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Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace: Tyrone Mings sent off in home win

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Crystal Palace have not kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since the opening weekend of the season

Aston Villa’s fine run of form continued as they beat Crystal Palace and kept a clean sheet despite playing for more than 45 minutes with 10 men after Tyrone Mings’ sending off.

Villa were already leading when Mings was dismissed by referee Anthony Taylor towards the end of the first half for a foul on Wilfried Zaha – six minutes after both players had been booked for clashing.

In an incident-packed game, Villa claimed an eighth clean sheet of 2020-21 – and moved to within three points of second-placed Leicester City.

Burkina Faso winger Bertrand Traore, who also hit the post, put Villa ahead when he was left unmarked to pounce after Vicente Guaita had beaten away an attempt by Ollie Watkins.

Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez had set the tone for an entertaining match with a fine save to keep out Zaha in the opening minute, while Guaita twice denied Anwar El Ghazi as well as Jack Grealish.

Palace looked to take advantage of Mings’ dismissal but instead conceded two more goals.

Defender Kortney Hause nodded the second after Watkins’ header had rebounded off the bar before Dutch winger Anwar El Ghazi lashed home the third with a quality finish.

Hard-working Villa look the business

Having avoided relegation on the final day of last season, Villa are now up to sixth in the table, with two games in hand over Leicester, after making it three wins in four.

Their latest victory was built on grit and a determination not to let Mings’ red card disrupt them.

The England defender can have few complaints about his dismissal, sticking out an arm to block Zaha’s attempt getting away from him, not long after the pair had clashed following a challenge.

If anything, Mings’ loss galvanised Dean Smith’s side, who produced a thoroughly professional performance to win at Villa Park for the first time since thrashing Liverpool 7-2 on 4 October.

Villa have now won the past two Premier League games in which they have finished with 10 men, having earned a 1-0 victory at Wolves on 12 December after the dismissal of midfielder Douglas Luiz.

Former Chelsea player Traore was excellent before he was substituted earlier than planned following Mings’ dismissal, while the hard-working Watkins twice hit the woodwork and El Ghazi produced a moment of pure class with his goal.

Villa’s recruitment has been impressive. Traore has looked an excellent piece of business, having joined for £17m from Lyon in September, while Martinez – who also cost £17m, from Arsenal – continues to impress in each game.

With his side down to 10 men, Martinez produced a big save to keep out Luka Milivojevic’s deflected attempt as Villa claimed a fourth clean sheet in a row, their best run in the top flight since February 2010.

Tyrone Mings fouls Wilfried Zaha in Aston Villa's game with Crystal Palace
Tyrone Mings, an ever-present for Aston Villa in the Premier League in 2020-21, was sent off for two yellow card offences

Bruising week for Palace

Roy Hodgson’s side had been hammered 7-0 by Liverpool at Selhurst Park seven days earlier, so this result and performance capped a bruising week.

Hodgson has now moved into the top 10 on the list of those to have faced the most Premier League games as a manager – this was his 341st match. But the former England boss had little to celebrate, and looked miserable by the end.

Palace started well after Zaha embarrassed Mings with his pace only for Martinez to produce an excellent stop.

But their defensive frailties were once again exposed while they were unable to take advantage of the Villa defender’s dismissal.

Without a top-flight clean sheet since the opening weekend of the season, Palace have now lost four of their past seven matches and face high-flying Leicester next.

Villa’s Boxing Day red card record to forget – the stats

  • Aston Villa received their fourth red card on 26 December in the Premier League, more than any other side in the competition (also Andy Townsend in 1994, Michael Oakes in 1998 and Zat Knight in 2007).
  • Crystal Palace are without a clean sheet in their past 14 Premier League games, their longest run without a shutout in the competition since November 2017 (also 14).
  • Bertrand Traore has scored in each of his past two Premier League games – his tally of two goals being as many as he managed in his 19 previous appearances in the competition.
  • Kortney Hause’s eight goals in English League football have come across seven different seasons, since his debut in 2012-13.
  • Anwar El Ghazi has struck four goals in his past four Premier League appearances, as many as he managed in his previous 37 games in the competition.

What’s next?

Both teams have a short turnaround before they are back in action on Monday, with Aston Villa away at Chelsea (17:30 GMT) and Crystal Palace hosting Leicester City at 15:00.

Player of the match

GrealishJack Grealish

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number10Player nameGrealish

  2. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  3. Squad number26Player nameMartínez

  4. Squad number21Player nameEl Ghazi

  5. Squad number18Player nameTargett

  6. Squad number30Player nameHause

  7. Squad number15Player nameTraoré

  8. Squad number2Player nameCash

  9. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  10. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  11. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  12. Squad number27Player nameAhmed El Mohamady

  13. Squad number41Player nameRamsey

  14. Squad number5Player nameMings

Crystal Palace

  1. Squad number31Player nameGuaita

  2. Squad number25Player nameEze

  3. Squad number15Player nameSchlupp

  4. Squad number8Player nameKouyaté

  5. Squad number2Player nameWard

  6. Squad number11Player nameZaha

  7. Squad number18Player nameMcArthur

  8. Squad number6Player nameDann

  9. Squad number3Player namevan Aanholt

  10. Squad number10Player nameTownsend

  11. Squad number23Player nameBatshuayi

  12. Squad number20Player nameBenteke

  13. Squad number44Player nameRiedewald

  14. Squad number4Player nameMilivojevic

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 26Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 30Hause
  • 5MingsBooked at 45mins
  • 18Targett
  • 6Douglas LuizSubstituted forRamseyat 90+1′minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 15TraoréSubstituted forKonsaat 45+4′minutes
  • 10GrealishBooked at 45mins
  • 21El GhaziSubstituted forEl Mohamadyat 86′minutes
  • 11Watkins

Substitutes

  • 1Heaton
  • 3Taylor
  • 4Konsa
  • 14Hourihane
  • 19Nakamba
  • 24Guilbert
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 39Davis
  • 41Ramsey

Crystal Palace

  • 31Guaita
  • 2WardBooked at 68mins
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 6Dann
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forTownsendat 82′minutes
  • 4MilivojevicBooked at 56minsSubstituted forRiedewaldat 69′minutes
  • 18McArthurSubstituted forBatshuayiat 75′minutes
  • 25EzeBooked at 83mins
  • 11ZahaBooked at 39mins
  • 20Benteke

Substitutes

  • 1Butland
  • 5Tomkins
  • 9J Ayew
  • 10Townsend
  • 17Clyne
  • 22McCarthy
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 27Mitchell
  • 44Riedewald

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