By Anthony Onifade

21st Sep, 2023 | 6:33pm

Clement Lenglet and Calum Chambers could face brutal half-time Aston Villa axe after woeful first half v Legia Warsaw

Aston Villa have kicked off their Europa Conference League campaign in rollercoaster fashion and enter the half-time break against Legia Warsaw with the scores level at 2-2 but Unai Emery will be raging at the performances of two of his defenders.

The Villans travelled to Poland to face off against Warsaw in what is expected to be a difficult test in their much anticipated and long-awaited European return.

With AZ Alkmaar and Zrinjski Mostar also in their group, Emery’s side will be expected to top the section and they will have been geared up for a hostile and testing atmosphere at the Marshall Józef Piłsudski’s Municipal Stadium.

And after just two minutes in, it was a hostile atmosphere and start indeed when the Polish giants took a surprise lead after a bright start.

A delightful ball was whipped in from the left by Legia left wing-back Patryk Kun and his opposite flanker Pawel Wszolek just opened his body up and tapped into the bottom corner with the Aston Villa defence half-asleep.

However, four minutes later and the Villans took the lead through Jhon Duran who continued his tremendous early-season form for Unai Emery’s men with out-of-form Ollie Watkins watching on.

Nicolo Zaniolo struck a beauty from the outside of the area which was well saved by Kacper Tobiasz but only tipped onto the bar before Duran was there to pick up the rebound and head home powerfully from the middle of the box to score his fourth of the campaign.

But Villa’s whirlwind opening Europa Conference League ride continued when Legia took the lead again through Ernest Muci with Emery’s team guilty of some lack defending once again.

This time the ball came in from Pawel Wszolek on the right-hand side losing Lucas Digne and Ernset Muci just tucked it away on the half-volley with Chambers once again guilty of tracking his man.

Aston Villa equalised again when a deflected Lucas Digne strike gave the West Midlands outfit hope again but the defending of Chambers and Lenglet could force Emery into brutal half-time decisions.

The former Arsenal defender was preferred to Matty Cash for the game, and Emery may well be regretting his decision already with Chambers struggling to deal with Legia’s marauding presence on Villa’s right-flank Patryk Kun.

Time and time again, Legia attacked Chambers’ flank as they identified him as the weak link in the Aston Villa defence and the 28-year-old simply failed to show Emery that he is worthy of starting games for the team again.

Chambers certainly wasn’t the only Aston Villa defender guilty of some costly mishaps in the Villa backline with Clement Lenglet struggling on his debut which may also force Emery into avoiding starting him again before long and Ezri Konsa and Lucas Digne failing to build on their impressive form so far this campaign.

In their 45 minutes on the pitch together, both players registered just two tackles between them, zero blocked shots, zero clearances and just two interceptions between them in a woeful first-half showing [SofaScore].

Both players certainly weren’t the only ones, but given it’s their first starts of the campaign, Emery may well avoid starting them again in the near future.

In other Aston Villa news, one player registered an unexpected “5/10” score in a lifeless performance v Crystal Palace as the player ratings are shared.