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Found 143 results

  1. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  2. This game wasn’t a Christmas Cracker, but it’s the result that is the be all and end all, given our present precarious situation and we were the club that came away with the oh so precious points. This was our first belated taste of seasonal cheer and didn’t it go down well? We have taken six valuable points from the Canaries this season and now have our first double of the season in the bag as well. Yesterday’s win brought us within a point of West Ham and two behind both Brighton and Bournemouth. Anything less than a win, would have seen an uncomfortable gap start to develop between the bottom three and those clubs. Yesterday’s victory gives us a win and a defeat, from the first two of the critical three-games that will bring 2019 to a conclusion. We travel to a reinvigorated Watford tomorrow and need a minimum of a point and preferably all three, to maintain the healthy gap between the bottom two clubs and ourselves. One goal always seemed likely to win this one, if in fact there was even to be one. At half time, the game looked as if it might just as easily drift into a goalless draw, which would not have been enough for either club. The importance of this game between two clubs that were relegated together and then promoted together three years later, was clear for all to see yesterday. Neither side could afford to lose this 6-pointer and both teams were clearly determined to emerge the victors or at the very least with a share of the points. There wasn’t a lot to choose between the two teams yesterday. Norwich might claim to have had the better of it, they certainly had some clear opportunities, but it was to be Villa that found a lethal finish to secure the points. It was tough on the visitors, but as we have already found out this season, a good performance does not always result in a win or even a draw. We battled well to hold our lead, although we did tend to drop increasingly deep towards the end. This clean sheet has hopefully played a big part in bringing our recent poor run of results to an end, before it could do us irreparable damage. We are now half-way through this season, and we have 18 points from our 19 games. 36 points would be unlikely to keep us up in my opinion and a point a game might not prove quite enough this season, the way the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United are gifting points to teams that are around us. We may therefore need to find as many as 22 points from our remaining 19 matches to ensure our safety. Points from the teams that are around us is what we need, six from Watford to add to the six from Norwich would be nice. We are going to need some new blood next month, the odd unexpected win or two and perhaps VAR giving us something, rather than costing us for a change! My player ratings from a game that brought us three points that could well prove to be crucial at the end of this season, are: Tom Heaton – 8 – MOTM – Gathered a low shot from the edge of the box from Cantwell after 8 minutes. He was relieved when a 17th minute Byram header struck the bar, after the defender had evaded his marker Elmo. Did so very well to keep out a 51st minute Trybull header at his left-hand post, after he had evaded his marker Trezeguet. Made a crucial reaction save on 86 minutes to keep out a shot from Hernandez at his left-hand post. Those two exceptional second half saves, were of the quality that had kept Burnley up before he moved from them to us. Ahmed Elmohamady – 6 – Injected some experience and a cool head into a defence, that had looked so shaky last time out. He also hits a decent cross or two. Ezri Konsa - 7 – He looked solid yesterday and alongside Kortney did well as a central pairing, when under a fair bit of pressure from the visitors. Did well to claim the ball from Pukki after the striker had ran into the box on 20 minutes. Headed a 75th minute corner wide of the far post. Kortney Hause – 7 – Wolves loss has been our gain. Did very well to get a touch on the ball, just as Pukki was shaping to hit it, after the striker had run inside the box and onto a ball from Buendia after 16 minutes. Both Konsa and himself, were running alongside Pukki and Heaton was moving towards the striker to close him down, before Kortney had made that crucial intervention. Matt Targett – 5 – This clean sheet can help his confidence return and that of the squad in general. Anwar El Ghazi – 4 – Looked to be on the verge of substitution twice in the first half as he sat despairingly on the turf, apparently putting the extent of his pain threshold to the test. He can drift out of games for periods, but also has occasional moments when he looks a threat and I guess that is what currently keeps him in the starting line-up more often, than not. Made two or three hasty clearances, that