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Player Match Ratings: Safe at last!


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Villa tamed the Wembley bound Tigers yesterday and by so doing secured our place in the top flight for another season. But now is the time to make the necessary changes to prevent another season like this being set before us. If we continue to flirt with relegation season after season the consequences will be inevitable and unacceptable for our football club. What we want now is that promised bright future rather than a dismal, depressing and embarrassing one.  


A goal on 58 seconds gave us just the start we had wanted in this vital game for us. Although we were pegged back on 28 minutes we did not fold as we had done against Stoke and instead Weimann claimed two late first half goals at the perfect time. The crowd got behind the team and they responded to prevent us having to rely on the results of other teams to ensure our safety. But six home wins, ten home defeats and 38 points from 36 games simply is not good enough for this football club.


It was a good time to be playing the visitors but as their manager said “we got what we deserved and that was nothing” and who among us would want to disagree with his wise words?                


My player ratings from a game that has seen us finally hit the 38 points that we needed to secure our safety are:


Brad Guzan – 7 – Did so well to stretch out a hand to keep a 30 yard Huddlestone shot from finding the top corner of the net on 35 minutes. Our brittle confidence might well have been shot had we gone behind at that point. Brad also made a decent low save from the same player on 75 minutes when he hit a shot from the edge of the box.                                                   


Matt Lowton – 6 – A solid enough performance.               


Ciaran Clark – 6 – Fortunate not to pay the price on 59 minutes when he missed his kick and presented Rosenior with the opportunity to find Jelavic inside the box but the striker scuffed his chance. Ciaran was otherwise solid enough yesterday.  


Ron Vlaar – 7 – Solid in his own game and did his bit in maintaining the concentration of the two central defenders alongside him.                     


Nathan Baker – 6 – Unlucky not to head the second in himself on 41 minutes when first his powerful header from a Delph corner was kept out near the line by Jelavic and then his follow up header bounced onto the crossbar and out. But he played a key part in that goal and gave a much improved performance at the back.        


Ryan Bertrand – 6 – Let us hope this will not be his last Villa Park appearance in our shirt. Again gave us the assurance we have lacked so often this season in this position. The money needs to be found to make this and other signings happen in the coming months        


Fabian Delph - 6 – Held things together in the middle.                                


Ashley Westwood – 7 – Hit our opener. Ash did well yesterday and can kick on next season. Gabby was fed the ball on the line just inside their half in the 1st minute. He then made a run at pace brushing Davies aside before playing the ball into Albrighton who missed his kick but recovered to feed Westwood on the edge of the box who proceeded to coolly pick his spot and hit the ball past Harper into the corner of the net.   


Marc Albrighton – 6 – Played his part in our second and we now need to secure his services for next year.       


Andreas Weimann – 8 – MOTM – Stepped up to the plate when Gabby left the field and scored the two late first half goals that have kept us up. Made a good run into the box on 39 minutes having left two defenders in his wake but his shot was blocked by Harper. He was Andi on the spot on 41 minutes when after Baker had been denied by Jelavic and then woodwork he headed home an attempted headed clearance from Jelavic to restore our lead. He then added a second in the second minute of first half stoppage time. Albrighton did well to keep the ball in play before finding Bowrey nicely. Bowrey then took his time before hitting a good cross into Andi whose glancing header found the corner of the net our third and match winning goal. Might have had a hat-trick had Bowrey played the ball back to him early on 52 minutes when he had run on unmarked instead of hitting a shot himself which Harper kept out at his near post.           


Gabriel Agbonlahor – 6 – Left the field on 24 minutes having picked up a knock in a clash with ex-Villa man Davies on his return to Villa Park. But he had already made a big contribution to our win in this “Cup Final” with the determined run that led to our opener.                     




Jordan Bowrey – 7 – Replaced Gabby on 24 minutes and went on to give his best performance in our shirt. Unluckily turned Rosenior’s 28th minute effort into his own net after Huddlestone had played a free kick to the unmarked but offside defender on the edge of the box. Might have tried sticking out a leg on 25 minutes when the ball sped past him for a corner having taken a slight deflection after he had headed the ball onto Weimann who had beat Davies and got a cross over at the second attempt. Had a 39th minute header tipped over the bar by Harper having got on the end of a ball from Delph.    


Karim El Ahmadi – Replaced Albrighton on 76 minutes and was not on long enough to earn a rating.     


Leandro Bacuna – Replaced Weimann on 81 minutes and was also not on the field long enough to get a rating.



Onwards and Upwards Villa!

John Lewis

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 Hats off to you John your after match analysis have been consistently on the mark all season & a truly enjoyable read. Pity our home form had not been as consistent. Credit must go to Paul Lambert in this victory for correctly setting the team up in a 5 3 2 formation when we were defending & instantly reverting into a 3 5 2 formation when attacking. I don't think any body is kidding themselves that things may well have turned out differently if potato heads toothless tigers had genuinely been up for this match. There were no tigers in their tank & as always we gifted the opposition a goal by first sloppily conceding possession, then Vlaar conceding an unnecessary free kick in a really dangerous position  & finally every body switching off & losing concentration when it was finally taken.


It was great to see Weimann finally  rewarded with two goals for all of his season long fruitless endeavours & his goal on the stroke of half time practically killed the game off as a contest. It was great to see Jordan Bowery put in a real shift when he came on & Delph working tirelessly in midfield.


A special mention here too for referee Mike Dean, who quietly went about his business & had no call to book any single player. If it was me I would have sent potato head directly to the stand just for simply being potato head. :P


Finally, congratulations to Ashley Westwood for scoring the 1000th Premier League goal at Villa Park.


Now that our safety is finally assured it's going to be a great Summer & the World Cup starts here. :)


Up The Villa! :)

Edited by villa-revolution
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Another fantastic write-up.


I'd give Delph one more mark, I think he did a similar job in that game for the midfield like Vlaar did in the defence as you've described. Looked very calm and assured, plus I feel he kept the ball well at times.

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Thanks for the kind words. I see where you are coming from on Delph 8pints and I once again agree on the points you have made villa-revolution. 

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