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Found 225 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. A second successive home win and clean sheet has left us just 270 playoff minutes plus stoppage/extra time away from promotion. We did not need to be at our best last night to emerge the victors and we were not. We had by far the better of the game and ran out comfortable winners, but we took our foot off the gas noticeably in the second half and other teams might have made us pay the penalty for that. This was our third game within a week, so it might have been tired legs rather than a casual approach that brought the visitors more into the game in the second half, but we never quite killed them off and a one goal lead can often not prove quite enough. This was a night when we might have boosted our goal difference I hope that we do not regret having not done so. Leeds are not the team to fear that they once were, but neither are we. They had some unfamiliar names in their starting line-up but of these their young goalkeeper Peacock-Farrell kept them in the game and their full back Pearce also looked very promising. These are two players that on this showing I suggest we would perhaps do well to keep an eye on for the future. My player ratings from a game that left me thinking what might have been had we performed a little better in a couple of our recent games and not spent so much of this season without Jack, JT and Kodjia are: Sam Johnstone – 6 – Tipped a 3rd minute Alioski shot over the bar. Rarely called upon after that. Ahmed Elmohamady – 6 – A decent enough performance. James Chester - 7 – Failed to get a touch on a great ball from Onomah on 69 minutes that was all that was needed to seal our win. Dependable as always at the heart of our defence. Mile Jedinak – 7 – Has done well alongside Chester in the centre of our defence as two successive clean sheets suggest. Mistimed his header on 76 minutes when Snodgrass found him with a free kick. Neil Taylor – 5 – Not yet quite up to the level he has given us at times in the past. Robert Snodgrass – 7 – Tried to curl an 18th minute shot inside the far post which Peacock-Farrell pushed out. Unusually hit a couple of free kicks harmlessly into the wall but hit some nice crosses and kept working at it. Glen Whelan – 6 – Did a decent enough job as our holding midfield player. Kept things simple and did well to be in the right position to cover at the far post to head away an attempt by Phillips to turn in a cross on 50 minutes. Josh Onomah – 6 – Much better than of late. Did well to work himself a 33rd minute shooting opportunity but flashed his shot wide of the near post. Kept busy throughout. Jack Grealish – 8 – MOTM - Had a couple of attempts to repeat his match winning shot against Cardiff but they did not trouble the keeper. Made a nice run into the box on 69 minutes and hit the ball from just outside of the 6-yard area which Peacock-Farrell blocked with his outstretched leg. Jonathan Kodjia – 6 – Ran on towards a nice early Snodgrass ball hit from inside his own half only for Peacock-Farrell to run outside his area, beat him to it and clear it with his head on 18 minutes. Looked odds on to hit a second goal for us when he was pushed by O’Connor at the near post as he looked to get his head to a sweet Grealish cross. For some reason his penalty claim was denied. I was surprised to see him start but each minute he gets sets him up to make a bigger contribution in our playoff games. Substituted having got 67 minutes game time. Lewis Grabban – 7 – Elmohamady hit an intended cross from the right so wildly across the goal that it fell to Grealish just outside the left-hand edge of the box. Jack then hit a perfectly flighted 29th minute cross which Lewis headed unchallenged into the left-hand corner of the net for our winner and his fifth goal for us. Was not quite able to turn a nice 61st minute ball from Snodgrass past Peacock-Farrell from close range and the keeper also got to Kodjia’s attempt to turn in the rebound which was ruled out for offside. Substitutes: Albert Adomah – 6 – Came on for Kodjia in the 67th minute. Grealish chipped a lovely ball over a couple of defenders to Albert whose 75th minute shot was blocked at the near post by Peacock-Farrell. He then left a defender for dead on 84 minutes on the left flank but then hit the ball wildly across the face of the goal rather than find Snodgrass who was unmarked on the centre edge of the penalty box. Scott Hogan - Replaced Grabban on 78 minutes. Not on long enough to earn a rating. Chris Samba – Replaced Onomah on 85 minutes and was not therefore on long enough to gather a rating. Get Up the Villa! John Lewis
