Player Ratings: Hibernian 0-5 Aston Villa – Ruthless & Rampant On European Return

hibernian 0-5 aston villa

Any Villa fan with any legacy memory would not have taken their seat this evening expecting quite such a comfortable victory. As it was, we swept away any pre-match anxiety almost from the off. It was a ruthless, professional and (surely) tie-deciding away victory to mark the club’s return to European competition after a 13-year absence.

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This was a strong Villa side, emphasising the respect we showed the opposition, but also illustrating the importance of the competition to our campaign. Seasoned supporters will definitely remember a career-defining error by then manager Martin O’Neill, fielding a weakened side that lost to CSKA Moscow [2009]. The stakes are different, but there were no mistakes made this time.

This is a short report, as Villa were very, very comfortable throughout. Hibs looked every bit like a side that hasn’t managed a league win yet this season. Hapless Lee Johnson looked on throughout, unable to effect any change from the touchline to stem Villa’s dominance. The former Bristol City boss would endure a second 5-0 drubbing of his managerial career at the hands of Villa, as it transpired.

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Watkins bagged a comfortable hat-trick, scoring two 1st half headers before slotting home from a perfectly timed Digne cross in the second half. The Frenchman, excellent against Everton and again at Easter Road bagged a trio of assists for himself.

Leon Bailey was again on the scoresheet in a further confidence boost. Alongside the pacey and tricky Diaby, there is an alluring and dangerous partnership forming in that part of the pitch for Villa that’s increasingly pleasing.

Douglas Luiz completed the rout, slotting home his second penalty in a matter of days, after substitute Traore was brought down after clever footwork.

Our hosts suffered for most of the evening, with many opting to depart early in the second half as Villa put the game out of sight. Hibernian struggled with Villa’s ability to retain the ball, particularly in defence and midfield, and simply couldn’t nullify the risk from wide. It could have been much worse than five.

It was a reflection in part to a tactical approach that appeared reliant upon hitting Villa on the break, whilst attempting to tuck in deep when out of possession. It’s a tactic Villa tried to employ repeatedly in the past, ill-fatedly under Paul Lambert, and often against teams with any number of players who can pick a wise pass. It’s one that seems only to invite the inevitable.

It will be a tall order for Hibs in the reverse fixture next week, but at the very least we can go into the return of European football at Villa Park in a more relaxed manner. 5-0. Superb.

Hibs 0-5 Villa
  • Martinez
  • Digne
  • Konsa
  • Torres
  • Carlos
  • Luiz
  • Kamara
  • Diaby
  • McGinn
  • Bailey
  • Watkins
  • Olsen (Sub)
  • Traore (Sub)
  • Tielemans (Sub)
  • Duran (Sub)

One thought on “%1$s”

  1. No way that we can let Digne leave after that performance been brilliant in last two games bang on top form. What a great crosser of the ball surely we would be crazy to sell him

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