Aston Villa outclass Ajax but are left to sweat over Ollie Watkins injury

Where next for Aston Villa on this European odyssey? The road to Athens, as is Uefa’s strapline for the Europa Conference League, continues. Their adventure to date has taken them to Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Mostar and Warsaw. For those fortunate enough to savour an electric night under the lights here, the foldout map at the back of the programme handily displayed their potential opponents in Friday’s quarter-final draw. By the end, Villa supporters were the ones singing Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, Ajax’s adopted anthem.

The only sore note was the sight of Ollie Watkins, who opened the scoring, heading down the tunnel after failing to shake off a knee problem, though Unai Emery quickly poured cold water on the initial fears, suggesting the England striker could be fit for Sunday’s Premier League trip to West Ham. Leon Bailey said Watkins’s knee “looked really bad” on first viewing. “It is a cut on his knee,” Emery said. “Maybe for Sunday he could be available.”

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