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Player Match Ratings: No Fortress at Villa Park!

Two home defeats in four days has been very, very hard to watch. The season is in tatters and all we have left for is to secure our safety. We currently have a 7-point cushion between the bottom three and ourselves but that gap will not last forever if our results do not start improving. Barnsley now have as many wins away from home this season as we have wins at home and away. Yesterday’s visitors are also thirteen points above us. They play as a team. We play as a bunch of individuals. Th

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Unbeaten home record gone!

We still await our first win in 2017. Any lingering promotion hopes that might still have persisted in the most optimistic of Villa fans minds (my own included) were extinguished along with our unbeaten home record yesterday. This was a game that we had hoped to win albeit not with any great confidence but it was one we had not expected to lose. It was the first of four home games in our next five matches that could have begun a run of home wins. Ipswich were in as miserable a run as we wer

John

John

Player Match Ratings: A two goal lead vanishes!

This was a game of two halves. We scored twice in the first half, might have put the game beyond doubt and were a constant threat to the visitors who appeared to be there for the taking but we then snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. I suspect that our players thought that they would be able to comfortably coast through the second half but Simon Grayson’s half-time words stung Preston into second half action and they dominated the second half as much as we had controlled the first. Th

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Villa still unbeaten at home!

Our 5-game winning home run came to an end last night but we remain the only team in our division not to be beaten at home. We can thank the linesman who pointed out the hand ball from Liam Cooper that referee Roger East had missed or ignored in much the same way as had the Leeds defence and their manager for that. But justice was done when we scored our now familiar late goal to take a point. We refreshingly started this game by pressing our visitors during the opening minutes. We shaded t

John

John

Player Match Ratings: We win at Fortress Villa Park!

This was our first Boxing Day win since 2005 and the first time we have won 5 successive home league games since season 1992-93 when we won 7 on the trot and Villa Park was a fortress, as it now threatens to become again. Burton arrived for the first ever game between the two teams to face an all but full Villa Park. We opened the scoring after 15 minutes but instead of pressing for a decisive second goal we then surrendered too much space in the midfield to our visitors. Burton came i

John

John

Player Match Ratings: The Late Show with Villa Jack!

This forgettable game was settled by an unforgettable winning goal from Jack Grealish in the 88th minute. Wigan came to Villa Park with limited ambition. They came to frustrate and to claim a point as will other teams as we climb further up the table this season. We started the game well and finished it even better but for over an hour this match appeared to have goalless draw written all over it until Jack struck with his stunning late goal. It is so nice to be scoring late goals rather th

John

John

Player Match Ratings: 3 more points - There’s lovely!

Yesterday’s third successive home win extended Steve Bruce’s unbeaten run to seven games. It also lifted us into the top half of the table and put us within touching distance of a place in the top six. Cardiff have not won at Villa Park since 1954 but they started strongly and reacted well to going a goal down after 24 minutes by drawing level 4 minutes later. Our visitors gave the sort of determined no-nonsense display that is expected from any team managed by Neil Warnock. It’s not pretty

John

John

Player Match Ratings: That winning feeling!

I think that we are all growing a little more accustomed to that winning feeling that has been absent from Villa Park for far too long. We have now gone five league games unbeaten since the arrival of Steve Bruce and have gathered 11 points from a possible 15 which is promotion form. Brucie has got us organised and appears to have stamped out that habit of conceding late goals that had cost us so dear earlier this season. Our new boss gets the best out of the players that are available to h

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Two wins on the trot!

What a difference two wins can make. Having won away for the first time in 437 days on Tuesday night we went on to win our second home game of the season yesterday and pulled five points clear of the bottom three.    But enough talk of the bottom three we can now look at the top six that we are within six points of. We are coming to get those clubs that currently make up the top six as well as the knuckle draggers from the dark side of the city next weekend. There was to be no late goa

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Villa cling to a fortunate point!

This was a point gained rather than a point lost because Wolves were by far the better side on the day and had the chances to have run out clear winners had they taken them. They just seemed to want it more than we did. We had hoped for a win, an early new manager “bounce” and for the players to want to pull out all of the stops to impress the new boss but old habits are hard to break. Although there have been significant changes in our starting line-up since last season this season’s displ

John

John

Player Match Ratings: We score our own late goal!

We have grown frustratingly accustomed to conceding goals and dropping valuable points during the last 5 minutes of games this season but this time we scored rather than conceded one late in a game.  We were really abysmal in the first half. Playing three central defenders did not work for us and our defence was shaky at best in the first 45 minutes. Our midfield was none existent and we posed a minimal threat up front. Newcastle will have been disappointed to have only been one up at the b

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Bees leave it late to sting Villa!

A Villa team that seem incapable of seeing out even the last 5 minutes of a game seemed to decide last night to try to see out the entire second half. We left it to the visitors to take the game to us rather than take the game to them in the second half having gone ahead on 19 minutes. As we know a one goal advantage is not enough for us and so it proved again last night. We have now dropped seven points due to conceding goals during the last 5 minutes of games this season. Had we seen thes

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Another very costly late goal!

