Lee Hendrie wowed by 'absolutely perfect' Ollie Watkins in Aston Villa 2-1 win v Leicester City
Ollie Watkins continues to light up the goalscoring charts at Aston Villa as he netted for the 12th time this season in Tuesday night’s win at Leicester.
Watkins, 27, got Villa on their way in the 19th minute when he poked home from a clever through-ball by Emi Buendia, who amazingly got his first assist of the Premier League campaign.
Unai Emery’s side went on to win 2-1 at the King Power Stadium to strengthen their unexpected bid for European football and if Watkins continues in the form he’s in at Villa Park, there very much could be a spot in the Europa Conference League up for grabs for the Villans.
Watkins’ goal at the King Power on 4 April sums up his season – lethal.
If he’s given a chance on goal, he’s going to take it even if it doesn’t look as though he’s not even going to be able to get a shot off on goal.
Watkins was slowly being crowded out by Leicester’s defenders while the home side also had goalkeeper Daniel Iversen rushing out of his goal to close Villa’s top goalscorer down.
But despite the pressure, the England international snuck a shot out from underneath him to gently prod the ball home from about 12 yards out.
Ex-Aston Villa star Lee Hendrie was especially impressed with the way that Watkins timed his run to latch onto Buendia’s pass before slotting home.
Speaking live on Sky Sports News on Tuesday night (4 April, 08:15pm), Hendrie said: “It’s that in-form striker Ollie Watkins. Absolutely fantastic goal, it really was.”
Hendrie added: “I actually felt he over-ran it because Iversen came out to narrow the angle but he literally just nipped it around him and it just trickled into the goal, over the line.
“There was a VAR check because it was tight but Watkins held his line – absolutely perfect.”
Of course, Watkins’ goal wasn’t the only impressive thing about his performance at Leicester.
According to stats by WhoScored, the former Brentford centre-forward hit the target with 100 per cent of his three efforts at goal.
He completed 73 per cent of passes (eight out of 11 attempted), completed the only dribble he attempted, wasn’t dispossessed once and even chipped in defensively by making one clearance.
Watkins currently hits the target 1.4 times every 90 minutes, which ranks him seventh in the Premier League out of players with at least 20 appearances.
Only Darwin Nunez (2.2), Erling Haaland (1.9), Harry Kane (1.7), Aleksandar Mitrovic (1.5), Julian Alvarez (1.5) and Rodrigo (1.5) are ahead of him – not bad company, indeed.
It also sees Watkins rank the same as Ivan Toney and higher than Marcus Rashford, Heung-min Son and Mohamed Salah (all 1.3).
There’s no doubt that Watkins is Villa’s talisman right now and Villa fans will be praying that he’s able to maintain the form that he’s in as Emery’s men continue their charge towards the European places.
With Nottingham Forest next up at Villa Park on Saturday (8 April), you wouldn’t bet against him continuing that run of form.
In other Aston Villa news, Watkins’ teammate is seeing his value soar as the Villans get ready to sell him.