unnecessarily handed back possession in the second half. The ball went through his legs, as he attempted to turn a Trezeguet header from a 37th minute Elmo cross, inside the far post with his left foot. Marvelous Nakamba – 4 – Substituted on 56 minutes, having not for the first time of late not quite lived up to his first name. Douglas Luiz – 7 – Made an incredible clearance to deny Tetty a certain goal on 51 minutes, when he somehow stretched to divert his shot over the bar, from no more than a couple of feet from the goal line. Had earlier hit a low shot from the edge of the box, wide of the right post on 6 minutes and hit a 14th minute shot over, after a shot from Konsa had been deflected into his path off Wesley. Jack Grealish – 8 – Enjoyed the extra involvement that playing in the number 10 role gave him yesterday and stepped up to lead by example, with Tyrone and John unavailable to share that responsibility. Hit a 54th minute shot from the edge of the box that Krul saved to his right and claimed an assist for the winner. Trezeguet – 4 – He has a determination about him, but he failed to make any really significant positive impression upon this game. Wesley – 5 – Contributed to this result, with some decent work holding up the ball and some hard-running yesterday. At times, he can give the appearance of a decent striker outside of the box, but any confidence he might once have had inside it, is long gone despite encouragement from supporters, his goal drought continues and shows no prospect of ending in a constant flood of goals. Substitutes: Conor Hourihane – 7 - Replaced Naka after 56 minutes and hit our winner on 64 minutes. Conor played a one-two with Jack, who jinked into the box before returning the ball to Conor who hit a sweet shot past Krul and into the right-hand corner of the net. He just must start for me, if necessary, instead of one of our wide boys perhaps. Jota - Came on for Trezeguet on 84 minutes and was not on long enough to gather a rating. Henri Lansbury – Replaced El Ghazi after 92 minutes. Not on long enough to attract any rating. Stay up Villa and Happy New Year to all Villa Talkers! John Lewis
  3. Villa v Norwich Please do not link to nor ask about streams or streaming in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  4. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  5. We had an unwelcome visit from the ghost of relegations past yesterday. This was our fourth successive league defeat. Unsurprisingly that grim losing run has left us in the bottom three, facing a relegation fight and a possible Fulham-like immediate return to the Championship. In earlier games this season, we could blame VAR for some unjust decisions and rightly claim that we were not getting the points that some of our performances merited. In our last home game, we could point to the fact that we were up against a team in Leicester, who were on the crest of an unbeaten run and thus being outplayed in defeat against them, did not quite seem to be a harbinger of potential doom. The same cannot be claimed, after being outplayed by a team that started the day three points behind us and that won a game that both teams could not afford to lose, way too easily This crucial run of three games, that could set the tone for the rest of this season, could not have started any worse. Nine points from the games against the teams that occupied the relegation places, before yesterday’s abject defeat, could have pulled us clear of them. We must now get something from both of our next two games to prevent Norwich and Watford, pulling us back towards them. We went into this run of games already without Tyrone Mings, who is both inspirational and undoubtably, one of our three most consistent performers. Yesterday a cruel early injury, robbed us of a second of them. Captain Jack has now to lead a team that has fast grown bereft of confidence, to show a determination to compensate for the absence of their two teammates, in the next two vital games we have remaining this year. We started slowly again yesterday, as we had done against Liverpool, but this time it was our visitors that scored the crucial first goal. Our heads dropped all too readily following that opening goal. We badly missed John McGinn when injury robbed us of his strong running and competitive edge. I also wonder why we chose to replace him, after only 8 minutes, with a second holding midfield player in a game that we needed to win. Jack was on the periphery of things, wide on the left and surely, he then needed to be moved into the middle, where he would have had a greater involvement in the game. There was a distinct lack of Christmas cheer to be had at Villa Park for home supporters yesterday. Our visitors were of course happy to receive our gift of three points, but they had perhaps not quite been expecting to have them handed to them on a plate. It is said that it is better to give