  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. Two Championship heavyweights traded blows last night before Super Jack landed a knock-out blow in the 85th minute that was good enough to win any game. Cardiff’s defeat is their second on the trot and they may now find pulling back Fulham who are on such an impressive run to be beyond them. There is therefore now a decent prospect of this fixture being repeated on 26th May subject to both teams emerging victorious from their two-legged semi-finals and avoiding each other in these. After the game Neil Warnock said, “you could see what it meant to Villa tonight the way you thought they’d won the World Cup when the whistle went.” He is right it wasn’t The World Cup and it is unlikely to prove too decisive in the promotion race, but it might just act as a bit of a confidence booster for us and knock that of his own club should the two teams happen to meet again next month. We played a lot better than we had at Norwich (it would have been difficult to play any worse) last night and the win takes us within four points of third placed Cardiff. A win on Friday against Leeds United will now see us qualify for the playoffs. Sadly, points dropped recently and unnecessarily have made automatic promotion an unrealistic prospect for us. Cardiff worked hard and pressed us giving our players very little time on the ball particularly in the first half. Although we look the better team on paper the game is not played on paper as the league table currently demonstrates. Our visitors could consider themselves unfortunate to have not had scored as the first half drew to its conclusion with them on top. The second half was a different matter with Villa posing an increasing threat until Jack hit his world class winner. My player ratings from a game that Villa produced a Royal Command Performance for the watching Prince William who was sitting comfortably next to his Villa hero John Carew last night are: Sam Johnstone – 8 - MOTM – His saves kept us level for Jack to hit our late winner. Having done so well to keep out a Whelan header in the third minute of first half stoppage time he then recovered quickly to block Paterson’s attempt from the rebound. Kept out a 57th minute Zohore shot from the edge of the box with his left foot at the left post and did the same on the 82nd minute with another shot from Mendez-Laing. Ahmed Elmohamady – 6 – An improvement upon his last game. James Chester - 7 – So solid at the back and was a reassuring presence in JT’s absence. Mile Jedinak – 6 – Filled in well for JT alongside Chester. Axel Tuanzebe – Picked up a knock which led to his early substitution when losing possession on 16 minutes near the centre circle to Mendez-Laing who ran on to hit a shot against the far post. Did not merit a rating during the time available. Robert Snodgrass – 7 – Had a penalty shout on 46 minutes when he went to ground after Bennett leaned into him just inside of the penalty area. Worked hard and well. Glen Whelan – 4 – A late replacement for Bjarnason who was injured during the warm up. Twice came uncomfortably close to getting an own goal in first half stoppage time. Morrison played the ball back across goal after Whelan had cleared his initial header only for Glen to send it goalward where Elmohamady was in the right place at the right time in the second minute of first half stoppage time to clear the ball off the line. In the next minute he headed a Bennett free-kick which looked destined for the back of the net before Johnstone pulled off a tremendous save to keep it out with his left hand. Conor Hourihane – 5 – Worked hard. Was found by a great Grabban ball on 69 minutes but having taken a touch his left foot effort ended in the side netting tis a pity his right foot is just for standing on. His 80th minute shot from the edge of the area after Grealish’s back heel had given him the opportunity was then pushed wide for a corner by Etheridge. Albert Adomah – 5 – Substituted after an hour. Hit a second shot inches wide of the post from a 34th minute Snodgrass corner after his first was cleared back to him by Bamba. Jack Grealish – 8 – Hit our stunning 85th minute winner when a Snodgrass free-kick was cleared to the edge of the box and fell to him in space to hit a right footed volley in off the inside off the left post. Given little protection by the referee having been clearly targeted for some special treatment by our opponents. Lewis Grabban – 6 – Doesn’t seem to carry quite the goal threat he did earlier for us. Hit the side netting on 2 minutes having been found by Snodgrass and headed a 48th minute Grealish cross wide of the far post. Substitutes: James Bree – 5 – Came on for the injured Tuanzebe in the 26th minute. Showed signs of ring rustiness but that was only to be expected. Jonathan Kodjia - 6 – Replaced Adomah on 60 minutes. Ran inside the box beat a defender and had a 65th minute shot saved by Etheridge at the near post. Gaining increasing match sharpness with each outing with a view to being at his best for the playoffs. Chris Samba – Replaced Hourihane on 88 minutes and was not therefore on long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa! 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. 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.
