Aston Villa’s under 21 side continue to march through the EFL Trophy as they have once again proved themselves against a senior opposition, this time in the form of MK Dons.
Villa quickly opened the scoring after Keinan Davis hounded the defence to force an error. Once he was on the ball, it seemed a near impossible task to stop him. He charged forward and calmly gave Villa a one nil lead in the first half. However, just three minutes later Tottenham Hotspurs Troy Parrott fired MK Dons back into this game.
Villa’s heads seemingly dropped after this and it wasn’t long until MK Dons had their second of the day. Parrott was once again influential with a moment of magic. His back heel carved open the defence and following a cut back, Max Watters slotted his team into a 2-1 lead.
It looked as if the home side would push on from here if it wasn’t for a moment of brilliance from Davis once again. He shifted the ball neatly in the box and displayed his technical ability for everyone watching, before firing a cross into Cameron Archer who made no mistake from close range with a header.
This changed the team talk and a more confident and assured Villa side came out in the second half. They steadied the ship defensively and dealt with anything the home side could throw at them. Tim Iroegbunam and Frankie Ealing improved on their first half displays and were a key reason as to why they looked much better in the second 45 minutes.
They reaped the rewards following this, Davis’ effort hit the crossbar but Aaron Ramsey was on hand to follow up to ensure Villa took a deserved lead.
The game management looked as if they had played at the highest level for years. They remained composed on the ball and persisted to threaten the League One side’s goal. Before Archer finally doubled his tally and put the game to bed in the 90th minute with an emphatic left footed finish
Mark Delaney’s side have once again come from behind to progress, as they did against Burton Albion and Wycombe Wanderers. The confidence and ability of these players grows with every performance, and they are exciting fans along the way.
Viljami Sinisalo – 7
He made a few key saves in the first half and wasn’t at fault for the goal. In the second half he dealt with everything they could throw at him with the only real issue being a free kick which struck the woodwork. A very solid outing for the young keeper.
Frankie Ealing – 6
He was caught in possession a few times and MK Dons looked dangerous down his side in the first half. However, in the second half he gathered himself and made several key challenges. He also pressed his opponents relentlessly and seemingly possessed a third lung at times.
Lamare Bogarde – 7
He was confident and assured on the ball when in possession, and this outlines why he can also play in midfield. His reading of the game is immense and he refuses to shy away from any battle no matter who the opponent.
Sil Swinkels – 8
He looked a real leader at the back. Several key challenges and interceptions at times which saved the Villa defence in the first half. He looks comfortable on the ball as well as knowing when to get rid, he possesses a perfect mix of the two and looked assured and confident.
Hayden Lindley – 6
He was beaten by a moment of magic from Parrott for the second goal but other than this he was solid in defence and made several key challenges. His defensive awareness is impressive and he can also contribute going forward.
Tim Iroegbunam – 6
A few sloppy passes to begin the game but he grew into it in the second half. He has tremendous reading of the game and this reflects in his defensive ability. He was key in securing the defence in the second half and was the anchor they needed to build this win on.
Carney Chukwuemeka – 7
He displayed why he is rated so highly by everyone at the club. He oozes quality on the ball and never lacks composure. He had several chances to get on the scoresheet but put the majority of his efforts wide or they were blocked. Carney is a Premier League player and at times today he displayed the quality that puts him a cut above the rest, the end product just eluded him.
Aaron Ramsey – 7
Similar to Carney he was confident on the ball and looked a cut above the rest at times. He scored the goal to fire Villa into the lead and was a key component in the win. Villa struggled in the first half and it was mostly due to not being able to get Carney and Ramsey on the ball. Once they did, it came as no surprise that the goals followed.
Finley Thorndike – 6
He was bright but sadly his first touch and end product let him down at times. His defensive effort was immense however and on another day his quality whilst going forward would shine through.
Cameron Archer – 8
He scored twice and displayed the natural goal-scoring ability he possesses through his movement and pace. He had a total of five shots in this game and fans are beginning to expect him to finish every chance he gets, so it came as a surprise that several of them sailed over the bar. Regardless, it was another impressive performance from the young striker, who looks the real deal.
Keinan Davis – 9
Truly dominant from start to finish. Fans are used to his physical dominance but his technical ability was also on full display in this match. He also displayed a level of finishing that had so far been missing, if Davis can continue his form in front of goal, he may grab the attention of Dean Smith in the same way Archer has.
Overall it was an impressive win and the fans who made the trip were certainly pleased with what they saw. This team has potential and quality in an abundance but what they are also making a habit of is refusing to know when they are beaten. The character and togetherness of this group is admirable and it is no shock that fans are excited by the future that these players have.