
As a Villa fan, it just feels nice to finally win something, even though we all know that the trophy means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.