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Found 144 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. 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.
  3. 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.
  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. 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 the first half but Leeds then bossed the second half. The first goal always looked as though it might be crucial and it was our visitors that claimed on the 54th minute only to be pegged back by a late equalizer. We needed a better performance than this one against a Leeds side that are currently on a terrific run but we failed to produce it. What we did show was resilience and the ability to get something from a game in the last few minutes of it. Leeds will claim with some justification that they were worth a win. They had looked likely to get it for most of the game but it was Villa that ended up the more likely side to find a late winner. My player ratings from a game we needed to win but could not afford to lose are: Mark Bunn – 5 – I have always felt that he has an error in him waiting to come out and so it proved in the 54th minute when Jansson was left unmarked and unchallenged to put Leeds ahead. Bunn with Roofe’s outstretched leg nearby allowed the header to squirm through his hands and over the goal line. Was relieved to see the scorer’s shot rattle against the bar a couple of minutes later after a Chester header had fallen to him unmarked inside of the box. Did well to come out and block Sacko’s effort with his legs on the 77th minute. Alan Hutton – 6 – Alan was steady at the back but he was the closest player to Jansson when he scored their goal without being challenged. Likes a cross as much as Count Dracula does. James Chester - 7 – Headed a nice ball into the box from Amavi just wide of the post in the 32nd minute. Nathan Baker – 7 – Another solid display. Jordan Amavi – 5 – Was fortunate not to pay a heavy price when he lost possession inside the box when trying to let the ball go out for a goal kick on the 40th minute. Was also relieved to see Sacko’s 88th minute shot hit the bar after losing possession and being brushed aside by the striker who was a constant thorn in his side. Jordan Ayew – 4 – Hit a shot wide on the 74th minute. Had a couple of fleeting moments but this was a noticeable drop on the performance he gave and the energy he produced when appearing as a substitute in our last game. Ashley Westwood - 6 – Had a decent game particularly in the first half. Mile Jedinak – 6 – A solid enough midfield performance and won more than his fair share of headers. Tired prior to his substitution and hit his usual share of stray passes. Leandro Bacuna – 5 – Did not reach anything near the level he produced in his last outing. Jack Grealish – 6 – Substituted on 49 minutes having been unable to run off a first half knock. Leeds became increasingly dominant in his absence. Jonathan Kodjia – 7 – MOTM - Took the ball off Phillips in the middle of their half and then beat the same player before hitting a 30-yard shot that took a deflection off a defender before Green parried the ball away to his left. Three minutes earlier he was found on the edge of the box by a poor attempted pass from Phillips but Jansson did well to get across to block his effort that deflected wide of the post. Got in a cross in first half stoppage time that was too firm for anyone to get on the end of after some good work on the edge of the box. Had a 67th minute shot pushed away by Green. He was as cool as a cucumber on the 86th minute when he sent Green the wrong way from the spot for our equalizer and the ball thudded into the right-hand corner of the net. He might have gone on to win it for us in the 91st minute when the ball ran to him on the edge of the box after an aerial challenge between Gestede and a defender but his shot deflected off Green’s shoulder to safety. Jonathan might have considered the alternative of playing the ball to the unmarked McCormack who was in a great position to tap it in on his left. Will be much missed during his coming absence on international duty. Substitutes: Ross McCormack – 6 – Replaced Jack on 49 minutes. Played his part in the build up to our penalty award. Rudy Gestede – 5 - Replaced Jedinak on 78 minutes in what may prove his last appearance for us. It was his head that Cooper decided to push the ball away from with his hand to concede a late penalty after McCormack had played the ball over his head for both players to challenge for. Albert Adomah – 7 - Replaced Ayew on the 78th minute and gave us pace and a threat down the flank that we had been previously missing. Up the Villa & A Happy Promotion New Year to all readers! John Lewis
  6. 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.
