Maz Pacheco signs off five-star Aston Villa Women performance v Leicester with new club record
Aston Villa Women delighted the 6,500-strong Villa Park crowd with a five-star performance against Leicester City on Sunday (26 March), but it was Maz Pacheco who went under the radar and took a new club record in the process.
Villa stretched their winning run in all competitions to six games with their 5-0 thrashing over the bottom-placed Foxes, with Rachel Daly taking her tally in the WSL this season to 13 goals with yet another brace of goals.
Swiss forward Alisha Lehmann netted two goals of her own, while Kenza Dali continued her fine form with an early strike for Carla Ward’s side.
However, it was Pacheco who took hold of a new club record for the record number of WSL clean sheets for an Aston Villa player. Having started and played through her ninth clean sheet in a claret and blue top, Pacheco overtook Anita Asante (8) as Villa’s outright record holder.
Taking the club’s record is a just reward for a brilliant campaign in the West Midlands this season, with the 24-year-old becoming a mainstay down the left flank.
Considering Aston Villa’s summer signing Dan Turner – who is predominantly a left-back by trade – has been forced to play as a centre-back due to Pacheco’s form, speaks volumes of the form of the English youth international.
Against Leicester, Villa’s number 33 was absolutely everywhere down the left wing, offering attacker Kirsty Hanson a helping hand in attack whilst keeping out any threats Willie Kirk’s side offered going forward.
The assist she registered for Villa’s fifth, and Lehmann’s second goal, was a perfect example of what the full-back can offer in the final third.
A clever reverse pass from Daly played Pacheco in behind the Leicester back-four before the left-back whipped a perfectly placed ball for Lehmann to tap in at the back post, in a swift, clinical and concise attack.
Such moves have underpinned Aston Villa’s season to date, and such attacking bursts prove that Pacheco has more than enough talent to burst onto the England scene in the near future.
In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton has backed a potential game-changing attacking deal for a Premier League attacker.