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Player Match Ratings: Villa cling to a fortunate point!


John

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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 displays have also impacted upon this team’s confidence and belief. On the plus side at least we didn’t concede yet another goal in the last 5 minutes and will hopefully have Ayew starting the next game.

Villa started well enough in a local derby that both teams gave as good as they got before we took the lead after 15 minutes. At times we looked as if we might add a second goal in the first half but there was only one team that posed a goal threat in the second half and it was certainly not us. Not for the first time this season having gone one ahead we then gradually dropped back rather than pressed for a second. We were lucky on yesterday’s dismal second half performance to have held onto our unbeaten home record and to have hung onto a point against our Black Country visitors who dominated the second half all too easily as we ran out of gas alarmingly.            

Steve Bruce can be in no doubt after this game of the tough task he faces in turning this Villa side who have won only once this season into a winning team. He has much work to do but he has the ability to organise us and to turn things around. That will take him more than a couple of days as this game proved but we need to start winning games sooner rather than later and a win at Reading would be most welcome.              

My player ratings from a game that we started in the bottom 3 and ended needing a minimum of 3 points to get out of the bottom 6 as well as 9 points away from the top 6 are:

Pierluigi Gollini – 6 – MOTM - Stood no chance with Costa’s 33rd minute penalty that was hit past him into the top right hand corner of the net. Kept us level on 73 minutes with a fine one handed save from a near post Edward’s header from a corner that would otherwise have been pounced upon by Dicko.      

Micah Richards – 5 – Micah was re-introduced into our starting line-up by our new boss and did as well as could be expected considering his recent inactivity. He was fortunate not to concede a penalty on 52 minutes when he did well to run back into position as Costa squared the ball for Bodvarsson who had looked likely to give them the lead before Micah clattered into his back.   

James Chester - 5 – Might have expected to collect a second yellow when he brought down Costa near the centre circle as he ran past him.       

Tommy Elphick – 5 – Our captain was still some way off the assured sort of performances we had been looking for from him prior to his substitution due to injury.

Aly Cissokho – 5 – Surprisingly started instead of Amavi. Dived in an attempt to try to block a 33rd minute shot from the edge of the box from the unmarked Costa but the ball hit his raised arm and the penalty that brought Wolves level was given.

Albert Adomah – 6 – Made some good runs and did well to clear the 73rd minute corner that Gollini had got a hand to at the far post before Bodvarsson could look to force it in.    

Aaron Tshibola – 4 – Not near his performances for us to date in a game that appeared to pass him by.

Mile Jedinak – 5 – Showed more pace at times then he has done previously which was encouraging prior to his being substituted inside the hour having run out of steam understandably enough following his long distance international duty.

Jack Grealish – 6 – Played a nice one-two with McCormack after Chester had found him on the 15th minute and his heel was clipped inside the box by Iorfa to bring us the penalty that Kodjia converted to give us an early lead. Jack was as lucky that a petulant stud to leg movement on Coady having been brought down by the same player was apparently not seen by any of the officials so it did not result in his receiving a card as was Coady lucky to see just a yellow for his reaction. Will Jack now face retrospective punishment?     

Ross McCormack– 6 – Ross showed good movement throughout despite not getting the sort of service he would thrive upon. Might well have given us the lead again on the 44th minute had Kodjia fed him when he was unmarked and in a clear shooting position. Unfortunately, Kodjia having been found near the penalty spot by Adomah instead tried to score himself when his chances of finding the net were significantly less likely.    

Jonathan Kodjia – 6 – Hit his 15th minute penalty confidently past Ikeme into the lower right hand corner of the net. Might have had another on 36 minutes when a headed clearance from the edge of the box fell to him and he hit a sweet shot that Ikeme did very well to turn past the post at full stretch. Faded noticeably in the second half.     

Substitutes:

Ashley Westwood – 5 – Came on for Jedinak on the 55th minute and made little positive impression in the time he had. His introduction fully demonstrated the lack of midfield options currently available to Brucie.     

Alan Hutton – 5 - Replaced Richards due to injury on 66 minutes. Missed his kick on 83 minutes and the ball having previously taken a touch off Edwards therefore ran onto the unmarked Cavaleiro whose shot from near the penalty spot had just evaded the advancing Gollini. Thankfully the goal bound shot was blocked by Alan who had kept on running to cover his keeper and he made full amends for his own error.  

Nathan Baker – Replaced Elphick who had taken a knock on 77 minutes.  Nathan was not on quite long enough to earn a rating but played his part in holding the fort as the minutes ticked by at the end.

Up the Villa!

John Lewis

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