than to receive, few of us were of that opinion as we left the ground, after this game! My player ratings from a game that we need to put behind us and learn from are: Tom Heaton – 6 – Did well to get right hand to Long’s 21st minute shot from inside of the box, but the ball was pushed into the path of Ings for their opening goal. Prevented Ings from getting a hat-trick when he pushed his 84th minute shot to his left and was relieved when Hojbjerg blasted the resultant loose ball over. He then made a save low to his left from Hojbjerg 4 minutes later. Frederic Guilbert – 4 – Had a shot helped over the bar by McCarthy’s right-hand in the 3rd minute of first half stoppage time, having been found by Grealish on the edge of the box. Bjorn Engles - 4 – Looked a shadow of the player that played so convincingly alongside Mings in earlier games during this season. Was far too easily outpaced by Long, as he ran onto a pass from Redmond that led to their first. Kortney Hause – 5 – The best of our defenders during this one. Coolly chested a Long header down for Heaton to collect on the goal line, with Ings behind him on 26 minutes Matt Targett – 4 – Let Ings run past him as they both ran into the box for their first. Both full backs struggled at the back on Saturday. Anwar El Ghazi – 3 – McCarthy blocked his 15th minute attempt to turn in a Targett cross at the far post. Made a half-hearted at best challenge on Stephens, when marking him at the corner from which he headed their third. Anwar produced one of those infuriating displays yesterday, when he seemed to lack the determination to try to get into the game and to make a positive impression upon it. John McGinn – Substituted after only 8 minutes due to injury, not therefore on long enough to gather a rating. Douglas Luiz – 5 – Hit a 27th minute shot from the edge of the box wide of the left-hand post, having been found by Grealish. Conor Hourihane – 4 – We expect much more from him, but he was not alone in that yesterday. Jack Grealish – 7 – MOTM – Hit our consolation goal on 75 minutes and hit another shot from a similar spot in the 94th minute that moved in the air, which McCarthy pushed out for a corner. His fine goal was the one bright spot in a gloomy afternoon at Villa Park. He chested the ball down, which took one bounce before he hit a sweet shot from the edge of the box into the top right-hand corner. Wesley – 3 – Hit a 19th minute El Ghazi cross wide of the post, which was the way he was facing, rather than turn it towards goal and he was also unable to direct a 37th minute header from an El Ghazi cross towards goal. Headed a corner wide of the post from a 65th minute corner. He lacks confidence, wasn’t provided with a lot of service and didn’t go looking for the ball too often either. At times held the ball up and moved it around but he needs to make a bigger contribution in games like this, that tend to pass him by all too easily. The ball is not his friend on the ground or in the air, particularly when he is inside or near to the area and goals do not seem to be his forte. Substitutes: Marvelous Nakamba – 3 - Replaced McGinn after just 8 minutes. Another player who having shown outstanding early promise, currently is producing something other than marvellous displays. His awful touch on Redmond’s cross presented the ball to Ings for their third on 51 minutes and when the resultant loose ball fell to their striker on the edge of the 6-yard box, the result was all too inevitable. Jonathan Kodjia - 5 - Came on for Hourihane on 56 minutes and looked worthy of a start soon. Trezeguet – 5 - Replaced El Ghazi after 68 minutes. In the absence of Conor, he hit an 80th minute free kick from the left edge of the box that was gathered by McCarthy. Stay up Villa and Merry Christmas to all Villa Talkers! John Lewis
  6. Villa v Southampton Please do not link to nor ask about streams or streaming in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  7. Seasons starts here. We play the only three teams below us in a row. How nice would three wins in a row be? Southampton are not a good side, I think Norwich and Watford are both better. One point would be disappointing, none unthinkable. If Hourihane isn't fit, I'd move McGinn to the left hand side so he can combine with Grealish a bit, I think they're missing each other. Kodjia, Trezeguet, El Ghazi...one of these men must start the game up front.
  8. sidcow

    AVTV 2019/20

    OK so I don't subscribe to this but I see people moaning all the time. I do/have watched loads of the YouTube videos which I assume are basically AVTV. So the quality of commentary and analysis is as far as I can see ranging from poor to downright ambarassing. The commentator on the Minnesota website TV sounded like he worked on Sky Sports or summat. And it turns out he's a huge Villa fan and ex season ticket holder. Can we not outbid an MLS team and bring a commentator home?