  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. limpid

    Ratings & Reactions: Villa v QPR

    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. The pride of the Black Country arrived at Villa Park yesterday expecting to record a further win. They snuck out of the ground later with their tails between their legs having been clearly outplayed on the day by the pride of the Midlands. Cardiff and Fulham fans would have expected Villa to drop at least a point last night. They were to be disappointed. This looked a tough game for us but perhaps we underestimated the team’s will to win a little and by doing so over-estimated the impact our visitors would be allowed to make upon the match which brought them their heaviest league defeat of the season. This was a memorable game and performance. It was a game that those Villa fans who were fortunate enough to attend can tell their children and grandchildren about in future years. It was the day that our players and manager made Villa Park a fortress once again. Villa produced a performance that was even better than the one that gave us victory last month against the Small Heathens and we needed to do so against what is a significantly more competent team. This was a hard-fought local derby. In the first half there was little to choose between the two teams. Villa took an early lead but were pegged back by the confident visitors who looked solid and dangerous for the rest of the half. The second half was a different matter. Wolves were blitzed by three second Villa half goals that they had no answer for. Villa take the honours from the games between the two teams this season 4-3 on aggregate then! Our visitors will come the end of this season take the place in the top flight that their consistently impressive overall displays this season have earned them, but they might not be surprised after yesterday’s game to find Villa occupying the other automatic promotion spot alongside them to ensure that this local derby is played in the Premier League next season. My player ratings from a game that gave us our tenth win from our last twelve matches are: Sam Johnstone – 7 – Reassuringly solid on those occasions that he was tested. Could do little to stop Jota forcing in their equalizer. Ahmed Elmohamady – 7 – A solid display. James Chester - 8 – Scored our second on 57 minutes stretching to hit home a well-placed Snodgrass free-kick and wasn’t he happy about it? John Terry – 8 – Was the rock on which our solid defence was built upon. Did very well to clear the ball over the bar with Bonatini waiting to get on to a ball that had been played back towards him by Doherty before their equalizer and directed a later Snodgrass free-kick towards Chester who was not quite able to connect with it. There was no way he was prepared to accept anything other than a Villa win from this game. Terrymendous! Neil Taylor – 7 – Looks capable of making this position his own now made a splendidly timed tackle inside the box on 78 minutes. Robert Snodgrass – 8 – Worked hard and did more than his fair share of tracking back. Showed he really wanted this one with a whole-hearted tenacious display. Mile Jedinak – 7 – We look a much more solid midfield with the bearded one in it. Got his head to Snodgrass’s corner which led to our early opener. Conor Hourihane – 7 – A solid performance. Albert Adomah – 8 – MOTM – Albert was a constant threat to the visitors down the flank. He scored our first after 8 minutes when he was in the right place at the right time to hit the ball in from close range, put a sweet cross over for the vital third goal which gave us a 2-goal cushion and did a solid job for us when back in his own half to stifle their forward movement. Jack Grealish – 8 – He really is some player, isn’t he? Looks to be able to make the sort of immense contribution to a game that he made in that Liverpool cup semi-final week in and week out now. Lewis Grabban – 7 – Scoring goals for fun, isn’t he? Added his fourth goal for us in his last four games with our third on 62 minutes. Hit the side netting at the near post on 43 minutes after turning well after Grealish has done so well to get a cross over to him. Bruce uses the loan market to great effect. Substitutes: Birkir Bjarnason – 7 – Came on for Albert in the 75th minute and hit our fourth with a toe-poke from the edge of the box 10 minutes later having ran through their defence to reach there. Henri Lansbury – Replaced Hourihane on 81 minutes so was not on quite long enough to earn a rating. Scott Hogan – Replaced Grabban on 86 minutes and was not therefore on long enough to gather a rating. Up the Villa! John Lewis
  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. 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. limpid

    Ratings & Reactions: Villa v sha

    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. 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.
