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Hourihane at the double as six-hit Villa stroll through

Carabao Cup: Crewe 1-6 Aston Villa

Great start: Ezri Konsa celebrates netting Aston Villa’s opener
Great start: Ezri Konsa celebrates netting Aston Villa’s opener

By Robert Jones

Aston Villa cruised into the third round of the Carabao Cup with a thumping 6-1 win over SkyBet League Two Crewe at Gresty Road.

Villa made 10 changes to the side which won Friday's Premier League match at home to Everton - with Jota the only player to retain his place - but the outcome was rarely in doubt after Ezri Konsa, one of three summer signings making a competitive debut, headed home a third minute opener.

Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer denied Chris Porter and Charlie Kirk, while Owen Dale had a goal for the hosts ruled out for offside.

However, the visitors took the sting out of their hosts in the 24th minute as Jota and Henri Lansbury combined to tee up Conor Hourihane for a comfortable finish from just inside the area.

On the stroke of half-time, Hourihane killed off any hope of a Crewe comeback by nodding home a left-wing cross from Anwar El Ghazi.

The hosts continued to create chances after the break, notably through Dale, but after El Ghazi struck a post, striker Keinan Davis scored his first goal for almost 20 months, tapping home a cross from Jack Grealish following a teasing run just seconds after the captain's arrival midway through the second half.

In the 76th minute Frederic Guilbert, on just before half-time for injured defender Matt Targett, made it 5-0 when he curled home a superb strike into the top right-hand corner.

Ryan Wintle deservedly netted a consolation for Crewe six minutes from time before Villa completed the rout moments later when Grealish drove home a backheel from Lansbury.

•Jack Wilshere scored his first West Ham goal as Manuel Pellegrini's side booked a Carabao Cup third-round spot with a 2-0 win at Newport.

Wilshere struck just before half-time and Pablo Fornals also opened his Hammers goal account following his £24million summer move from Villarreal.

Sky Bet League Two Newport came into the tie basking in a giant-killing reputation forged by FA Cup wins over Leicester, Leeds and Middlesbrough and a draw with Tottenham in the last couple of years.

Neither side had managed to get into their stride before Michail Antonio collapsed in the middle of his.

The Hammers speedster was bursting through on goal when he hit the turf with a suspected hamstring injury that is likely to keep him out for several weeks.

Felipe Anderson's early arrival was certainly not in the West Ham script, but the skilful Brazilian soon fashioned a move which saw Aaron Cresswell set up Fornals for a shot which struck a post.

Newport had a chance when Padraig Amond fired tamely at Roberto from six yards. But West Ham seized control when Wilshere robbed Kyle Howkins two minutes before half-time and confidently slotted home, his first goal since scoring for former club Arsenal in January 2018.

West Ham gained breathing space after 65 minutes with Fornals finishing Anderson's cross, and Newport were denied a late consolation as Josh Sheehan's effort clattered off the crossbar.

CREWE: Richards, Ng, Lancashire, Nolan, Adebisi, Wintle, Ainley, Lowery (Jones 68), Dale, Porter (Anene 45), Kirk (Finney 66).

Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Powell, Green, Hunt.

ASTON VILLA: Steer, Elmohamady, Ngoyo, Hause, Targett (Guilbert 43), Hourihane, Nakamba, Lansbury, Jota (Grealish 68), Davis (Archer 82), El Ghazi.

Subs not used: Tshibola, Douglas, Nyland, Ramsey.

Man of the match: Hourihane

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Belfast Telegraph


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