Aston Villa came from behind to secure a 3-1 win over Fulham at Villa Park on Sunday with Trezeguet providing a much-needed spark off the bench.
Villa struggled through the majority of the game as they lacked energy, ideas and quality particularly in the final third as our poor build-up play ensured we failed to create opportunities and Ollie Watkins was left isolated.
The evening went from bad to worse as Tyrone Mings’ mistake led to Aleksandar Mitrovic opening the scoring for the visitors, but fortunately we were able to produce a response.
A double from Trezeguet and with Watkins adding a third, it ensured that we picked up three important points and secured a much-needed boost after a poor run of results in recent months.
Crucial impact from Trezeguet
Neither Anwar El Ghazi nor Bertrand Traore were able to provide sustained quality in wide positions, and that ultimately was a major factor as to why we struggled to create opportunities.
However, Trezeguet’s introduction gave us a new threat in the final third and fresh impetus as he produced two great finishes to turn the game around in our favour.
The 26-year-old has been goal-shy this season but he picked an excellent time to get himself on the scoresheet to help us seal the win.
Poor mistake from Mings
As we continue to struggle offensively, our solid defensive base has been crucial in keeping us in games and that has led to us boasting the third best defensive record in the league.
Unfortunately, a lapse in concentration from Tyrone Mings gifted Fulham an opener, and the stand-in captain will know that he can’t afford to make those kind of mistakes.
He slightly made up for it with an assist for our equaliser, while he would have been hugely relieved to see us turn it around and win the game.
Lack of ideas, quality still a problem
Naturally, being without Jack Grealish was a blow for us again as we were missing our main creative spark and that ultimately takes a lot away from our attacking play.
However, the lack of energy, ideas and quality will surely have been a concern for Dean Smith prior to the substitutions, and while we may have expected the team to have a bit more zip and freshness after the international break, it wasn’t really on display.
Time will tell if things improve with difficult games coming up and whether or not Grealish will be available next week, but for now, there are still a number of departments in which Villa need to improve.
Credit to Smith for substitutions
The decision to bring on Trezeguet and Keinan Davis was a game-changer and Smith deserves credit for that as prior to that we didn’t look as though we would even threaten to score.
While he has received some criticism this season for his inaction and making substitutions too late, he got it spot on this time round and that was decisive in us securing all three points.
Huge boost after poor run
Given how flat we’ve been for months now and how the quality level of our performances has dropped, the hope was that we’d come back after the international break with a fresh start and make a positive impression.
It appeared as though we were set to continue to struggle to break out of that lacklustre run, but this result could have real importance moving forward as it will lift spirits and confidence in the group and hopefully we can take that into the next games.