  9. Alan Hansen once said, “You can’t win anything with kids.” Last night proved, that you certainly don’t win cup quarter finals with them! Liverpool could have chosen to play a couple of their first team squad, who would not be needed for tonight’s exacting game against Monterrey last night. Those players could have added a bit of first team experience to last night’s youngsters and then flown out to Qatar today. They chose not to do so. They gave the extra cash that their mid-season trip would give them, priority over a cup competition that they have previously won eight times. By doing so, they undermined this cup competition and left their academy players facing the prospect of a demoralising defeat. Sprinkling their team with 2 or 3 first team squad members would have been unlikely to have won the game for them last night, but it would have made it look more of a match. As it was, the match lacked any real cup-tie atmosphere, the attendance was down on what it would otherwise have been and the result, if not the margin of victory seemed pretty much inevitable at the kick-off. Liverpool got what they deserved last night. An abrupt exit from the cup, their first defeat in 20 games and their heaviest ever League Cup defeat. This was a game that we were expected to win. Failing to do so, would have been an utter embarrassment. We made 10 changes ourselves from Saturday’s PL starting line-up, but this was literally a game of men against boys, no matter how much potential those boys may or may not have. We started hesitantly and it was against the run of play, when we opened the scoring on 14 minutes. There was an element of fortune in that goal and in the second that followed within 3 minutes, but once that 2-goal cushion had been established any contest that there might have been, was extinguished. Our young opponents fought gamely and didn’t let their heads drop, they also enjoyed plenty of possession and might well have scored one or more, had Nyland have not been so determined to keep them out. Having established a four-goal lead at half time, it seemed we were reluctant to press home our advantage in the second half. Perhaps, we had decided to not give the youngsters that had been put up before us as potential lambs to the slaughter, to that slaughter. Certainly, had we put away a couple more of the numerous opportunities that we created last night and moved from second into third gear more often, we might have had two, three or even four more goals last night. My player ratings from a game that left us just one tie from a third Wembley appearance in three seasons are: Orjan Nyland – 9 – MOTM – Top class last night. Made a one handed save at his near post from Elliott on 10 minutes and then blocked a shot from Kane at the same post with his left leg, following the resulting corner. Pushed a 26th minute shot from Christie-Davies over the bar and made a terrific one-handed reaction save to keep out a 54th minute Kane effort from the edge of the 6-yard box. Kept out a 67th minute header from Kane at the near post. Made a smart one handed save from Elliott on 85 minutes and then saved at his left-hand post from Clarkson’s follow up header. Ahmed Elmohamady – 6 – Found by Jota and hit a 17th minute cross from the right-hand side of the box, which took a wicked deflection off a defender, that took the ball over Kelleher and into the net just inside the far post for our second goal. Ezri Konsa- 6 – A quiet evening. James Chester – 6 – So nice to see James back in the first team last night. Neil Taylor – 4 – Didn’t particularly look over comfortable against the opponents he came up against last night. Jota – 6 – Had a hand in our third and fourth goals. Henri Lansbury – 5 – Had a 76th minute shot from the edge of the box parried wide by Kelleher’s right hand. Douglas Luiz – 6 – A solid all-round performance. Conor Hourihane – 6 – Gave us the lead with a 14th minute free kick from the right-hand edge of the box. Kodjia didn’t quite get a touch on it, but his close-range presence, hampered Kelleher’s ability to commit to the goal bound cross. Trezeguet - 6 – He was the first player to look like he wanted to make an impression on this game for us after 10 minutes. Got into scoring positions, but didn’t find the net, having done so. Hit a 57th minute shot harmlessly wide of the far post and another 63rd minute shot from the left-hand corner of the box into Kelleher’s hands. Hourihane played a ball for him to run onto on 63 minutes, he touched the ball past the onrushing Kelleher, but it was hit too weakly from just inside of the box, giving a covering defender the time to get back and clear it before it was able to creep inside the far post. Diverted a 64th minute cross from Lansbury over the bar. Ran onto a 71st minute ball