Barkley strike maintains surprise ideal start for Aston Villa

Barkley strike maintains surprise ideal start for Aston Villa”

"He's a high-calibre player".

"I sold him the project here and told him I'll get him in the (England) Euros squad and he's going to try and help us win football games". He said I would end up scoring the goal and I did so I dedicated the goal to him.

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder's 25-yard strike was the one piece of quality in a pay-per-view game which was in danger of seeing viewers ask for their money back.

With the Premier League's first goalless draw of the season looming, Barkley collected a pass from John McGinn and advanced 10 yards before lashing a low shot past Kasper Schmeichel.

Barkley is thankful to Smith for giving him time on the pitch - he made just 28 Premier League starts in a Chelsea shirt after arriving from Everton for £15 million ($20 million) in 2018.

Last season, they spent over £100 million (S$176.4 million) on a host of transfers, but their scattergun approach almost cost them their English top flight status, with the Villans ending the term in 17th place.

Trezeguet's remarkable efforts during the match also appeared by cutting the ball four times, which is also the second best number among the players of the two teams, behind Cash, who cut the ball six times, and also dispersed the ball three times.

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"I am really pleased with it but I have been pleased with it since lockdown (in March)", he added.

When the match appeared to be heading for a goalless stalemate, Barkley stepped up to make sure Villa stayed the only Premier League team with a flawless record this season after they narrowly avoided relegation last term.

With three wins in the Premier League, however, they remain in fourth, ahead of Arsenal on goal difference, and manager Brendan Rodgers continues to look at the positives despite losing centre-back Caglar Soyuncu for three months with a groin injury sustained on global duty with Turkey.

Leicester's 19-year-old central defender, a £30million arrival from Saint-Etienne on deadline day, slotted seamlessly into the back four in the absence of Caglar Soyuncu, missing with an abductor injury, easing himself in with a couple of early strong challenges and growing in stature.

"I thought he was outstanding and the supporters will have great joy watching him", said the Northern Irishman.

The game was littered with niggly fouls - 36 in total - and the fact there were only two more shots on target (nine) than bookings said everything about the scrappy nature of play. For a defender his anticipation is so good, for someone so young he reads the game so well.

"He will be a big player for our future and it was disappointing for him not to get the result but his individual performance offers hope for the future".

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