News Live Scores
Aston Villa

'Thank f*ck' - Grealish ends record barren spell as Villa win first Premier League match since 2016

10:30 BST 24/08/2019
Jack Grealish Aston Villa Everton Premier League 2019
A run of 20-straight Premier League losses for the midfielder has finally come to an end, with his club putting a stop to their own barren spell

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has seen his record run of 20-straight Premier League defeats come to an end, with his side taking a 2-0 win over Everton on Friday. 

A first-half goal from impressive summer signing Wesley and a stoppage-time effort from substitute Anwar El Ghazi handed Dean Smith’s side all three points at a relieved Villa Park.

The result was also Smith’s first-ever win against Premier League opposition as a manager. Previously, the 48-year-old had lost all eight games against top-flight opponents across spells at Walsall and Brentford as well as Villa.

Grealish’s unwanted record run began on the day he made his senior debut as a substitute in a 4-0 defeat to Manchester City back in May 2014, while successive defeats to Bournemouth and Tottenham at the start of this season made it 20 defeats in a row for the Birmingham-born star.

Villa’s previous numbers were just as bad before Friday’s triumph over the Toffees, with their record standing at played 15, won none, drawn one, lost 14. Their last win before this evening’s events was a 2-0 victory over Norwich in February 2016.

Their opener came slightly against the run of play, when club record signing Wesley – a £22 million ($27m) arrival from Club Brugge – held his nerve to open the scoring in the 21st minute.

Everton had chances to equalise late on, none more so than when Alex Iwobi clattered his shot against the post with eight minutes remaining and substitute Theo Walcott blazed over from inside the 18-yard box soon after.

But the long-overdue win was sealed in the dying embers of the game as El Ghazi squeezed his close-range shot under Jordan Pickford after good work from John McGinn.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Smith was quick to praise goalscorer Wesley, saying: “We grew into the game but always looked a threat on the break.

“I said yesterday Wes was only one behind Mo Salah, he's level now! It's only two games into a season. 

“There's 14 centre-forwards probably who will go to Tottenham and not score. He's a good player, we've been watching him for a long time and I'm glad we've got him. He was a handful.”