from Douglas, his shot from the edge of the area was blocked by Kelleher’s right foot. Was just unable to get on the end of Wesley’s 75th minute cross and failed to make the necessary contact with his head to an inviting 86th minute Elmo cross to the far post. Jonathan Kodjia – 7 – Played a role in Hourihane’s opener and added our second shortly afterwards. Jota played a nice ball for him to run onto, he ran inside the box and coolly side footed the ball past Kelleher’s outstretched left leg and into the corner of the net. Jota then brought the ball under control before finding Elmo on the right-hand of the box, his 45th minute cross was prodded home with his left foot from the edge of the 6-yard box. This was a real poacher’s goal and his goals made a case for a starting place on Saturday. He also made a well-timed run onto a ball from Lansbury and hit a 60th minute shot from the edge of the box, that was pushed past the far post by Kelleher’s left hand, before it was adjudged to have been marginally offside. Substitutes: Wesley – 6 - Replaced Kodjia on 73 minutes. Made an opportunity for Trezeguet and then scored our fifth on 92 minutes to respond to the challenge that Kodjia’s brace of goals had made to his starting spot. Made a nicely timed run onto a ball from Trezeguet, he ran into the box before calmly placing the ball past Kelleher and into the far corner of the net. This was an accomplished finish, that has brought a lengthy goal drought to an end and should give him some much-needed confidence. Kortney Hause – Replaced Chester on 77 minutes. Not on long enough to earn a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  10. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  11. Villa v Liverpool Please do not link to nor ask about streams or streaming in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  12. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  13. Sheff Utd v Villa Please do not link to nor ask about streams or streaming in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  14. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  15. Leicester came to Villa Park on the back of 7 successive league wins. This had always looked like a bad time to be meeting them and so it proved. We were second best by some distance yesterday, but quite a few other teams would have been as well. We needed to be at our very best to get anything out of this game and we were some way off that. They have risen to second in the table and we now sit uncomfortably above 18th place, only on goal difference. There was to be no mistaking which team was which yesterday. Our season will not however, be defined by games like this one. It will be determined by our ability to put this game behind us and to win the winnable games, that we will face later this month. Sitting watching this one, was occasionally reminiscent of some of those excruciating home performances from the 2015/16 season. Let’s hope that fortress Villa Park will not be so easily taken again, by future visitors. We may be too close for comfort to the last of the three relegation places, but we are 4 and 6 points respectively above the bottom two, with a superior goal difference. There are also six teams who are currently above us, that are within 4 points of us. We are only a point off a point a game for the season. We need to avoid being unduly negative, things may well look a lot better in 2 – 3 weeks. A place outside of the bottom six, remains on! My player ratings from a game, prior to which fans and past players paid tribute to the late, great Ron Saunders are: Tom Heaton – 7 – MOTM - Dived at his near post to push out a 13th minute Maddison free kick. Came out of his box well to beat Iheanacho to an under hit 37th minute attempted back pass from Konsa. Kept out a close-range header from Soyuncu, whose run had not been picked up with his face. Ahmed Elmohamady – 5 – Calmly tapped the ball back to Heaton, after Evans had played the ball into the 6-yard box from the left, having met the ball played into the area after running behind his marker Wesley. He was marking Evans at a 49th minute corner but was prevented by Ndidi from covering the scorer’s run and VAR chose to ignore that. He shouldn’t be keeping Guilbert out of the starting line-up. Ezri Konsa - 5 – Did well to block a 3rd minute Maddison shot on the right-hand side of the 6-yard box. Unluckily tripped by Heaton as he ran into the box with Vardy, which gave the striker the time to have another go at turning the ball home for their first. Tyrone Mings – 5 – Brought down Ricardo on the right-hand edge of the box to earn himself a yellow card on 11 minutes, after his own poor first touch had presented his opponent with the ball. Really didn’t want to come off, with what looked like a pulled