Teenager Cameron Archer scored a hat-trick as a youthful Aston Villa side eased past League Two side Barrow and into the third round of the Carabao Cup.
Villa manager Dean Smith made 10 changes to the side that defeated Newcastle 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, with Anwar El Ghazi the sole survivor.
And the 26-year-old didn’t take long to show his quality at a packed Holker Street, laying on Archer with just 10 minutes on the clock.
Carabao Cup round-up: Norwich, Wolves, Leeds ease through
9 HOURS AGO
The Dutchman then netted a cheeky panenka penalty past goalkeeper Paul Farman to put Villa two ahead in the 24th minute after Jaden Philogene-Bidace was upended following an impressive run.
Just before the half-time whistle, El Ghazi made it three when he connected with Frederic Guilbert’s cross to head into the roof of the net.
Barrow improved after the restart, but Villa’s superior quality was always evident, as El Ghazi again turned provider when he released Archer and he lifted it over the onrushing goalkeeper with aplomb for his brace.
Guilbert scored Villa’s fifth with a powerful shot with the goal gaping after Philogene-Bidace drew the goalkeeper out of position.
The icing on the cake was to follow for Archer as he guided a shot home after receiving a sublime pass from fellow youngster Philogene-Bidace.
TALKING POINT – Villa’s youngsters show the future is bright
A look at the team sheets before kick-off may have suggested an upset was on the cards, but Villa quashed any doubts very quickly.
There was a real youthful look about the Villa team, and while Barrow boss Mark Cooper made just the one change from the weekend, the visitors made easy work of them with a professional and free-flowing performance.
Once the first goal went in, the once raucous home support was silenced and the visitors took complete control. There were a number of notable performances in the Villa ranks – aside from Conor Hourihane and El Ghazi – most notably the highly-touted Archer, who has the look of a natural goalscorer.
And not to forget Philogene-Bidace and Carney Chukwuemeka, both of whom ran the home side ragged all night with beautiful close control and quick feet. Smith put faith in his second-string and it paid dividends. If tonight is anything to go by, the future at Villa Park is very bright.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa)
Nineteen-year-old Archer will take the headlines, and rightly so, given his ruthless performance in front of goal. And while there were many stellar displays from Villa’s teenagers, it was the experienced El Ghazi who had the most influence at Holker Street. He oozed quality in the opponent’s final third, scoring twice and also grabbing two assists.
Barrow: Farman 4, Hutton 6, Brown 4, Ellis 4, Grayson 4, Brough 4, Taylor 4, White 4, Banks 5, Gordon 4, Zanzala 6
Subs: Arthur N/A, Kay 4.
Aston Villa: Steer 6, Targett 6, Hourihane 8, Tuanzebe 7, Nakamba 7, Guilbert 8, Hause 7, Philogene-Bidace 9, Carney Chukwemeka 9, Archer 10, El Ghazi 10
Subs: A Ramsey 5, Caleb Chukwemeka 5, Lindley N/A.
10′ – GOAL! Barrow 0-1 Aston Villa (Cameron Archer): Villa carve open up the home side’s defence far too easily, Hourihane’s raking ball picking out El Ghazi on the left of the penalty area, he looks up and rolls it to Archer for a simple tap-in.
24′ – GOAL! Barrow 0-2 Aston Villa (Anwar El Ghazi): Oh, that is cheeky! With the goalkeeper fully committed, El Ghazi finishes with a panenka!
45’+3 – GOAL! Barrow 0-3 Aston Villa (Anwar El Ghazi): Hourihane starts a counter-attack with yet another sublime pass from midfield, this time sending Guilbert away on the right.His cross is floated to the back post and El Ghazi can’t miss from there as he heads into the roof of the net.
62′ – GOAL! Barrow 0-4 Aston Villa (Cameron Archer): Another assist for El Ghazi and another goal for Archer! The former slips the latter behind the defence with a beautifully-weighted pass and the finish is as equally impressive as Archer lifts it over the onrushing goalkeeper.
75′ – GOAL! Barrow 0-5 Aston Villa (Frederic Guilbert): The referee plays the advantage as Aaron Ramsey links up with Philogene-Bidace. He tries to round the goalkeeper, Farman gets a touch but ends up pushing it into the path of Frederic Guilbert who hammers it into the net for his second of the night.
88′ – GOAL! Barrow 0-6 Aston Villa (Cameron Archer): It’s a hat-trick for Archer on his full senior debut! It’s no surprise that Philogene-Bidace is involved and it’s his pass that takes out four defenders to find Archer and he guides the ball home. A night to remember for the 19-year-old!
‘We never expected £100m to be met’ – Smith discusses Grealish’s Man City departure
13/08/2021 AT 11:10
Predicting the Premier League table: where will your team finish?
12/08/2021 AT 10:32
Source: Euro Sports