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Player Match Ratings: Cooking with Delia - Roast Canaries!


John
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The 4orce was with us yesterday! Our fourth home win of the season, another goal from Bacuna to add to those he has netted in each of our previous home victories and a game changing brace of goals in 2 minutes from Benteke gave us another 4-goal comeback win at Villa Park this season!   

 

 

We started the game very poorly and it inevitably had to be Hoo that opened the scoring and threatened to make this another very disappointing home performance. But Christian Benteke turned this game on its head with two goals to take his tally to nine league goals this season and it is his goals that for a second successive season seem likely to keep us up.

 

This was a vital win. It has taken us 7 points clear of the relegation places and 3 points clear of yesterday’s opponents. This 6-pointer gave us the double over Norwich and plunged their former Small Heath manager back under unwarranted boardroom pressure.

 

The goals had dried up before yesterday in much the same way as had our ability to gather points away from home to make up for our inability to win games at Villa Park. But 4 goals in 15 first half minutes cancelled out Norwich’s opener which Hoolahan who did so much in his first start in 2 months to show why Lambert wanted him in January chose not to celebrate in front of the Holte End and allowed us to coast the second half with a three goal cushion.

 

My player ratings from a game that has left us in 11th and sitting top of the bottom half are:

 

Brad Guzan – 6 – Denied Hoolahan a second on 35 minutes. Our transfer window target had played a nice one two with Hooper before pulling the trigger and Brad saved well with his legs before Delph did very well to block his subsequent effort from the rebound. Also denied Hooper a late consolation goal when he stretched out an arm to keep out his side footed effort on 85 minutes.                                                   

 

Leandro Bacuna – 7 – Hit our third on 37 minutes when we swiftly moved the ball from defence to attack. El Ahmadi picked the ball up on the edge of our area found Gabby on the edge of the centre circle who ran with it before switching it to Weimann who in turn played the ball wide to Leo who curled a sweet shot past the keeper and into the corner of the net.           

 

Ron Vlaar – 7 – Another accomplished defensive display.                   

 

Nathan Baker – 6 – Nathan was solid enough alongside Ron yesterday.  

 

Ryan Bertrand – 7 – Played the ball to Delph in the build up to our fourth and looks a player we really need to sign.  

 

Karim El Ahmadi - 5 – Had a dreadful start to the game but improved as the ball began to find its way into the opponent’s net on a regular basis.                               

 

Fabian Delph - 6 – Did his bit.                                  

 

Ashley Westwood – 7 – Our best midfield performer yesterday.  

 

Gabriel Agbonlahor – 6 – In close attention and applying pressure on Bassong when he turned the ball in for our fourth on 41 minutes after Delph had made a good run into the box and hit a cross that was intended for him. Pulled a shot wide of the post on 45 minutes having been found by Bertrand,  failed to get power on his 50th minute header which was directed straight at Ruddy and had a shot canon off Martin’s arm inside the box on 82 minutes.     

 

Andreas Weimann – 6 – Covered an awful lot of ground yesterday. Turned inside the box on 5 minutes following a Benteke header onwards but his shot did not trouble Ruddy.       

 

Christian Benteke – 9 – MOTM – Hit a sensational equalizer on 25 minutes. Vlaar played the ball to Christian who chested it down before hitting the ball over his shoulder on the volley past both Yobo and Ruddy into the back of the net. That was the sort of instinctive finish that makes him worth his weight in gold to us and 2 minutes later he added a second. His second was a return to striker he had proved himself to be last season. Nobody else was going to get on the end of Westwood’s 27th minute corner. He used all of his strength to muscle clear of Bassong and apply a decisive header that flew into the net to turn the game around. Took the game by the scruff of the neck and won it for us!                     

 

Substitutes:

 

Marc Albrighton – Replaced Weimann on 81 minutes. Marc was not given long enough to earn a rating.   

 

Grant Holt – Replaced Benteke on 82 minutes and was not on long enough to merit a rating.          

 

Stay up the Villa!

John Lewis

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GUZAN - 7 -      Didn't have a lot to do and make a couple of decent saves.

BACUNA - 8 -   Work rate was great and never foot a foot wrong all game. Topped off with a nice goal.

VLAAR - 7 -     Solid at the back and our Mr reliable.

BAKER - 7 -     Good performance and a nasty set of studs to the chest for his efforts.

BERTRAND - 7 -   Another good performance and movement up and down the pitch.

DELPH - 6 -    Didn't feel he had the best of games but still put in a shift.

WESTWOOD - 7 -    Seemed to be okay until he picked up a knock.

KEA - 7 -        Darting in and around all day and being an improved nusense to the opposition.

WEIMANN - 7 -    Unlucky not to have had more opportunity's but did not do too bad.

AGBONLAHOR - 8 -    Gave Norwich problems all afternoon and was a key figure upfront in our win.

BENTEKE - 9 -    Unlucky to have not got a hatrick but 2 very good goals and Bemteke reminding us what he IS capable of doing.