hamstring, but although it showed how much playing for us means to him, this injury couldn’t be run off. He was clearly prevented from closing down or chasing back by the injury, when they scored their first. Belatedly substituted on 23 minutes. We will miss his organisation, influence and his “nothing shall pass” attitude, if he is to be out for a few weeks. Matt Targett – 5 – Has looked better in his own half, as has the rest of the defence. Anwar El Ghazi – 6 – Really should have been on target, when he hit the bar after 11 minutes. Jack had switched the ball nicely to Targett on the edge of the box, his cross went behind McGinn and in front of Wesley to Anwar, who seemed surprised that it had reached him and wasted the opportunity to put us in front. He then headed or shouldered a 24th minute Grealish free kick over and onto the roof of the net. Wesley found him inside the box, but his 83rd minute shot was hit harmlessly wide of the near post. Gets into the right positions and often looks good until the very last moment. He needs to put a few more opportunities away. John McGinn – 5 – Like Jack not at his best, but he’s still as good, if not better than anyone else. John looks like he would benefit from a rest. The problem is that we can’t really afford to give him one and we can’t really afford not to give him one. Conor in for him on Saturday? Douglas Luiz – 5 – His 77th minute header was intended for Jack but was picked up by Praet who then played the ball that put Vardy clear for their fourth. Marvelous Nakamba – 5 – Not at his combative best yesterday. Jack Grealish – 6 – Gave us hope of a comeback when he scored in the 2nd minute of first half stoppage time. Konsa chested an attempted headed clearance down and Jack hit the ball from inside of the box into the far corner of the net, off the post. Became increasingly frustrated in the second half. Wesley – 4 – Not a lot of service, but not a lot of impact either and he provided no goal threat. Substitutes: Bjorn Engles – 6 - Replaced Mings on 23 minutes. Made a vital 32nd minute interception on a Vardy ball, that was intended for Iheanacho, but Bjorn did well to put it back to Heaton. Did the same 6 minutes later when he stretched to stop a ball from Maddison, putting Vardy clear. Trezeguet - 6 - Came on for Marvelous on 59 minutes. An Evans attempted clearance fell to him on the edge of the 6-yard box, but his 87th minute shot was hit well wide. Frederic Guilbert – Replaced the injured Targett after 78 minutes. Not on long enough to gain a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  16. Villa v Leicester Please do not link to nor ask about streams or streaming in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  17. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  18. Chelsea v Villa Please do not mention streams or streaming in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  19. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  20. Man Utd v Villa Please do not mention streams or streaming in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  21. This poll will be open for the first week of the month.
  22. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
  23. This was a big, big, win for us last night. It brought us within a point of our visitors, and it took us to the top of the bottom six. It provided some much-needed breathing space between the clubs who occupy the three relegation places and our football club once again. It was a game that just might look like a bit of a 6-pointer, come the end of the season. It was an important game that we needed to win, against a team that will be likely to be involved in the relegation scrap at the business end of the season. It was a winnable game that we ended up winning rather comfortably. There was not too much to choose between the two teams during the first half hour, but two goals in 4 minutes opened a gap between the sides, that the visitors never really looked like closing. Newcastle really don’t much like their visits to Villa Park do they? They sang “We’re higher than you” near the end. They might not be able to sing that for too much longer. They may have lost Rafa, but they still have Mike Ashley and now have our former gaffer. They will take little solace from that, or from last night’s result and it will have been an awfully long trip back to Tyneside for them, will it not? Newcastle came for the point and by doing so, our former boss perhaps showed us a little too much respect for their supporter’s liking. We had lost our previous three games and they had been unbeaten in their last three after all, but form is temporary. Steve Bruce threw on Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle, in a late attempt to find a cutting edge. Rod Stewart, from whom