Aston Villa shrugged off the trauma of Martin O’Neill walking out five days before the start of the Premiership to spank West Ham, 3-0.
Goals from Stewart Downing, Stilian Petrov, and James Milner doomed Avram Grant’s side. Not a very auspicious debut for the former Pompey boss. But for caretaker coach Kevin MacDonald this is exactly what Villa needed.
This could well be Milner’s last game as he is due to leave for City if they can take care of Steven Ireland’s sticking point of 2m pounds.
Robert Green was also thrust back into the limelight after his disastrous World Cup and he had his nervy moments setting up the first goal with a weak parry but overall he handled the pressure well despite the constant barracking of the Villa fans. It was West Ham’s terrible defense that proved their undoing.
Villa have a bright talent in Marc Albrighton who proved to be a handful and was heavily involved in the Milner goal. Watch out for him.