  7. 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 increasingly into the game and scored a spectacular equalizer 16 minutes after we had gone ahead. For much of the rest of the game they had looked the more likely of the two sides to get a winner and they were perhaps unlucky to leave Villa Park with nothing to show for their efforts. But our first two substitutions made a real impact on this game and rather than concede as the end of a game neared we continued with our new-found habit of clinching a late winner. This was not the sort of game that will have the extra visitors to Villa Park wanting to rush back to see more of the same but it again demonstrated that under Steve Bruce we have found the happy habit of winning games when we are below par. That gets teams promoted but we may need more than that later this week to win a sixth successive home game against high flying Leeds United. We owe them one after our recent defeat at Elland Road and we need to cut the gap between us and them sooner rather than later. My player ratings from a Boxing Day game that 41,337 fans attended and which took us above the club that dwell on the dark side of the city are: Mark Bunn – 7 – Reacted very well to get a hand to a Brayford header in the fourth minute of stoppage time having got down low to save a shot from the edge of the box from the same player on 25 minutes. Had no chance with Ward’s 31st minute equalizer from a Brayford cross but although the finish was sublime he was allowed too much space with both Hutton and Gardner staying static some way off him. Mark was relieved to see Dyer’s shot hit the post on 73 minutes when beaten. Made decent saves from Ward on 35 minutes and from O’Grady on 77 minutes. Alan Hutton – 5 – Not the easiest of afternoons for Alan and he found some difficulty in coping with Dyer at times. James Chester - 6 – Solid when he needed to be. Nathan Baker – 7 – A rock in our defence who did the simple things right without any unnecessary frills. Jordan Amavi – 6 – Seemed to have his mind elsewhere early on but got more into the game as it wore on. Albert Adomah – 6 – Hit the ball harmlessly over on 62 minutes after a Bacuna cross had fallen to him after Kodjia had failed to connect with it. Gary Gardner - 5 – Substituted at half time having picked up a knock on 43 minutes. Mile Jedinak – 6 – Solid as a barrier in front of our defence which is what he is there for but he cannot be expected to do the whole of our midfield’s job on his own. Leandro Bacuna – 7 – MOTM - A good hard working all round display if still a little bit below the Champions League standard that he set for himself last year! Scored our opener on 15 minutes. He started and finished the move playing the ball out wide to Adomah who hit an inviting cross into the box which Leo headed home powerfully having run on into the box. Hit an effort just wide of the post 4 minutes earlier after the keeper had pushed out a Hutton cross to him inside of the box and McCormack had not got a touch to help the ball in as it sailed past him. Ross McCormack – 6 – Hit our late winner on 78 minutes. Adomah fed Ayew on the right who hit a nice low cross that evaded both McLaughlin and Brayford before Ross controlled the ball at the far post with his left foot and hit it home with his right. I hope he will take confidence from this goal as we will need him to have his shooting boots on next month. Jonathan Kodjia – 5 – Hit a fierce shot from the left on the 80th minute that was off target. Some way off his excellent penetrative best yesterday. Substitutes: Jack Grealish – 7 – Replaced Gardner at half time and brought us some needed creativity. Played a one-two with McCormack before jinking into the box and hitting the ball with his left foot which deflected off McLaughlin into the path of Kodjia who tapped the ball in on the 52nd minute only to be adjudged to have been offside. Jordan Ayew – 7 - Replaced Jedinak on 75 minutes and looked keen to make a positive impression in the short time that he had available to do so. Claimed an assist with the low cross that produced our winner and proved a significant threat to Burton following his introduction. An impressive few minutes and a marked improvement on what he had produced in recent games that he has started. Gabriel Agbonlahor – Replaced Kodjia on the 86th minute and showed some energy by chasing down opponents but was not on long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa & A Happy Promotion New Year to all readers! John Lewis
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. 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.
  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. 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.
  14. 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 him and has done this since his arrival as he did with his previous clubs. Steve Bruce might have been pleasantly surprised to hear his name being sung with such gusto by the Holte End yesterday but I think this could well become a very regular occurrence. This was a game that looked on paper as a likely home win. So, it proved but only after we had gone a goal behind due to a well taken headed goal from the free-scoring Gallagher who is on loan from Southampton. We at best matched our visitors in the first half and there was little to choose between the two teams until two clinical finishes from Kodjia gave us a second successive home win for the first time since May 2015. My player ratings from a game that cemented our position as the only team in our division not to have tasted a home league defeat this season are: Pierluigi Gollini – 6 – Did well to keep a 20th minute header from Gallagher out at the post and helped a Marshall free-kick from the edge of the box over the bar 5 minutes later. Was left flat footed by Gallagher’s goal which found the corner of the net. Alan Hutton – 5 – His final ball was again found wanting. James Chester - 7 – A very calm and assured display. Nathan Baker – 7 – Faced a difficult opponent in Gallagher who only once got the better of him when he climbed