Conor Hourihane scored his fifth goal of the season for Aston Villa on Monday night with an excellent free-kick as Dean Smith’s men produced a 2-0 win over Newcastle United – and Leeds United star Luke Ayling has applauded the Irishman on Instagram.
Hourihane’s form has gone somewhat under the radar at Villa this season, after the 28-year-old proved crucial last season in pushing Villa into the Premier League. Signed by Steve Bruce, the ex-Barnsley skipper shone for Villa on Monday.
The Ireland international gave Villa the lead with an excellent free-kick that left Martin Dubravka rooted to the spot. Just four minutes later, Netherlands cap Anwar El Ghazi scored to double Villa’s lead – and the scoreline remained.
Hourihane posted on Instagram as Villa earned all three points against their former manager Bruce, ending Newcastle’s two-match winning run. The midfielder captioned a series of pictures with “a big three points for us last night”.
Hourihane was a prominent member of the scrap that took place during Leeds United’s 1-1 draw with Villa last season at Elland Road. Matuesz Klich scored with Jonathan Kodjia on the deck, which saw Leeds allow Villa to equalise through Albert Adomah.
Immediately after Klich scored, Hourihane grabbed the Pole by the throat and aggressively confronted the Leeds playmaker. Leeds have since won a Fairplay award at the Best FIFA awards. Despite all that, Ayling applauded Hourihane on Instagram.