Joel Obi scores first Salernitana goal against Chukwuemeka’s Aston Villa

The Nigeria international opened his goal account for the Garnets, but they lost to the Claret and Blue Army

Joel Obi scored his first goal for Salernitana in Sunday’s 3-1 pre-season friendly defeat to Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Following the expiration of his contract at Chievo, the midfielder joined the newly promoted Serie A side on a one-year contract with the option of an extension.

Against the Premier League outfit, he found the net but his team bowed away from home to Dean Smith’s men.

Following wins over Fermana and Palermo, the Italian outfit travelled to England in a bid to extend their winning run to three as well as end their pre-season campaign on a high.

Notwithstanding, Fabrizio Castori’s team returned to Stadio Arechi with heads bowed low.

The Claret and Blue Army started brightly with Jaden Philogene-Bidace firing a shot on goal but Danny Ings was unable to score from the rebound.

Despite dominating ball possession, the English top-flight side conceded first after 20 minutes when a Salernitana free-kick was headed into the path of the former Inter Milan star, who made no mistake by nodding the ball past goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

The Italians almost doubled their lead when Nadir Zortea dashed into the hosts’ penalty area, beat Ezri Konsa, hit his shot at Emiliano Martinez, but the rebound sailed wide.

That miss proved costly as Ings levelled the scores for Smith’s side after converting a cutback from English midfielder Jaden Philogene-Bidace inside the box.

The Lions took the lead before half-time as Anwar El Ghazi scored from the penalty spot after Ollie Watkins was fouled in the box.

Both teams made plenty of substitutions heading into the second half, and it was former Manchester United star Ashley Young who tucked home the third goal after benefitting from a fine exchange between Matty Cash and Jacob Ramsey.

Burkina Faso international Bertrand Traore created more scoring chances for the home team, but they failed to convert any of them.

Zimbabwe international Marvelous Nakamba was handed a place in the starting XI, but he was substituted for Ramsey in the 61st minute, while Nigeria prospect Carney Chukwuemeka came in for Watkins in the 48th minute.

Aston Villa will begin their 2021-22 Premier League campaign versus Watford next weekend.


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