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Player Match Ratings: Baggies lose their Boing Boing!


John
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A memorable 7 goal derby thriller at the Villa ended with us crowned undisputed Kings of the Midlands having once again bounced back after going two goals down to WBA!   

 

 

For a second time this season we came back from two goals down having got ourselves into what had looked to be a losing position. This time it happened only 9 minutes into the game rather than after 11 minutes as had been the case at The Hawthorns. But this team is never beaten by WBA and this proved to be a stunning comeback and a rare home win.

 

The first half looked like televised highlights! There was so much action and both teams had shaky defences that looked likely to ship another goal with each move forward the opposition made. WBA may have had more possession but who does not against us? But it was us that had the goals and the points at the end of this pulsating ding dong derby.

 

We started well enough but two early goals quickly put us on the back foot. However, our response to going behind was superb and although WBA pegged us back near half time and had a lot of possession near the end without creating too much real danger we emerged worthy victors last night.                   

      

 

My player ratings from a game that has left us watching the relegation scrap below us from the top half of the table are:

 

Brad Guzan – 6 – Left a mere spectator as their opener flew past him on 4 minutes and was given no chance 5 minutes later as their second was deflected between him and the near post. Beaten again on 42 minutes when Mulumbu was allowed to waltz through our defence and slot the ball past him. He did look a tad shaky on 53 minutes when he fumbled an Amalfitano shot hit from some distance but his time wasting was something to behold.                                                   

 

Matt Lowton – 5 – If only his defensive play matched the quality of his crosses and he was able to get back to somewhere approaching the player he had looked last season on a consistent basis. He showed a lack of alertness by failing to set up quickly enough for the free kick that led to their second but had a hand in our equalizer.         

 

Ciaran Clark – 5 – A step back from the more solid and encouraging displays he has been producing of late.                   

 

Ron Vlaar – 8 – So very dominant at the back and gave an inspirational captain’s performance holding what had been such a shaky defence together in the second half almost single-handedly.

 

Ryan Bertrand – 8 - I do hope we have agreed a fee as a part of his loan arrangement given he has indicated that he is open to staying with us and he looks at least as good as Kyle Walker did in the early part of his all too short time with us.          

 

Leandro Bacuna - 7 – Hit our equalizer on 24 minutes getting on the end of Lowton’s cross with a miscue that somehow found its way over the keeper and the line. He might have hit another 6 minutes earlier when Weimann found him on the edge of the box but his shot went just wide of the post.                                

 

Fabian Delph - 8 – Worked hard throughout and made amends for his own goal by putting us ahead on 37 minutes. Fabian stuck out a leg to a Morrison cross after 9 minutes and the ball was deflected between Guzan and the near post for their second. But his goal was a screamer. Westwood found Benteke whose header on reached Delph who with his second touch made space for his shot that flew past Foster and into the roof of the net.                                 

 

Ashley Westwood – 5 – Struggled to make a positive impression against what was a solid no nonsense WBA midfield unit.  

 

Karim El Ahmadi – 4 – Chasing shadows for much of the game.   

 

Andreas Weimann – 8 – MOTM – Got us back into the game on 12 minutes when making the most of Lugano’s header on which found him with the WBA defence behind him and with just the keeper to beat. This he did with some aplomb helping the ball over Foster and into the net. He then forced a save from Foster on 20 minutes with a flick after Clark had headed on a corner. Worked tirelessly throughout and his pace was a big threat to their defence.     

 

Christian Benteke – 7 – Hit the winner on 64 minutes coolly sending Foster the wrong way from the spot after he himself had been wrestled to the ground by Lugano in the centre of the penalty area to stop him getting on the end of a Bacuna cross. Might have made it 4-2 on 42 minutes when Bacuna played a nice ball to him. He then beat a defender before aiming for the far post and being denied by a leg from Foster that deflected his effort just wide of the near post. Given little protection by the referee from some strong and often bruising challenges.                   

 

Substitutes:

 

Grant Holt – 6 – Replaced Lowton on 65 minutes. Demonstrated good ball retention and his will to win with an early crunching challenge.