above him to put them ahead. Jordan Amavi – 7 – He is looking better with every game. Albert Adomah – 7 – Provides a wide option for us. Played in some nice crosses and made some decent runs forward yesterday. Gary Gardner – 6 – Miscued on the third minute when an Adomah corner unexpectedly found its way to him past the group of players that lined up in front of him. Hit a powerful shot from outside of the box on the 61st minute that Steele turned around the post. Brings something to our midfield that we had been missing and looks like he is beginning to feel increasingly comfortable in our starting line-up. Mile Jedinak – 7 – Mile is now looking like the player we had expected to see from the start of this season. Produced another solid encouraging display yesterday. Jack Grealish – 6 – Earned us a penalty that led to our equalizer with a nice run into the box on 57 minutes that was only ended when he was brought down by Greer. Jonathan Kodjia – 8 – MOTM – Had a 23rd minute effort punched away by Steele and hit an Adomah corner that fell to him over the bar on 35 minutes. Stepped up with confidence to hit a powerful well struck spot kick into the corner of the net which evaded the reach of Steele on 57 minutes. Hit our winner on 70 minutes but took a knock in doing so that led to his substitution. Jedinak found him wide and he ran towards the near post where he did so well to thread the ball past Lowe and Steele inside the far post with the inside of his right foot. Ross McCormack – 5 – Had a 42nd minute header at the far post from an Adomah cross saved by Steele. Was flagged offside on the hour when he somehow contrived to hit the ball wide from very close range. Turned well and hit an effort that beat Steele on 64 minutes but hit the side netting. Substitutes: Gabriel Agbonlahor – 6 – Was our first substitution when he replaced McCormack on the 68th minute. This represents a surprising rapid return to the fold. The player might not have anticipated this or the warm reception he was given by supporters upon taking the field. Did as well as could be expected considering his need for game time and match fitness. Ashley Westwood – 5 - Replaced Kodjia on 74 minutes to solidify our midfield with the points ours to hold onto. Tommy Elphick – Replaced Grealish on 90 minutes to help shore up our defence in stoppage time but was not on long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  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. 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 goal conceded by us this time and for a second time within a week it was us that claimed the three points with a late winner. We might have added another two before the final whistle was blown as we finished the game very strongly. Two more wins that would take our winning run to 4 games could well see us in the top half of the table and who would have thought that likely three weeks ago? This was not our best performance although we threatened to run away with the game after taking the lead. It is not a game that will live long in the memory unlike the goal that won it for us which was so well taken. I do however wonder whether it might just be a second win that proves to be a turning point in our season? My player ratings from a game that brought Brucie his 7th point from his first 3 matches and our visitors their first away defeat are: Pierluigi Gollini – 6 – Made a decent save at his near post from Aluko on 44 minutes and tipped a cross over for a corner in the third minute of stoppage time. Alan Hutton – 5 – Did a decent enough job. James Chester - 7 – Looked very good alongside Baker and appeared to have enjoyed wearing the captain’s armband. Nathan Baker – 7 – A solid display and Elphick may not find it too easy to displace him when he recovers from injury. Jordan Amavi – 7 – His best game for us since his return from injury. Looked solid enough at the back and good when coming forward. Leandro Bacuna – 5 – Did a job for us in the middle but I suspect Tshibola might be able to do a better one. Gary Gardner – 6 – Has made a difference to our midfield which had been struggling badly before his introduction. Mile Jedinak – 5 – Played today with players alongside him that have the pace to help him see games out albeit not through to their conclusion. Jordan Ayew – 6 – Forced a one-handed stop from Button on 27 minutes and had a 65th minute free-kick from the edge of the box tipped over the bar by Button. Should have put the result beyond doubt on the 82nd minute when he was put clear by a nice ball from McCormack only to steer the ball wide of the post. Jonathan Kodjia – 7 – MOTM - Hutton found him inside the box and his 10th minute shot from a tight angle was well kept out at the near post by Button. Scored our 80th minute winner after Button’s clearance from outside of his box went straight to Adomah who rather than have a shot himself as the keeper struggled to get back crossed for Jonathan to volley the ball at waist height into the corner of the net. What a great finish that was and it was one that was worthy of winning any game! Headed the ball just wide of the post late in injury time after Button had pushed Adomah’s shot towards him. Rudy Gestede – 4 – Given another start but did little to warrant a further one next weekend for me and I think his place will now come under increased pressure from McCormack. Substitutes: Albert Adomah – 7 – Came on for Gestede on the 55th minute and his introduction played a big part in our improved performance. Made our winner and made a nice run into the box in injury time before getting into a shooting position and forcing a save at his near post from Button. His direct approach and running at defenders makes him a player that can win games for us. Ross McCormack – 6 - Replaced Jedinak on 73 minutes and looked lively. Ashley Westwood – Replaced Ayew on 86 minutes and was not therefore on long enough to gather any rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  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. 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.
