MX23RW : Monday, February 18 23:35:24
Oct 6, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​The Den (London)
Attendance: 14,491
Millwall
2-1
Aston Villa
Ferguson (26'), Elliott (48')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Abraham (7')

Harris hails Millwall display in Villa win

Villa lose their first match since sacking manager Steve Bruce.

Boss Neil Harris was pleased Millwall’s back-to-basics approach paid off as they beat managerless Aston Villa 2-1 at The New Den.

Millwall were without a win since August but goals from Shane Ferguson and Tom Elliott cancelled out Tammy Abraham’s early opener in the week Villa parted company with Steve Bruce.

It could have been worse for Villa as Millwall had chances to inflict more pain on them but in the end Harris was just pleased to get the three points.

He said: “It’s a nice feeling. I’m delighted for my players, the players deserved that, they worked tirelessly.

“We dug in, we showed character to come from behind again. We played like a Millwall team at the Den, and that’s important.

“Sometimes you have to go back to basics, remind players what they’re good at, remind the team what individuals are good at.

“We’ve been back to basic on the training pitch and they got their rewards.

“I’ve talked about individuals not being good enough, up to their own standards, but the last two games everyone who’s gone on the pitch has played to the best of their ability.

“It’s no surprise we’ve had two top performances, we should have six points but have four, and that’s the standards they’ve set, and it has to continue.”

Under the stewardship of caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald, it looked like Villa might end the dreadful run of form that has seen them win just one of their last 10 games when they took the lead with their very first opportunity on seven minutes.

After Jack Grealish had been fouled, Conor Hourihane flighted in a perfect free-kick for Abraham to deftly volley home.

MacDonald’s side then began to dominate the game, with Grealish controlling the tempo and looking a cut above the other players on the pitch.

But they created few clear-cut chances and Millwall gradually grew into the contest, and were level on 25 minutes when Shaun Williams delivered a free-kick, Jake Cooper won the header and the ball dropped to Ferguson who rifled in his first goal of the season via a deflection.

Millwall were ahead in the 48th minute when Villa only half-cleared a corner, leading to something of a goalmouth scramble when the ball was returned into the six-yard box, and it dropped to Elliott, who hammered home through Orjan Nyland’s legs.

MacDonald said: “I’m disappointed not to come away with something.

“First half we started reasonably well and having scored the goal we thought we were in control.

“But we knew we were always going to be under pressure from set-pieces at Millwall.

“They got themselves back into the game and scored a good goal to equalise. And we never really started in the second half.”

MacDonald also warned the new manager has plenty of work on his hands to turn things around at Villa Park.

He added: “I think there are lots of things the new manager will need to address. All the players, individually, need to tidy themselves up. The team as a group need to tidy themselves up.

“There are individual mistakes from a different player each game. I’m sure it will get tidied up very quickly. If it does, this team will go up the table very quickly.”


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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