Carroll bought his current house, is probably fitter more often at 74, than is the Geordie striker. He along with the player that the Baggies couldn’t afford to keep, couldn’t bring them back into this game. The two-goal margin did not flatter us, we made the opportunities to have won this by four or five. We didn’t concede a goal late on and kept a clean sheet, what’s not to like? The three points have taken us to 15th place in the PL and we are now as near to the top six as we are to the bottom three. We can now visit Old Trafford on Sunday, with more confidence than we have had for many a year. My player ratings from a game that took us a point ahead of my point a game season’s target are: Tom Heaton – 8 – Fernandez met a 43rd minute corner and his header bounced off the ground to Heaton’s left from 6 yards out. Tom did well to keep the ball out, making a sharp save to his left. Was called upon again on 47 minutes and did well to push a Saint-Maximin shot past the far post with an outstretched hand. Hayden hit a 59th minute shot straight at him, that he was able to reach above his head to save, after Douglas had been too easily dispossessed on the edge of the box. Held a 69th minute Carroll shot, which again went straight towards him, at the near post. Frederic Guilbert – 7 – Fernandez stretched to block his dangerous 90th minute cross at the near post with Wesley waiting hopefully behind him. He’s looking a real bargain. Ezri Konsa - 7 – Might have scored twice. Once for us with a 53rd minute downward header from a Grealish corner that Dubravka did well to keep out at his right and for them, when he sliced a 60th minute Saint-Maximin cross inches wide of the near post. He is looking increasingly comfortable. Tyrone Mings – 7 – Not quite as totally dominant as we have come to expect. Matt Targett – 7 – A solid and convincing display. Anwar El Ghazi – 7 – Failed to reach a 13th minute cross from Targett that just needed a touch. Jack made a powerful run towards the left edge of the box before being brought down by Fernandez. Hourihane hit the resultant 36th minute free kick with his usual accuracy into the 6-yard box, which Anwar was on hand to hit into the roof of the net. Almost added a second but was caught offside when running onto a 44th minute ball from McGinn. He found the net, but the last defender had not continued to cover his run, having instead turned to close in on McGinn and thus as he had not checked his run Anwar was clearly off. John McGinn – 7 – Dubravka saved low at his near post from him on the 76th minute after Jack had threaded the ball between 2 defenders for him. Ran strongly into the box, receiving a pass from Jack but his 93rd minute shot was hit wide of the far post. He then collected a long ball from Mings and shaved the left post with a 94th minute shot from outside of the area with the last kick of the game. Douglas Luiz – 7 – Jack rolled the ball across the edge of the box for him to hit a 29th minute shot that Dubravka did well to tip over the bar with one hand. Kept the ball well. Conor Hourihane – 9 – McGinn played a sweet ball for Jack from inside of the centre circle, but Yedlin pushed him from behind just inches from the edge of the box as he ran to meet it. Conor took the resultant 32nd minute free kick touching the ball to Jack, who teed the ball up for him, creating an angle from which he hit a superbly placed shot between the near post and Dubravka for our first goal. Hit an ambitious volley over the bar from an 86th minute Mings cross. Jack Grealish – MOTM - 9 – Ran the game and ran forward with great purpose throughout. His opponents paid a heavy price when twice resorting to bringing him down on the edge of the box, as our two goals resulted from free kicks given for fouls on Jack. He almost curled a 62nd minute shot inside the far post, having combined well with El Ghazi near the edge of the box. Hit a 69th minute shot along the turf that was easily collected by Dubravka. Wesley – 7 – Held the ball up well at times, kept busy and might have scored on 77 minutes when he met a perfect Hourihane cross, but his close-range attempted tap-in was blocked on the line by Dubravka. Substitutes: Henri Lansbury – Replaced Hourihane on 91 minutes. Not on long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  24. Villa v Newcastle Please do not mention streams or streaming in this thread. Please note that there is no distinction between legal or illegal, video or audio. If you aren't sure, it doesn't go in this thread. You will receive warning points if you ignore this.
  25. Your ratings and reactions please. Keep it respectful even if you know everyone else is wrong. The players' names will be added to the poll when a mod gets chance.
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