MX23RW : Saturday, September 25 11:22:55| >> :120:48544:48544:
Dec 17, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at Villa Park
Attendance: 30,323
Aston Villa
Hourihane (14'), Boyes (17' og.), Kodjia (37', 45'), Wesley (92')
FT(HT: 4-0)

Villa boss Smith pleased as Wesley ends goal drought

Villa boss Smith pleased as Wesley ends goal drought
© Reuters
Wesley had gone nine matches without scoring until netting his fifth goal of the season in the 5-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final rout of Liverpool.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has again defended Wesley from what he feels has been harsh criticism of the striker.

Wesley came on as a 73rd-minute substitute for two-goal Jonathan Kodjia and completed the scoring in Villa's 5-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final rout of the youngest Liverpool team in history.

It was only the 23-year-old's fifth goal of the season since his £22million club record move from Club Brugge in July, ending a nine-match drought.

The relief in scoring again showed on Wesley's face and Smith was pleased to see the Brazilian back on the score sheet.

"The idea was to get Wes on and he scored a really good goal, which was pleasing because I know he has been most of my press conferences I end up talking about him," said Smith.

"He is a 23-year-old player, in a foreign country, in the Premier League, which is one of the toughest leagues in the world, and he has scored four goals so far in his 17 league games.

"I think some of the criticism can be a little bit too harsh at times, but you could see the reaction of the players when he scored that goal, at how pleased they were for him."

Wesley was not the only player who benefited from the workout as Kodjia's brace capped his first start this season, while defender James Chester was playing his first game of the campaign after injury and fitness issues.

Despite the calibre of the opposition, who provided Villa with a stern test before being on the wrong end of a scoreline that flattered the home side, Smith drew satisfaction from the result and performance.

"This result will boost everybody's confidence," said Smith, whose side sit just above the bottom three in the Premier League following a wretched run of six defeats in eight games.

"This football club has a proud history in this competition, we've won it five times before. It's great for the club to be back in the semi-finals, a two-legged affair, possibly against one of the biggest clubs in this country. It will be a great fillip for the club."

Although conceding to "a weird feel" about the game and admitting "it wasn't like it was a quarter-final", Smith added: "Yes, I would love to have been playing Liverpool's first team, but they had other things they had to go and do.

"For us, this is the first major competition of the season, and if you are not in Europe, or the Club World Cup, then you've only got three trophies to win.

"So I get as much satisfaction from this as I did when we beat Crewe 6-1, the Brighton under-23s, more or less, and Wolves under-23s in the other rounds."

ID:383309: cacheID:383309:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:4037:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah reacts on November 5, 2019
Read Next:
Jurgen Klopp explains Mohamed Salah injury problems

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
NIFL Premiership
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
J1 League
Premier League 2 - Div 1
International Friendlies
Women's Super League
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd5410134913
4Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton540174312
5Manchester CityMan City53111111010
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs530236-39
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham522111748
10Aston Villa52128717
12Leicester CityLeicester520358-36
14Crystal Palace512258-35
16Wolverhampton WanderersWolves510425-33
17Leeds UnitedLeeds5032512-73
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle5023613-72
20Norwich CityNorwich5005214-120

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!