Ross Barkley scored a late winner as Aston Villa continued their remarkable 100 percent winning start to the Premier League season with a 1-0 victory at Leicester City.
The loan star-struck in the first minute of added-time as Dean Smith’s side moved to second with 12 points from 12 available.
Dean Smith’s side had looked set to take a credible draw at the King Power until Barkley picked up the ball in a deep position and lifted a delightful shot from 25 yards into the top corner.
The first half, though enjoyable, was devoid of any real goalmouth action. Timothy Castagne came closest for the hosts, forcing Emiliano Martinez into a save from an acute angle, while at the opposite end, Jack Grealish’s cross was sent wide by Trezeguet.
After the restart, the unmarked Ezri Konso somehow headed wide from just a matter of yards from Grealish’s corner.
Dean Smith’s side came into the match off the back of that amazing 7-2 mauling over Liverpool, but it took them until the 69th-minute to register their first shot on target – a tame Douglas Luiz attempt.
Villa had been the more threatening side in the second half, with Grealish pulling the strings, and just when we thought we were heading for the first goalless draw of the season, Barkley popped up with a spectacular winner.
The results means Villa are a point behind early pacesetters Everton having played a game less while Leicester remain fourth.
Back in March, just before football was suspended, Dean Smith’s side were beaten 4-0 at the King Power Stadium. On that day, Jamie Vardy – missing tonight through injury – scored twice as the Foxes ran riot over a side that looked relegation bound. How football can change in such a short space of time.
Dean Smith described that defeat as a “watershed moment” for the club. He isn’t wrong. Villa survived and after four games of the new Premier League season, his side have a perfect start. It’s the first time they have won their opening four games in 90 years.
He recruited well over the summer, with Barkley proving to be a real handful so far and can provide a moment of magic, taking the pressure off Grealish, who was almost a one-man show last season. Full credit to Smith and Villa for a remarkable turn around in events.