  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. 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.
  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. We dropped another two home points yesterday having gone two goals ahead within the first ten minutes. Our opponents drew level after only 26 minutes of the game to burst our bubble. Their goals came from a lumbering striker who was not good enough for the team that are rock bottom of the league today. His two finishes were reminiscent of Shearer in his pomp and I am sure he never expected his name to be linked with a player of that quality albeit for a fleeting moment other than by someone who was having a chuckle at his expense. Sadly, all too often their former players return to the city and take perverse pleasure in shining against us, so it again proved yesterday when Donaldson’s brace cost us a much-needed win. Our visitors arrived at Villa Park for our last home game of 2017 having gone 5 games without a win and having lost all but one of them. After yesterday we have gone 4 games without a win ourselves and the 4 points dropped at home in our last two home games may yet prove all too costly when the points are totalled at the season end. What had started so encouragingly ended in seasonal disappointment. The Blades deserved their point and we never really looked like getting a winner against a team that pressured us and gave us no time on the ball after they had pulled us back to 2-2. Recoveries from injuries along with transfer window reinforcements just cannot come quickly enough for us. I would take this opportunity to explain that my recent failure to post my home player match ratings after over twenty years of doing so was due to ill health which has prevented me taking my seat at Villa Park of late. It is also likely to I regret continue to do so in the near future which will in turn reflect on my ability to post my ratings as regularly as I have done previously. My player ratings from a game that left us clinging to the play-off places by our fingertips are: Sam Johnstone – 6 – Stood no chance with their first which was lobbed over his head from the edge of the box and their second went through his legs at the near post before going in at the far post. Got down to his left to keep out a 45th minute Lundstram effort from the edge of the box and then got a hand to a 50th minute Duffy shot from the edge of the box. Ahmed Elmohamady – 5 – Did well enough but can he continue to keep out the Scottish Cafu? James Chester - 6 – The better by some distance of our central defenders yesterday. Mile Jedinak – 4 – Scored with a nice header but allowed Donaldson goal side of him for their first and then failed to clear a hopeful ball aimed towards the same player who gleefully ran onto the loose ball for their equalizer. Neil Taylor – 6 – Solid enough at the back. Glenn Whelan – 5 – No glaring error this time from this source. Robert Snodgrass – 5 - His well placed 9th minute free-kick was powerfully headed into the corner of the net by Jedinak to give us the early two goal cushion that soon burst. Conor Hourihane – 6 – Hit a shot just wide of the post from outside of the box on 41 minutes. Albert Adomah – 6 – MOTM – Sent Moore the wrong way when coolly converting a 4th minute penalty sending the ball into the corner of the net to the keeper’s left. Headed a sweet 29th minute Elmohamady cross wide of the far post but he can’t really be expected to put each and every chance away can he? Jack Grealish – 6 – Made only his second start of the season and received some harsh treatment particularly from the aptly named Basham. Wanted the ball and has it in him to do something with it I trust he will soon be increasingly dominant in our remaining games. Keinan Davis – 5 – Brought down for our early penalty when Stearman rashly took both player and ball. Taylor played a lovely 12th minute ball to Adomah whose cross eluded Keinan who was outmuscled by a defender as he stretched towards the ball. Headed a 60th minute Hourihane cross over the bar. Held the ball up but lacks a goal threat and it was asking a lot for him to play as a lone striker against this sort of no-nonsense central defence. Needs someone playing alongside him. Substitutes: Ritchie De Laet – 5 – Came on for Snodgrass on the 59th minute which did little to increase our hopes of finding a winner. Gabriel Agbonlahor – Replaced Davis on 73 minutes and was not on long enough to earn any rating but did pick up another injury near the end. Scott Hogan – Replaced Elmohamady on 73 minutes and was not therefore on long enough to gather a rating. Needs to start games alongside Davis starting on Boxing Day. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Promotion Year to all readers! John Lewis
  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.