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Player Match Ratings: A potentially very precious point!


John
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This rare clean sheet along with the resultant home point it brought may very well prove vital for our survival chances this season. But it has to be said that it is so very sad that our football club has now become accustomed if not quite yet resigned to flirting with relegation each and every season.

 

Southampton’s Lambert had two decent scoring opportunities in the first five minutes. The rest of the first half had the appearance of an end of the season fixture between two mid-table sides that had nothing to win or to lose from the match. But that was only the case for one of the two teams that played at Villa Park yesterday. We showed some level of improvement during the second half but it was the visitors who continued to enjoy the lion’s share of the possession and to create what occasional threat there was to this game ending as a stalemate. 

 

It was disappointing if not unexpected that this injury hit Aston Villa team which had experienced a week of turmoil off the pitch was unable to step up to the plate and banish our relegation concerns at a stroke yesterday. But it never really looked like happening did it?

 

We created next to nothing up front and were second best at Villa Park again and that has become an all too familiar situation this season. This time we did not add to the record number of home defeats we have already achieved this season or make it five defeats in a row. But we also failed to press a Southampton side that had little to play for in our penultimate home game of what has been a desperate season.

 

Whilst other teams such as Sunderland this week have fought to take unexpected points against the odds we continue to look for other teams to throw us a lifeline rather than to earn our survival through our own results. The points we now have may prove enough. But we might yet find 37 points are needed for safety and I struggle to see where those extra two points will be coming from if they end up being required.                

 

My player ratings from a game that has seen us drop into the bottom six are:

 

Brad Guzan – 6 – Made a good one handed stop to deny Davis on 32 minutes.                                                   

 

Leandro Bacuna – 5 – Struggled at times at the back.               

 

Ron Vlaar – 6 – Solid, kept things tidy and it was on him that the clean sheet was built.                     

 

Nathan Baker – 5 – Ducked out of a header on 32 minutes which would have been inexcusable had he not had a call from his keeper. Nathan was otherwise steadier than of late.      

 

Ryan Bertrand – 6 – Looked good coming forward and hit in a couple of decent crosses. Might have been a touch fortunate with the ball to hand incident inside of the box late on when he got in the way of an attempted cross from Clyne.       

 

Karim El Ahmadi - 6 – Put in a decent enough and hard working shift. Hit a weak shot from the edge of the box on 49 minutes which was going wide in any case when clutched by Boruc.                                

 

Fabian Delph - 6 – Held things together well enough but some way off his most effective best.                               

 

Ashley Westwood – 6 – Sliced a shot from the edge of the box painfully wide on 64 minutes after Gabby had cut the ball back to him.    

 

Marc Albrighton – 7 – MOTM – Our main if not only threat. Hit our one on target shot from the edge of the box on 63 minutes that Boruc gathered at the second attempt. Gave Shaw the sort of problems he gave us at the back.      

 

Andreas Weimann – 5 – Worked hard and ran tirelessly but his goal threat is absent. He was just unable to get on the end of an attempted one-two with Gabby on 10 minutes.           

 

Gabriel Agbonlahor – 4 – Disappointing once again as he was at Palace prior to the changes to the background staff this week. Failed to make the impression we would have hoped to see with his pace on the ball and he just does not do enough off the ball given the status and seniority he has at our football club.                     

 

Substitutes:

 

Grant Holt – Replaced El Ahmadi on 80 minutes. Was not on long enough to gain a rating but was on long enough to stray offside a couple of times.     

 

Callum Robinson – Replaced Weimann on 85 minutes. Not given long enough to be able to earn a rating.

 

 

Stay up the Villa!

John Lewis

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Well done John for motivating yourself to write a report on this absolute dross. Southampton bossed the game from start to finish & Villa old boy Steve Davis should have fired them in front in the first half even if it was a good save by Guzan. Left back Luke Shaw bombed forward effortlessly for the Saints too in the first half & both Bacuna & El Ahmadi failed to get near him at times & again we were lucky that Ricky Lambert failed to score from his dangerous & inviting supply. We had a good 30 second period just before half time & earlier Agbonlahor frustratingly over ran the ball when clean through & should have done better. Weimann ran around like a headless chicken & Gabby, apart from that run, was totally anonymous.

 

Our attacking potency is totally powder puff at the moment & only Albrighton's persistence down the right supplied any ammunition  for our shot shy attack & it also stopped Luke Shaw's attacking flair & adventure in the second half other than the time he waltzed through our static defence & slipped in Lallana who fortunately for us couldn't sort his feet out.

 

On the positive side Vlaar was imperious at the back & held it all together & Westwood moved the ball sweetly & swiftly in midfield & gave another of his under the radar performances. It's a pity he is so light weight because with a bit more timber he could really impose himself more defensively in games.

 

All things considered 0-0 was probably as much as we could hope for & given the absence of Benteke I would happily take another four 0-0 bore draws between now & the end of the season.

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I would be very happy to take just two 0-0s from our last four games villa-revolution. Yes daggy-333 Ron had a very good game at the back and is one of the few players who will be sure of a starting spot next season when the big money signings roll up.  :D

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