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Aston Villa’s Matija Sarkic stars on debut in historic victory

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Loan Watch series, which takes a closer look at those players who are aiming to galvanise their careers away from the spotlight of their parent club.

Aston Villa showed a ruthless side to their game over the weekend as they breezed to a 5-1 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Their second win of the season lifted them outside of the relegation zone into 15th as the Premier League now takes a second break for international duty.

It may have come at the worst possible time for Dean Smith as he probably would have liked to build on their rampant exploits with a game as quickly as possible, but now he’s been forced to wait a couple of weeks to do so.

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Wesley doubled his tally for the season to four goals while Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane, and Douglas Luiz all too got on the scoresheet, so there were plenty of positives all round in what has been a difficult season so far.

Outside of the club, some of their young prospects have been impressing and that is certainly the case with Matija Sarkic.

He has had to endure four loan spells since joining the west Midlands club from Belgian outfit Anderlecht, his latest of which is at Scottish Premiership side Livingston.

And the Lions pulled off a shock result over the weekend as they defeated reigning champions Celtic at the Almondvale Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Second-half goals from Scott Robinson and Lyndon Dykes condemned the Bhoys to their first defeat of the SPL season and at the same time, handed Rangers a two-point cushion at the top of the table.

Sarkic was thrown into the team for his debut, and they managed to record just their second clean sheet this campaign.

The 22-year-old commanded his box and pulled off a string of quality saves to help contribute towards the historic win.

He left pundit Kris Boyd particularly impressed too, he told Sky Sports (via Not The Old Firm): “I thought his handling was excellent, you could hear him communicating with his defenders. His kicking was really good all afternoon.”

In doing so, he may have not only built claims for the number one spot for Livingston this season but too that he could be a viable option behind Tom Heaton in the future.

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The goalkeeping department is often a double-edged sword as there rarely is competition for places, and that can often lead to complacency.

WhoScored only rate Heaton’s spell at Villa so far at 6.29, which is one of the worst in the squad – so maybe he could do with some actual competition to get his season going at Villa Park.

Article title: Aston Villa’s Matija Sarkic stars on debut in historic victory

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