After former Crewe player Westwood’s warm reception as he led the team out as captain, it took Weimann, back earlier than expected following a hamstring injury, just two minutes to put the visitors ahead when he fired home from 25 yards out.

Nine minutes later, the Austrian burst down the right and squared the ball for Benteke to slide into the net with a super side-footed finish from 10 yards.

In the 28th minute, Benteke made it 3-0, receiving a fine through-ball from an impressive El Ahmadi that he shot past Phillips.

Six minutes later, the Belgian had his hat-trick as he cut in from the left and drilled the ball in from the edge of the area.

After a shaky start, Crewe’s keeper managed to stop the Villa onslaught, denying Weimann, Benteke and Westwood.

Davis, the home side’s skipper, pulled one back four minutes before half time.

The second half began quietly for the visitors. Benteke ended his encouraging stint on the pitch by volleying Weimann’s free ball wide just before Lambert made ten changes on the hour mark, leaving only new signing Bacuna, who moved from the right wing to right back, in place.

Without Weimann and hat-trick hero Benteke, Villa posed less of an attacking threat but the gaffer’s decision to give Bacuna extra playing time proved a wise one: seven minutes from the end of the game, the Dutchman collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and took it past two Crewe defenders before driving it decisively into the top corner to secure Villa’s first pre-season victory in emphatic style.

Villa first 60 minutes: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Luna, El Ahmadi, Westwood (C), Bacuna, Weimann, Agbonlahor and Benteke.

Villa last 30 minutes: Steer, Bacuna, Herd, Donacien, Baker, Delph (C), Sylla, Gardner, Carruthers, Robinson and Helenius.


  1. Good to see Westwood welcomed back with open arms. Crewe are a quality club. Benteke’s first half performance reminds us why he’s so important becaus when he’s good he’s very very good + it should give him + the whole team a real boost.

  2. I was impressed by the performance of El Ahmedi, something I wasn’t able to say all that often throughout 2012-13.

    A much improved team effort on the lack-lustre, disappointing offering we witnessed at Kenilworth Road.

    Still far from convinced about us defensively, just hope that a return to fitness for Jores Okore can help to shore us up at the back a bit. Maybe a Baker/Okore pairing at the heart of the defence is the way to go?

  3. Good result for us but for anyone who went to the match like myself I have a question. Why did all the villa fans go mental every time Luna picked up the ball?!?!

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