Joel Obi was on target for Serie A new comers Salernitana, but it was not enough as they lost 3-1 to Premier League side Aston Villa in Sunday’s pre-season friendly, Completesports reports.
Salernitana broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when a free-kick was nodded into the path of Obi, who made no mistake with a close-range header.
Villa got back onto the front foot immediately, but they came close to conceding a second when Nadir Zortea raced clean through as the visitors counter attacked.
The defender, under pressure from Ezri Konsa, hit his shot at Emiliano Martinez, with the rebound sliding just wide.
That miss proved costly as new Villa signing Danny Ings levelled the scores shortly after, tucking home Philogene-Bidace’s cutback from inside the box.
A shove on Ollie Watkins handed El Ghazi the chance from the penalty spot to put Villa 2-1 ahead before half-time, and he duly stepped up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way.
And in the 71st minute another new signing Ashley Young, who is back at Villa, made the game safe, applying the finishing touches after superb interchange from Matty Cash and Jacob Ramsey.
Salernitana’s first competitive game in the Italian topflight is a Coppa Italia clash against Reggina on Monday, August 16.
They will open their Serie A campaign with an away tie against Bologna on August 22.
By James Agberebi