  21. 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
  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. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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 break having dominated the game and brushed us aside all too easily. Am I alone in thinking that our target was a 0-0 draw until they scored? The second half was a different story. We dispensed with the formation we had started with and went to a back four replacing Baker with Tshibola. We looked better at the start of the second half although it would have been very difficult to have looked any worse. We were more competitive and positive. Newcastle thought they already had the points in the bag and took their foot off the pedal. When Diame missed a great opportunity on 64 minutes to give the visitors a two-goal cushion our belief grew and we increasingly took the game to them. In the 88th minute having hit a post, having had a goal disallowed for offside and a penalty appeal turned down we got the goal that our spirited second half comeback deserved. This was our first league meeting with Newcastle outside of the top flight since 1938. It was the first time two Champions League winning managers had met outside of the top flight. Our equalizer was also our first goal from a corner since the first game of last season. This hard earned point showed Newcastle it can prove more difficult than might be anticipated to see a game out, it took us out of the bottom six and it stopped our visitors from extending the points difference between the two clubs from 7 to 10. It was a positive that RDM changed things at half time but equally it was a negative that his initial choices made that necessary It was nice to see another team impatiently waiting for the final whistle at the end rather than us and this encouraging battling second half performance needs to be used as a springboard to an upturn in both our results and confidence. My player ratings from a game that produced boos at the end of the first half and applause at the end of the second in what was a real game of two halves are: Pierluigi Gollini – 7 – He is beginning to look like he could prove to be a bargain buy. Looking increasingly steady and growing in confidence he did well on 25 minutes when Elphick’s attempted headed clearance instead fell to Ritchie just inside the box who went past Baker all too easily before Pierluigi blocked his effort. Had no chance with the own goal and spared Elphick’s blushes with a good stop from Gayle on 36 minutes. Pushed a solid shot from Shelvey from outside of the box to his left where Amavi was at hand to clear on 53 minutes. Albert Adomah – 6 – Inexplicably played at wing back rather than in the more forward role for which he was bought and that was occupied by Bacuna yesterday. Did a surprisingly decent job at the back but was far more effective when he got further forward. Needs to start ahead of Bacuna. James Chester - 6 – The most effective of our three central defenders yesterday. Tommy Elphick – 4 – This was some way off being a confident and assured performance. Tommy looked jittery more than once and turned in Yedlin’s 28th minute cross with his right foot under pressure from Gayle for their goal. At times it pays to clear the ball first time rather than to try to play it out of defence when under pressure. That time came in the 36th minute when our captain wanted too long on the ball after Jedinak had played it back to him in the middle of his own half and Gayle took it off him ran clear and was only denied by Gollini’s left leg when in a one against one situation. Headed an Ayew corner wide on 85 minutes when unmarked. Nathan Baker – 5 – Substituted at half time. Did well to win the ball from Gayle who had cut past Elphick when a second goal had looked on. Jordan Amavi – 7 – Made some very good forward runs. Hit a nice cross on 31 minutes that was just too high for Adomah to get his head to and hit another to the same player who stretched to reach it but was unable to manage to turn it towards goal. Leandro Bacuna – 5 – Won a 9th minute challenge in the centre circle but having ran to the edge of the box delayed pulling the trigger and Gouffran got back to steal the ball away from him. If he is to play it should be at full back if he is deemed to be a better choice there than is Hutton or even Richards who unlike Leo remains persona non grata at the club. Ashley Westwood – 5 – Substituted on 85 minutes he continues to be a long way off his best of a couple of seasons ago. Mile Jedinak – 5 – Marginally offside when he headed a 68th minute Ayew free kick past the keeper and into the net. Hit some misplaced passes and struggled for pace at times in a midfield that did not really get going until the last half hour or so of the game. Jordan Ayew – 7 – Far too quiet in the first half but he did suffer from a lack of service. Burst into life in the second half and did a lot to make our comeback happen. He hit a number of accurate corners and free-kicks that put the visitor’s defence under increasing pressure and made some threatening runs. So unlucky on 72 minutes when he ran from a wide position to the edge of the box before curling a shot that hit the far post with the keeper beaten. Took the ball off Shelvey as he attempted to move the ball further away from his own penalty area before running into the area and playing a ball into the 6-yard box that Kodjia was so near to getting a foot to at the near post before the relieved Sels gathered it on 91 minutes. Jonathan Kodjia – 7 – Like Jordan he was starved of service but he kept looking for the ball and looking to make runs at defenders. Adomah played a good ball down the line to him in the 4th minute but having run into the box he delayed taking a shot which allowed Clark to get into position to make a block. Flagged offside on 43 minutes after Jedinak had played a fine ball to him from just inside the visitor’s half and his shot from near the penalty spot was saved by Sels. Substitutes: Aaron Tshibola – 8 – MOTM - Replaced Baker for the second half and his introduction did much to change the course of this match. Played a nice one-two with Ayew on the edge of the box on 79 minutes and was booked for hitting the deck rather than awarded a penalty after a defender had made contact with him without making any serious attempt to win the ball inside of the box. Headed in our equalizer on 88 minutes at the far post which went past the keeper and in off the post. He shows a lot of promise, was our best midfield player by some distance and we can only hope he can now stay injury free. Rudy Gestede – 5 - Replaced Adomah on 63 minutes. Headed wide from an Ayew cross on 70 minutes and had an effort from just outside of the area pushed around the post for a 92nd minute corner by Sels. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy – Came on for Westwood on 85 minutes and did not look out of place. Rushian was not on quite long enough to earn a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis