Aston Villa handed Everton their first defeat of the season as they beat the Toffees 3-0 in the fifth gameweek of the Premier League. The victory was inspired by a 21-minute cameo from Leon Bailey, who came on in the 61st minute to force an own goal and score the third goal for his team.
The first half was a fairly contested affair, although chances came for both teams by some promising spells. The only big opening in the first 45 minutes came Aston Villa’s way when Tyrone Mings was denied by Asmir Begovic.
But Aston Villa switched to an upper gear and scored three goals in nine minutes. Matty Cash scored the first goal for Villa and the second goal came off Lucas Digne from an inswinging corner taken by Leon Bailey. He then went on to score the third goal by rattling home past Begovic who had no chance of saving that effort.
While Bailey did not see a whole lot of the ball, he utilised his touches perfectly to create an impact on the game for the hosts. The Jamaican winger first forced an own goal with his corner before a fiercely driven finish sealed all three points for Villa. From the above visual we can see Bailey lesser number of passes as he was on the pitch for only 21 minutes, but three of his passes have a high xT which proves why he was brought on by his manager.
The above visual indicates that the few minutes that Bailey has got in the Premier League, he has been impressive and his stats for attacking have been better than the median league value. Bailey has not been a part of the starting line-up for Villa yet and has come on as a substitute three times so far. In all of these three games, Aston Villa were in a position from where they could have taken out a positive result for them. Dean Smith has kept him as an impact substitute so far because he has the pace and direct approach towards goal which can be used when they have failed to create any chances in the game.
Bailey proved his manager right as he came on in the game at a point when it was a 0-0 and could have gone either way. He did all the right actions that the manager required from him and helped his team win all three points against a team which was undefeated so far in the season.
Leon Bailey was brought in by Aston Villa along with players like Buendia to fill in the gap created by Jack Grealish’s big-money move to Manchester City. While Buendia has settled well into the Villa squad, it looks like Bailey is slowly getting there after his inspiring cameo against Everton as he also got his first goal for the club.
Dean Smith will hope the injury is nothing serious has Aston Villa have a huge task coming up next weekend as they play Manchester United. He will want Bailey to be a part of the squad and create an impact again against United, whose manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also one of the best impact substitutes to have played in the league.