Aston Villa enjoyed their biggest win of the new Premier League season with a superb victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Dean Smith’s side produced unquestionably their best defensive performance of the campaign, and it was one of those in the back-line who delivered all three points.
Kortney Hause capped off a fine display with a powerful header from Douglas Luiz’s corner, and while he and Tyrone Mings were equally impressive, Ezri Konsa’s performance showed exactly why there have been loud calls for him to make the England squad.
As per SofaScore, the 23-year-old blocked the second most shots of any Villa player, while he also ranked second when it came to total clearances.
Defensively he was as solid as a rock, and his six duels won out of nine were the joint-most of any of his teammates – in fact, even if you added the duels won by both Hause and Mings, that would only amount to half of Konsa’s tally.
The centre-back was equally as impressive in possession, exuding a real calmness under pressure – his 91% pass accuracy was the best of any Villa player, while he lost the ball only twice over the course of the 90 minutes, by far the lowest of any Villa starter.
Writing initially on Twitter, the Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece said: “Ratings from a historic afternoon at Old Trafford. There’s some sore shins in that away end, sheer pandemonium. Hero Hause, Mings and Konsa all outstanding. Douglas Luiz classy in there. So much to like about this group!”
In a follow-up post-match ratings article for the news outlet, the journalist gave him the joint-highest rating of a nine, adding: “Missed a golden chance from inside the six-yard box as he headed over following Douglas’ dangerous and pinpoint corner. It was bodies-on-the-line stuff from Konsa, he blocked countless balls into Villa’s box. Brilliant once more.”
If England manager Gareth Southgate was watching, he would have left suitably impressed by Villa’s English back-three, and Konsa in particular.
The former Brentford man was arguably Smith’s real hero at Old Trafford.