Dean Smith picks out unlikely star for special praise; Grealish mocks Villa form

Date published: Tuesday 28th January 2020 11:00 - Steve Pearson

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Dean Smith revealed the jubilation of achieving a trip to Wembley was too much to handle in the heat of the moment, while Jack Grealish made a tongue-in-cheek jibe at his side’s own poor form when describing the progress Villa have made since the turn of the year.

The Villains were heavy underdogs when the draw was made for the semi-final but the scrappy performance away at the King Power in the first leg set the tone that Villa would not exit this competition without a fight.

A Matt Targett strike gave the hosts a 12th minute lead but Kelechi Iheanacho continued his superb run of form in cup competitions to level up the scores with 18 minutes to go.

The tie looked destined to be heading for the lottery that is a penalty shoot-out until Egyptian winger Trezeguet tucked home the injury-time winner to send the Villa Park faithful into a frenzy.

Speaking to Sky Sports following the match, Villa boss Dean Smith admitted even he had let the emotions take over after such a dramatic moment.

 “I certainly let myself go with the goal, said Smith.”

“That deep onto stoppage time, there was a bit of emotion from everyone and the place erupted.

Much of the credit for the victory went to Villa reserve goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland who also performed admirably to keep the scores level in the first leg.

“Our goalkeeper made three great saves but I thought we were aggressive as well,” said Smith.

“To go and get the win at the death like we did there… To take this club to Wembley, I’ll be a very proud man to walk out there with this team.”

 


FULL REPORT: Trezeguet snatches last-gasp winner to send Aston Villa to Wembley


Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish made light of Villa’s poor form pre-Christmas, telling Sky Sports: “It shows what character we’ve got in the team. We were in a sticky patch before Christmas – we couldn’t string four passes together, never mind winning, but we have started the new year in great form.

“This is massive. It’s my fifth or sixth time at Wembley with Aston Villa which I’m over the moon at. I love a trip to Wembley. We’re looking forward to it.

“In the first leg we were under so much pressure but today we were brilliant and had the better chances if anything.

“The keeper was great. Everyone was brilliant. Now we’ll concentrate on Saturday and try to get out of the bottom five.”

 

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