On Saturday, Aston Villa delivered their most comprehensive performance of the season to put hosts Derby County to the sword 0-3 and gain their first away victory since the season opener at Hull. For vast swaths of the game Villa dominated play, and for once it was the opponent that looked dazed and demoralized at the final whistle.
Villa are at Derby today, who’ve done well under new man Frank Lampard and sit in 5th, unbeaten in their last five. Going into the game they’re seven points better off than the Lions. Smith will be looking to close that to four after a proper Saturday-to-Saturday schedule.
Following Dean Smith’s first full week of training with the Villa squad, Bolton came to Villa Park Friday night and were sent home on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline with Jack Grealish and James Chester providing the goals. By Smith’s own admission it was a mediocre performance, but it was a needed three points and clean sheet.
Just two weeks into the Dean Smith era and it will be Aston Villa’s fourth outing under his guidance as Bolton come calling. Talk about hitting the ground running. So far, it’s been a mixed bag, results-wise, but I’m going to take James Chester at his word when he says the style and performances are getting better. He ought to know better than I.
So, third game in less than a week, and there’ve been lots of talking points as Dean Smith’s Villa have gone 1-1 since his arrival. It’s been fun stuff. Now we travel to Loftus Road to take on Queens Park Rangers looking to rebound from the 2-1 setback against Norwich.