Aston Villa got their pre-season off to a winning start as they beat MLS side Minnesota United 3-0 at Allianz Field.
Villa have been putting in the hard yards during their pre-season training camp in the USA and the players will be delighted to have ended their week with a win, even if it did only come in a friendly.
Dean Smith picked two completely different sides for each half of the game as goals from Jack Grealish, Henri Lansbury and Birkir Bjarnason secured the 3-0 win.
Here’s how we rated the Villa stars in the match.
Jed Steer - 6
Didn’t have too much to do but was forced to make one save after a mistake by his defenders. A pretty quiet 45 minutes for Steer.
James Bree - 4
Was caught out of position on a few occasions and looked a bit under-par throughout.
Kortney Hause - 6
Looked solid enough for the most part, but wasn’t really tested a great deal.
Ezri Konsa - 7
Showed his burst of pace on a few occasions and looked good on the ball. A promising start for the new man.
Matt Targett - 7
Linked up well and got forward well. Looked a bit undercooked in terms of fitness but that should come in time.
Conor Hourihane - 6
Sat in front of the back for in the deepest midfield role and looked neat and tidy.
Jack Grealish - 8
Grealish scored a very good goal as he punished Minnesota for allowing him space at the edge of the box. In general play, he looked sharp and his movements were too much for the MLS side to handle.
Callum O'Hare - 6
Was full of energy and willingness to impact the game, which was great to see. Technically, he was very sound but his lack of physicality was an issue at times as he was just eased off the ball.
Anwar El Ghazi - 7
Had the beating of his full-back fairly often and fed some decent balls and crosses into dangerous areas.
Jota - 8
A very encouraging performance from Jota. His touch was excellent and he looked a real threat from the left.
Wesley - 8
Didn’t get on the scoresheet but he showed exactly what he’ll bring to Villa. He was too quick and powerful for his defenders and his touch was superb. A really encouraging start.
Lovre Kalinic - 6
Like Steer in the first half, he didn’t really have much to do bar come at claim a few crosses.
Frederic Guilbert - 8
We’ve known about Guilbert for a while but haven’t seen a lot of him after he was loaned back to Caen. His assist for Villa’s second goal was excellent and he showed his raw pace on a few occasions. Looks an exciting player at right-back.
James Chester - 6
Was relatively untested but looked like he’d never been away following his long injury lay-off.
Tyrone Mings - 5
Got away with a pretty poor clearance as he failed to clear his lines in the box but other than that, was hard to fault him too much.
Neil Taylor - 7
Taylor put in a typical solid Taylor-like performance. Very solid and dependable.
Birkir Bjarnason - 7
Took his header well to make it 3-0 to Villa. Was decent in the air from a defensive point of view too.
John McGinn - 7
Busy in the centre of the park, as usual. Looked to get a few strikes at goal in an impressive first outing this summer.
Henri Lansbury - 7
Took his goal really well. Looked determined to make a point after being out of favour for so long.
Andre Green - 7
Looked a threat as he and fellow winger Keinan Davis took turns to attack from each flank. Played a key role in the second goal.
Keinan Davis - 6
Looked sharp, especially when he found himself out on the left flank.
Scott Hogan - 4
Didn’t lack any effort but he looks a way off what’s needed in terms of quality. Just didn’t really provide any threat.
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