 

Yacouba Sylla – 4 – Replaced El Ahmadi who had struggled to make any real impression on the game on 76 minutes and proved to be a disappointingly like for like replacement having again shown nothing of the promise he had offered last season.         

 

Nathan Baker – 6 – Replaced Weimann on 80 minutes to offer more strength and aerial power to what was an increasingly under pressure defence.

                                                                         

Up the Villa!

John Lewis

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Got to agree on Westwood, he was awful yet again but NEVER gets subbed off. Has he got compromising pictures of Lambert?

 

Deserved result, especially as Olbiyun's players are whiny bitches that fall over a lot (and I bet not many noticed Berahino sneaking up behind Guzan and pulling his shirt when the Yammers got a second half corner late on).

 

We know where you are....five points below us, that's where you are :)

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Lovely report John and very accurate from what i saw, Westwood played a few good long balls through which caused them problems but all too often gave the ball away with crazy short passes which had us in trouble on a few occasions. 

 

As for the tug on Guzan if you watch the replay's he is told to do it by another Albion player prior to the corner, you can clearly see where he gestures to him and has a word in his ear whilst showing him the tugging motion with his hand (And no not that tugging motion  :rolleyes: )

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John? I don't get this, but every time I read your post match analysis I find myself in total agreement with you. This is VT for pity's sake, what is wrong with you man? We're supposed to be at each others throats on this site aren't we? ;)

 

The key to this result was the 3rd goal of the game. Had Albion gone 3-0 ahead it would have been curtains, but fortunately Weimann's clinical finish for us to bring it back to 2-1 meant we had a foothold in the game with well over 80 minutes left to turn it around. Disappointing as it was to concede the equaliser on half time many fans around me agreed that it was better to be drawing at half time than being 2-0 down & some even suggested that they would have been happy had we been trailing by just one goal, given our dreadful early set backs.

 

Westwood, Lowton & El ahmadi were very poor on the night but that was compensated for by the return to form of Weimann & the versatility of Leandro Bacuna. Tactically also Lambert was superb. I was extremely worried when Albion made attacking substitutes late on & Lambo reciprocated by going all defensive & playing 5 at the back. I thought this would invite them on but in reality we looked extremely comfortable at the back for the only real time in the game.

 

I was also extremely disappointed with Sylla's little cameo as he positionally  looked lost & totally failed to help Bacuna out when Bacuna went to right wing back near the end.

 

All in all it was a fabulous ding dong derby & as for West Brom, pride of the Midlands? Your having a laugh. We know what you are, we know what you are, Tesco carrier bags, we know what you are.

 

On yeah, & another thing, that's at least another 30 years minimum that you will have to wait now till you beat us again. :P

Edited by villa-revolution
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I'd go with most of that but not re Westwood - I see I am in a minority but I thought he had a really good game, got stuck in, covereed defesively, always calm on the ball, and hit the pass for Bentekes flick for Delphs Thunderbolt.

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"We're supposed to be at each others throats on this site aren't we?" Not at all villa-revolution we are a band of brothers deep down and I think your comments above also hit the nail on the head...

 

"Westwood and El Ahmadi were both absolutely abysmal." Less so Ash for me postdeath but as has been said he has had better days and he can do so again for me. 

 

I take your point on Westwood terrytini and I think danceoftheshamen has also made a sound appraisal of his display last night. I think both he and Delph would find it easier to perform consistently well in the middle if they had someone alongside them they could rely upon more often than not which is not currently the case. 

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Agree with a lot of that, I disagree about KEA being the poorest player though. I just rewatched the game. Damn the mans work rate and blocks were impressive. He needed to be subbed when he was, for sure, he was shot.

 

Not his best game but he was definitely better than Westwood and Lowton who both had a poor game, westwood in particular gave the ball away a lot, uncharacteristically.

Edited by ciggiesnbeer
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I think Sylla may just have pipped KEA to the poorest player award ciggiesnbeer... Westwood and Lowton were both close to a 4 but I think they both edged a 5 for me and I did not think KEA did quite enough to do the same. But ratings are a matter of opinion and I can appreciate where you are coming from regarding KEA's work rate which is I guess why Lambo picks him more often than not.     

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