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Player Match Ratings: St Valentine’s Day Massacre


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This was a shambolic, embarrassing and disappointingly rancid performance. The light we had thought we had spotted at the end of a long dark tunnel was all too easily extinguished as was our recent run of improved performances and fragile confidence yesterday.

We started this game with a better goal difference than Newcastle and level with Norwich. We had an opportunity to move to being a slender 5 points from safety with a win. Given our dire home record against yesterday’s visitors most of us would have taken a point although we really knew we needed all three but to lose and to concede 6 goals without reply in the process was beyond our very worst fears.

This was our heaviest home league defeat in 81 years. Back in season 1935-36 we conceded 7 goals twice at Villa Park losing 0-7 to WBA and then 1-7 to Arsenal with Ted Drake scoring all 7 goals of their goals. We were relegated that season and yesterday’s appalling performance had relegation written all over it.

We started well enough but our heads dropped when we conceded two goals in 9 first half minutes. At half-time the game could have gone one of two ways. We could have shown some fight and pulled a goal back or at the very least kept the score down to a two or three goal deficit or we could throw in the towel and become demoralised as we did in another abject display in the FA Cup against Manchester City. We took the later option conceding 4 goals in 13 second half minutes shamefully. Football does not get worse than this at Villa Park.

Liverpool were languishing in the bottom half of the table when they arrived at Villa Park yesterday. This was not the Liverpool of the 70s and as we showed in last season’s FA Cup semi-final they can be beaten. But we failed to turn up, treated them with too much respect and made them look better than they actually are. If only our players had shown anything near the spirit that the Holte End did near the end of this sad game!

We did not want this game enough to battle, press and challenge our visitors and instead surrendered meekly. We now have 12 games left in which to bridge the 8 point gap that stands between us and safety. Three points at Stoke might repair some of the damage but after this humiliating defeat it is hard to see any way back for us! 

My player ratings from a game after which my “bright future” scarf looked increasingly ridiculous are:

Mark Bunn – 4 – Acted as merely a spectator when neither a forward nor a defender made any contact with Milner’s 25th minute free-kick that went straight in at his far post. Kept out Clyne’s first shot after Firmino had found him but was left grounded along with Veretout when the same player was first to get to the rebound to score their penultimate goal. Mark was then left flat footed when Touré’s unchallenged header from a Henderson corner found the net to his right for their sixth on 71 minutes. Beat Sturridge to the ball after Coutinho had tried to set him up on 54 minutes having earlier saved well from Moreno at his near post on 33 minutes and from Sturridge again on 44 minutes.     

Michah Richards – 4 – Made a couple of moves forward and was not the worst of our defenders yesterday.

Joleon Lescott – 3 – Almost turned in a Henderson cross to make it 7 in the 86th minute but Bunn got down to keep it out.  

Jores Okore – 3 – Origi got in behind him on 63 minutes and neither he nor Lescott were able to get back to do anything to stop him adding a fourth goal.    

Aly Cissokho – 3 – Neither he nor Lescott took responsibility for Sturridge who was therefore unchallenged when heading in their first. 

Leandro Bacuna – 2 – Made a half hearted attempt if that to close down Coutinho whose cross was headed home past a static Bunn for their 16th minute opener. He then conceded the free-kick that led to their second although there was little contact with Coutinho who went to ground all too readily for me if not for the referee. Failed to bring the ball under control on 58 minutes losing the ball to Can who hit the ball home from the edge of the box for their third. Had a 60th minute shot pushed away which was cleared before Gana who had found him on the edge of the box could get to the loose ball having had another effort fumbled by the keeper when he cut into the box after 47 minutes.   

Jordan Veretout - 3 – Failed to cover Clyne’s run on 65 minutes which led to their fifth.   

Ashley Westwood – 3 – Can do more than this as can the rest of the team.

Idrissa Gana – 5 – MOTM – Shaded it as the best of a bad bunch for me yesterday.  

Carles Gil – 4 – Has had much better and more influential games than this but he had little to nothing to work with yesterday.   

Gabriel Agbonlahor – 2 – Had a reasonable first 10 minutes or so but soon faded badly and looked so much more like his recent lack lustre self than he had during his last Villa Park appearance. Substituted on 57 minutes.


Scott Sinclair – 5 – Replaced Gabby after 57 minutes. Scott actually ran at their defenders a couple of times and was unlucky when his measured 80th minute shot hit the angler of crossbar and post.   

Jordan Lyden – 5 - Replaced Bacuna on 66 minutes and it was a little harsh to make him play any part in this debacle.

Alan Hutton – Replaced Richards on 85 minutes so was not on long enough to earn any rating.

Stay Up Villa!


John Lewis


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10 hours ago, rjw63 said:

I think John should be commended for even bothering to write a post...the players didn't bother.

Thanks its always a pleasure but I guess it is more of a pleasure to do one after a win, a draw or even after a defeat by less than six goals. ;)

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