Enjoy the complete match replay and highlights of the exciting showdown between AZ Alkmaar and Aston Villa in the UEFA Europa Conference League for the 2023/2024 season. This electrifying encounter took place during Matchday 3 of Group E action. The game kicked off at 16:45 GMT on Thursday, October 26, 2023.
The match was officiated by the proficient referee, Sven Jablonski from Germany, and the action unfolded at the AFAS Stadion in Alkmaar.
AZ Alkmaar vs Aston Villa Full Match Reports
Aston Villa strolled to victory in the Netherlands, defeating AZ Alkmaar 4-1 at AFAS Stadion, marking the Cheeseheads’ first defeat in their last seven matches across all competitions (W5, D1, L1).
Before the kickoff, all four teams in UEFA Europa Conference League’s (UECL) Group E had identical records: one win, one loss, and zero goal difference. Although the task at hand was formidable, Aston Villa made a perfect start, taking the lead within the first 15 minutes. Villa applied high pressure, winning the ball inside the opposition half, and Boubacar Kamara’s pass fortuitously deflected into the path of Leon Bailey. He expertly placed the ball into the bottom corner after taking a touch. Despite Dutch protests for a handball by the Jamaican, the goal was allowed.
AZ’s situation deteriorated quickly as they found themselves trailing by two goals halfway through the first half. Once again, the hosts lost possession, but this time it was John McGinn creating the opportunity. The Scottish international delivered a sublime pass to Youri Tielemans, who managed to slot the ball past Mathew Ryan despite a poor first touch. Villa exploited the opportunity to win the ball in the opposition box, and they almost paid the price when Kamara was dispossessed on the edge of the area. However, the prolific Vangelis Pavlidis failed to add to his 14 goals this season, shooting high and wide. Villa maintained their two-goal lead as they entered halftime.
The second half started with a flurry as Villa scored twice within the first 10 minutes. The first goal came after Bailey was played through on goal, and Ollie Watkins tapped in the rebound after his initial shot was parried. Villa quickly added a fourth as Bailey once again played a key role, sliding the ball across the box for McGinn to poke home. As Villa fans chanted “easy,” AZ sought to restore some pride and scored a superb goal. Bruno Martins Indi delivered a long ball to Ibrahim Sadiq, who controlled the ball with his chest and fired a clinical finish across Emiliano Martínez.
Ultimately, AZ’s goal served as mere consolation as Villa comfortably saw out the remainder of the match. This allowed Unai Emery to substitute some of his players in preparation for their upcoming Premier League clash with Luton Town on Sunday, after his team had firmly taken control of the group.
Man of the Match: Leon Bailey (Aston Villa).