Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell admitted his side didn’t help themselves last night as they faced Premier League side Aston Villa in the EFL Cup, as reported by their official website.
The Railwaymen welcomed Villa to Gresty Road but were soundly beaten 6-1 as the gulf in class showed all evening. Dean Smith’s side, recently promoted from the Championship, were in fine form, taking the lead in the 4th minute through Ezri Konsa.
Conor Hourihane added a brace before half time to effectively kill the tie off in the first 45 minutes.
Villa were utterly ruthless in the second period too, Keinan Davis and Frederic Guilbert adding two more before Crewe managed a late consolation through Ryan Wintle.
Still Villa would relent and they added a sixth before the final whistle through Jack Grealish.
After the game, Crewe manager David Artell was in a reflective mood, telling the club’s official website his side ‘gifted’ some of the Villa goals.
“We played well in patches and at other times we were soft. We have gifted them some goals, the goals from corners were abysmal so there are plenty things to work on.”
Crewe are hoping to be around the top seven in League Two this season and their manager believes they deserved a bit more for the efforts last night.
“We probably deserved a bit more but Aston Villa were ruthless and that is the difference. The gap in class was significantly there at times and their goals changed the games but we didn’t half help them at times with the goals we conceded.
“We gifted them some and that is disappointing.”
They’re back in League action this weekend as they host Bradford City, before Burton visit on Tuesday night in the EFL Trophy.
Crewe were soft, but they shouldn’t be hard on themselves. Often, the sides that do well in these ties are the fighters, the ones who are strong and aggressive. Artell has schooled his Crewe side to play football and that’s where giant-killing acts fall down; when you try to match your opponents.
They made individual errors for the goals, but the sheer quality of Villa shone through. Jota, Hourihane, El Ghazi, Grealish, Konsa; these players are all close to the first team and had a point to prove.
It was a tough evening but Crewe have to put it behind them and move on. They’re good enough to be a top-seven side this season but they can’t let a heavy defeat like this knock them off their stride.