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John - you are being a bit mean to KEA, most thought it was his best display of the season. Worth more than a 5 :)


Thought Weimann was very poor again though

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John - you are being a bit mean to KEA, most thought it was his best display of the season. Worth more than a 5 :)

Thought Weimann was very poor again though

Agree with your point about KEA, he worked his socks off, didn't stop running and harried all game.

 

However I would also disagree with John on Westwood. He doesn't give the ball away but in my opinion he isn't strong enough to be our kingpin, he cannot put his stamp on games and ultimately that is the big problem. Also apart from a couple of nice moves I thought this wasn't one of Delph's best games.

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Great analysis as per usual Mr Lewis except for El Ahmadi who absolutely ran his socks off all game. Great to see Benteke back to his explosive best & the swift counter attack & sublime finish by Bacuna for the 3rd goal was a joy to behold. Bacuna has shown on more than one occasion this season that he has a good eye for a goal.

 

Villa being Villa & with the scars of 4-1 leads tamely surrendered against Leicester & Spurs still fresh in my memory banks I was more than happy that we simply just broke up the play, time wasted & stopped Norwich gaining any momentum or any way back into the game in the second half. A totally professional way to go about business which hopefully shows the lads are learning. As Albion have discovered & now Norwich too, when we are on fire, we are absolutely on fire. 

 

This was 3 absolutely massive points to bank especially with our up coming fixtures. Hopefully now too the real Christian Benteke will finally emerge & it's great that the Villa Park faithful finally have a really solid home win to celebrate at last.

 

A repeat performance against Fulham & Hull should hopefully see us over the line & further able to build for a brighter future.

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Is he right? bla bla

 

My argument, however, has always been that such acts are part of the game, carried out by both defenders and attackers. That was certainly proven at Villa Park on Sunday where Christian Benteke climbed all over Sebastien Bassong to score Aston Villa's second before Gabriel Agbonlahor pushed Bassong for the defender's own goal, Villa's fourth.

Either we accept this sort of physicality is a part of the game or those that constantly moan about the behaviour of defenders had better get back on their high horse to complain about the two goals scored by Villa.


And KEA was great.

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I do not think he was right momo. Benteke wanted it more and used his strength to win the ball. Surely we have not come to the point where a big centre half needs protection from a big centre forward? Jamie Carragher had no doubt on TV that there was no foul and his opinion on that given where he played has some merit for me.

 

As for KEA it seems I am on my own on this one. I thought he could not do a thing right in the first 25 minutes (although I accept he was not alone in that). He did get better and does put in a shift but it is a matter of opinion and I appreciate those made although I did not think he quite did enough for a 6 myself.  

 

Agree with you on Delph's game last night Mike. But I do think Westwood has come on in recent games and as AVFCRigo82 points out he did take a knock. I also consider he would look a better player with more support alongside him.

 

I have to agree this was a massive win villa-revoluton and adding the home game with Stoke to the two that you have mentioned I would like to think we should be able to get 7 points from our home games alone. But we cannot be sure which Villa team will turn up at home games just yet.

 

Would you go 5 for Weimann and a 6 for KEA then rjw63? I myself thought Andi ran himself into the ground and although he did not pose a threat himself up front his pace does worry defenders.

 

Thanks for the above well made points and ratings one and all.          

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You're not alone with your opinion of Ahmadi John. Simply running around a lot hardly merits any accolades. The guy is very limited. Benteke was the great difference between the two sides. Thank God he's found some form, were gonna need him at his best. Not safe yet, but breathing a little easier.

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Is he right? bla bla

 

My argument, however, has always been that such acts are part of the game, carried out by both defenders and attackers. That was certainly proven at Villa Park on Sunday where Christian Benteke climbed all over Sebastien Bassong to score Aston Villa's second before Gabriel Agbonlahor pushed Bassong for the defender's own goal, Villa's fourth.

Either we accept this sort of physicality is a part of the game or those that constantly moan about the behaviour of defenders had better get back on their high horse to complain about the two goals scored by Villa.

And KEA was great.

I don't think Gabby pushed BAssong at all.

 

Bassong was claiming it, but I think he was just trying to spare himself some embarrassment. I couldn't see any push on the replays.

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I think you only have to look at KEA's stats for the game to realise how well he played and also that he was doing a lot more than simply running about.

 

Highest amount of tackles and interceptions out of any of the players on the pitch, which seems even better considering he spent most of his time in the oppositions half. I think a 5 is very, very harsh.

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Very harsh it is then samjp26. I gave my marking on what I marked that evening rather than on that and the post game stats although those do make interesting reading. It seems only meregreen and myself did not see KEA's contribution as being quite as significant as those that got 6 or more but we are all entitled to our opinion and each one is as valid as the other.

 

I also share Stevo985's thoughts on the 4th goal and SikhInTrinity's view on how we might have looked at the 2nd goal had it been scored against us.   

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