Aston Villa have now dropped five points due to conceding goals during the last 5 minutes of games this season. Had we seen these games out rather than conceded goals in the 85th minute against Sheffield Wednesday, in the 86th minute against Huddersfield and now in the 87th minute against Forest we would now have had 11 points rather than 6 and would have been in 5th rather than 17th place.   We are currently just 2 points clear of the relegation places and 10 points behind the early league

John

John

Player Match Ratings: You can’t win them all!

It would have been fitting to have won a second successive home league game on a night when the sad passing of Dalian Atkinson was impeccably marked on the tenth minute by home and away fans alike but it was in May 2015 that we last managed to win two home league games in a row. Last night’s 1-1 draw mirrored the score when the two clubs last met at Villa Park in 1987. That point eventually played a part in securing automatic promotion for us and let’s hope this point can do the same but we

John

John

Player Match Ratings: We win for the first time in 189 days!

Yesterday’s win was our first since March. We really had to break the losing habit quickly and we did it in our first home game of the season to provide a much needed confidence boost to both players and fans. Alan Stubbs said following this defeat “We won’t be the last team to come here and get beat”. I hope he is proved right and that Villa Park soon becomes a fortress for us. Rotherham gave a workmanlike performance yesterday but they offered little threat and we will face tougher t

John

John

Player Match Ratings: New season same Villa?

This was admittedly only a friendly but this game gave little cause for optimism for the season that is ahead of us. This performance was uncomfortably similar to many of the displays that we gave last season and those around me were openly questioning what differences there actually has been on the pitch itself rather than off it. We had the best of the game until they hit their equalizer on the hour mark. But our defence suddenly looked shaky as it had done more often than not last season

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Going down with the Villa?

Newcastle are the only team to have not beaten us in the league this season. As a result they look likely to join us in our journey to the league below next season. It was at Villa Park that their relegation fate was decided 7 years ago and their fate was all but sealed yesterday when they failed to claim the three points they had expected to leave with. A win for their neighbours Sunderland who are at home to Everton on Wednesday will seal their fate and will see them along with Norwich visitin

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Romantic nourishment absent

A rare two goals at home still produced “nul points” for us because we have a defence that is as watertight as was The Titanic. If this was the performance of a team with the weight taken off their shoulders it was not markedly different from the performances they produced before relegation (which our “custodian” deemed inevitable after only 5 league games) became a mathematical certainty last weekend. Southampton scored four and could have had a couple more if the woodwork had not de

John

John

Player Match Ratings: We await the coup de grâce!

We had an opportunity to do the double over a team yesterday, to get a fourth league win this season, to end a losing run that threatens to give us another unwanted club record and to delay our inevitable relegation by getting a better result than Norwich were able to manage. We failed to do any of those things. The game had the look of an end of season match throughout with neither team looking like they had anything left to play for this season. We have admittedly played that way for most

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Lions lacking in pride!

Another game gave us another passionless, sad, embarrassing capitulation that has brought us a game nearer to our inevitable relegation. This is the second time we have managed 7 consecutive defeats this season and it was our 22nd league defeat from our 32 games to date. The “Proud History, What future?” signs were there for all to see at Villa Park yesterday and well done to all that took part in that protest!   We were half way through the first half before we went behind yesterday

John

John

Player Match Ratings: 20 defeats and still counting!

Harry Kane will miss playing at Villa Park next season. He has now scored three goals in his two games at B6. His two goals either side of half-time did for us yesterday and left us having lost two thirds of the league games we have played so far this season. Villa could still have had a slender chance of staying up had they played with the same sort of spirit that they showed particularly in the first half yesterday in some of our previous games and of course if our defence did not have m

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Villa fans walk out on 74!

Last night Villa fans in their hundreds decided to get up, stand up on 74 minutes before exiting into the night. Our “custodian” obviously did not do so not least because he had as is usual not bothered to attend the game. No doubt as in the past his decision to stay away was influenced by his lack of interest in the club he once claimed to be the “custodian” of as well as by the likely welcome he would get and has so merited should he have done so. Well done to those who organised, public

John

John

Player Match Ratings: St Valentine’s Day Massacre

This was a shambolic, embarrassing and disappointingly rancid performance. The light we had thought we had spotted at the end of a long dark tunnel was all too easily extinguished as was our recent run of improved performances and fragile confidence yesterday. We started this game with a better goal difference than Newcastle and level with Norwich. We had an opportunity to move to being a slender 5 points from safety with a win. Given our dire home record against yesterday’s visitors most

John

John

Player Match Ratings: While there’s life, there’s hope

The Villa lion showed the visiting canaries that there is still some life and fight left in him yesterday. A defeat would have left us doomed to relegation but this was a 6-pointer that we won due to hard work and determination on the pitch. There was not too much to choose between the two teams in the first half. Norwich are currently on the crest of a slump having now lost their last five games and the first goal was always going to be crucial given the brittle confidence of both teams.

John

John

Player Match Ratings: Villa now face 15 Cup Finals!

There is to be no return to Wembley for us this season and we are now free to concentrate on the league. The earliest we can again lift this trophy for the eighth time will be a long 60 years of hurt since we proudly lifted it for a then record seventh time in 1957. We are now left with 15 Cup Finals in which to save our season!    Nine seasons ago we finished sixth in the table with Manchester City ending the season below us. We finished sixth again in the next two seasons and yesterday’s

John

John






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