Aston Villa have started their season with intent. Other than Everton, Dean Smith’s side are the only other unbeaten side in the Premier League. Villa have won all three league matches this season, and lie second in the table.
Villa hammered Liverpool 7-2 to make their best start to a season since 1962. They only stayed up on the final day by a point last season with Jack Grealish’s second-half strike at the London Stadium proving to be decisive.
Grealish, the Villa captain, has shown so far this season this how important he is for Villa and why they’ve given him a new five-year contract. He became the first player in Premier League history to be involved in five goals against Liverpool, scoring two and assisting three.
Grealish has created 10 chances in three league games so far this season – ranked fifth in the list despite playing a game fewer than most. Despite Villa’s struggles last season, the playmaker is only behind Kevin De Bruyne and Thomas Muller for chances created from open play in Europe’s top five leagues since 2019/20.
The Premier League club appointed a new director of football last summer after last season’s transfers didn’t have the desired effect.
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, full back Matty Cash, Ross Barkley and forwards Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore came in to bolster the side, and so far, they have made a positive contribution to Villa’s start.
𝟮𝟲𝟬 minutes played
𝟳𝟳 passes completed
𝟵 tackles won
𝟰 key passes@MattyCash622 is looking right at home in the Premier League. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/hJyEJf6xYo
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) October 6, 2020
Martinez made a penalty save on his debut in a 1-0 win against Sheffield United, Barkley scored on his debut against Liverpool and Cash has been key in Villa keeping two clean sheets in their first three games.
Watkins joined from Championship side Brentford as a record-signing and without a league goal in his first two starts, he scored a first half hat-trick against the champions. He became the 10th player to score a Premier League hat-trick against Liverpool, and the first since Dimitar Berbatov in September 2010.
The 𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗙𝗘𝗖𝗧 hat-trick. 🎩
Ollie Watkins’ first-ever Premier League goals! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/QBhhD6HxEz
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) October 5, 2020