Bailey set to start EPL season on a high


 Leon Bailey of Aston Villa fights for possession during the friendly match between Rennes and Aston Villa at Roazhon Park on July 30, 2022 in Rennes, France.

Fired-up Reggae Boy Leon Bailey was Aston Villa’s hero again as the English Premier League side rounded off their pre-season campaign with an impressive 2-1 win over Rennes at a baking-hot Roazhon Park in France at the weekend.

It was the 24-year-old Jamaican winger’s third goal of the summer with a volley past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to equalise after 14 minutes.

Villa had gone a goal down after just seven minutes when Rennes’ summer signing Arthur Theate was given a free run off Boubacar Kamara to rifle home from close range.

However, just seven minutes later Bailey popped up once again, striking his effort via Lucas Digne’s cross into the ground and in to equalise.

Steven Gerrard’s men took the lead with a little less than 10 minutes remaining as substitute Ashley Young combined with Philippe Coutinho for a short corner with the former crossing for Diego Carlos, who headed home for 2-1.

The win was just the tonic for manager Steven Gerrard whose side open the new league campaign with an away game against promoted Bournemouth.

It followed their pre-season trips to Australia and France in which Villa went unbeaten, including a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against top-flight rivals Manchester United.

Bailey, whose last campaign was dogged by injury after he moved from German club Bayer Leverkusen, said: “Nice to end pre-season with another win. Happy to be on the scoresheet again. Looking forward to the Premier League now.”


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