Deja vu: Aston Villa’s “unreal” dynamo vindicated Dean Smith’s brave faith vs Arsenal – opinion

November 9, 2020

After being benched for Aston Villa’s clash against Southampton last time out, Trezeguet no doubt would have wondered if he was going to have to watch Bertrand Traore establish himself as the side’s starting right winger.

But after Villa’s summer signing was forced off with an injury in the first-half, the Egyptian responded with the kind of performance from a substitute that would have left his manager grinning from ear to ear.

And after watching him help rip Arsenal to shreds on Sunday night in the Premier League, Dean Smith will be waking up very satisfied at seeing Trezeguet repay his faith with a dynamic performance.

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Whilst he may not have gotten himself on the score-sheet thanks to Bukayo Saka being the one to turn the ball into his own net for Villa’s opening goal, the winger showcased everything that is good about him.

Hard work, relentless running, and that knack for getting himself on the end of crosses at the far post. Villa podcaster Ty Bracey described his workrate as “unreal” and that he was “defensively brilliant”, and it really showed in the stats.

As per Sofascore, he made a team-high of six tackles (double that of the man in second Matty Cash), and won nine of his 15 total duels too. In fact, nobody on the Villa team contested more duels than Trezeguet on the night.

But he wasn’t just helping to shackle Arsenal danger man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, instead, always making sure he was a threat on the break and when his team had possession, having two attempts on goal and providing two crosses too.

After capping off a fine performance last time against the Gunners with the winning goal at the back end of last season, Trezeguet stepped up to haunt Arsenal once more. The north Londoners weren’t ready again for the Egyptian king.

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