Aston Villa cruised into the third round of the Carabao Cup with a thumping 6-1 win over SkyBet League Two Crewe at Gresty Road.
Villa made 10 changes to the side which won Friday’s Premier League match at home to Everton – with Jota the only player to retain his place – but the outcome was rarely in doubt after Ezri Konsa, one of three summer signings making a competitive debut, headed home a third minute opener.
Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer denied Chris Porter and Charlie Kirk, while Owen Dale had a goal for the hosts ruled out for offside.
However, the visitors took the sting out of their hosts in the 24th minute as Jota and Henri Lansbury combined to tee up Conor Hourihane for a comfortable finish from just inside the area.
On the stroke of half-time, Hourihane killed off any hope of a Crewe comeback by nodding home a left-wing cross from Anwar El Ghazi.
The hosts continued to create chances after the break, notably through Dale, but after El Ghazi struck a post, striker Keinan Davis scored his first goal for almost 20 months, tapping home a cross from Jack Grealish following a teasing run just seconds after the captain’s arrival midway through the second half.
In the 76th minute Frederic Guilbert, on just before half-time for injured defender Matt Targett, made it 5-0 when he curled home a superb strike into the top right-hand corner.
Ryan Wintle deservedly netted a consolation for Crewe six minutes from time before Villa completed the rout moments later when Grealish drove home a backheel from Lansbury.
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