Express & Star

Ollie Watkins delighted to fire Aston Villa to Chelsea triumph

Goal hero Ollie Watkins felt Villa demonstrated their resilience with yesterday’s 1-0 win at Chelsea.


The victory came less than 72 hours after Unai Emery’s men had stumbled to a disappointing defeat at Legia Warsaw but they were able to overcome the tight turnaround, claiming their first away clean sheet of the season at Stamford Bridge.

Goalkeeper Emi Martinez saved from Nico Jackson and Raheem Sterling one-on-one, before then denying Ben Chilwell a leveller after Watkins had struck in the 73rd minute.

A delighted Watkins said: “We played against a top team in Poland the other day and then it was a quick turnaround. We showed our resilience, kept playing our game.

“We concede goals because we play such a high line it is risky. But we’ve got an unbelievable goalkeeper who, one-v-one, is so hard to score against.

“We have such a good squad. We have crucial players out with injuries that we cannot forget about. We just have to keep recovering and keep working hard.”

Watkins netted a hat-trick at Hibernian in the Europa Conference League but finally opened his Premier League account for the season, firing in off the post after Levi Colwill had blocked his first effort.

“It is always nice to score and help the team to win,” added Watkins. “It had been a few games I hadn’t scored. I knew the goals would come but I am delighted it has come in a game that helps the team and helps us get the three points.

“The defender did well to block the first shot but then it fell to me and I hit it quite cleanly. I always feel good, but that first goal is tricky to get.”

Boss Emery, who had seen his team fall to heavy defeats on the road at Newcastle and Liverpool, felt the performance was a step forward. He said: “We have been strong at home, playing really good and winning a lot of matches. But away we must try to get the same performances.

“To win here at Chelsea in 90 minutes everything that happened today was something normal.

“To win here is not easy. We could have lost as well. We were very competitive, we felt strong defensively, better than the last matches we played away. This is a step ahead.

“To get it every day, we must be consistent defensively and competitive like we were in this game.”