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Aston Villa-Lille: the efficiency of Ollie Watkins, the defensive naivety of Lille... The Tops and the Flops


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Aston Villa-Lille: the efficiency of Ollie Watkins, the defensive naivety of Lille... The Tops and the Flops


He never stops scoring. The English striker has just scored his 25th goal in all competitions with Aston Villa, and is doing very well at the forefront of the Villans' attack. In addition to taking advantage of an error from the Lille defense on a corner to open the scoring, in the first period, he knew how to make his partners shine. His backheel, towards Bailey at the start of the second half (48th), deserved much better. We cannot fail to highlight his mobility on the attacking front which gave LOSC a hard time.

His goal allows him to have his place in the tops. Because the ex-Toulouse player turned into a “savior” when he decided to place his head in the small net opposite Martinez (8th), a few minutes from the end of the match. The Lille central defender allowed an entire population to imagine a favorable scenario, at the Decathlon Arena, next Thursday. He had almost scored earlier in the match, before half-time, but he had lacked lucidity in front of the cage.

The Argentinian goalkeeper stopped (almost) everything. 6 decisive saves this Thursday evening. Diakité's header was unstoppable (84'), as was Gudmundsson's strike (65'), but fortunately for him and his team, the Swede's goal was refused. For the rest, it was impeccable. He knew how to use his stature to disgust Zhegrova (25th), Haraldsson (73rd) and Jonathan David (42nd). His character and his celebrations, at each stop made, make him almost sympathetic.


Unai Emery and his staff targeted a weakness among Lille, and they knew how to exploit them wonderfully. This is how we can tell the difference when two teams seem at the same level. Lille were not vigilant defensively. This corner which led to Watkins' goal (13th) should never have been decisive in this meeting. A fatal oversight, just like the one in the second half on McGinn (57th). The Scotsman was left alone to strike, and with the quality of his (left) foot that we know of, he was able to score without forcing his talent.

We saw him twice and he was missed twice. The Kosovar winger from LOSC, who we know is twirling, was well muzzled by the LOSC trainee, Lucas Digne. When we know him in Ligue 1, when we see what he is capable of doing every week, we have to expect more in a match like this. His first strike was far too soft (22nd), when his second face-to-face once again showed his shortcomings in finishing.

Same story for the Canadian striker. We didn't see too much of him, especially from the second part of the first half. But we are not used to seeing him very often in a match. Except that often, he scores on the only balls he can get. On his only real opportunity (43rd), he lacked spontaneity and moved too far away, facing a Martinez who was comfortable blocking closed angles.

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