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Not Juan to remember!


JohnCresswell
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By John Lewis

One missed penalty, one own goal, but we still earn a point and remain invincible at home and away.

A game of two halves and a personal nightmare for Juan. Spurs had the better of the first half, we had the second and with a quarter of an hour left we had the opportunity to go one up against 10 men. Within moments we were a goal down! Villa teams in the past would have thrown in the towel after that. But, Martin & Randy’s boys are made of sterner stuff and our number 9 might even had claimed a late winner to make amends for those earlier moments of madness. But, that was not to be.

My player ratings from a day on which we stayed in the top 6 and became the only unbeaten team left in the league are:

Stuart Taylor - 7 – He will gain confidence from this. Good stops throughout, particularly on 15 with a good low stop, on 29 minutes when he kept out the ball at his near post and on 34 minutes when he denied Defoe.

Aaron Hughes - 5 – Too quiet again today and if this is not to be a position that Martin will need to look at in January then Aaron or Delaney will have to step up to the plate and prove their worth in the nest couple of months.

Liam Ridgewell - 7 – Moved the ball forward from the back with confidence and is growing in stature.

Olof Mellberg - 7 – Dealt well with what Spurs had to offer.

Gareth Barry – 8 – A sensational finish on 81 minutes left Robinson picking the ball out of his net again but this time he could not be blamed for not stopping it. Can we afford to keep playing him at the back?

Gabriel Agbonlahor - 6 – MOTM – Earned our penalty and sent Davenport home early but not at his best today.

Steven Davis - 6 – Struggling to come to terms with his new midfield role.

Gavin McCann - 8 – A very solid performance from a player determined to show Martin’s summing up of him in the week was well merited.

Stiliyan Petrov - 8 – MOTM – Great performance throughout and unlucky when just wide on 83 minutes.

Milan Baros - 5 – Ineffective. Wronged on more than one occasion by referee Atkinson but will need to show more to show and he has yet to look at the races since his return from injury. Forced a good stop from Robinson on 19 minutes after JPA did well to switch the ball back to him from the line.

Juan Pablo Angel - 3 – Really must stop taking our penalties. Made amends by hitting home the rebound last time but this time put the ball so wide he would have been relying on a rebound from an advertising board. Then went straight up the other end to head the ball past our keeper, as if to show he did know how to get the ball on target after all. Has done a lot of good work inside opponent’s boxes this season to date, but this time should have left it to the keeper as there was no danger until his intervention. Not helped by the time the referee took to get everyone ready for the penalty but that can’t really gloss over this performance although a late winner might have done. Needs to be able to bounce back from this rather than to have the sort of off period that he has experienced after similar low points in the past.

Substitutes:

Didier Agathe – 6 – Showed a turn of pace to hit a fine cross on 69 minutes having replaced Milan 4 minutes earlier. Showed his current lack of match fitness as the game wore on.

Patrik Berger – 6 – Replaced Davis on 77 minutes for a rare appearance at Villa Park, now if Martin can get Patrik back to something approaching his best and if he can stay fit…

Up the Villa!

John Lewis

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Stuart Taylor - 6 - Made some decent saves but didn't look confident enough to comr for crosses. Maybe should have had a better shout for Angels own goal

Aaron Hughes - 6 – Quiet today but did his job well enough

Liam Ridgewell - 8 – Another assured performance from thw worlds most improved player

Olof Mellberg - 8 – Ollie, solid as ever

Gareth Barry – 9 – Stunning goal and always looked our most dangerous player. McClaren may have even notcied him today! May be even more effective if we can get him back into midfield

Gabriel Agbonlahor - 6 – Earned the pen but couldn't get into the game as much as he has done from the right. Got kicked at a lot.

Steven Davis - 5 – Couldn't get into game from left hand side

Gavin McCann - 8 – Solid again, looked class.

Stiliyan Petrov - 8 – Another effective game from Stiliyan

Milan Baros - 6 – Worked hard and did look a threat but not back to his best.

Juan Pablo Angel - 5 – I've thought long and hard, and decided to pretend i went for a pie during the 2nd half and missed a couple of incidents. Hardly won a head all day and looked pretty average

Substitutes:

Didier Agathe – 5 – One decent cross but took to long to put the ball in on several occasions and generally the quality of his crossing was poor

Patrik Berger – 6 – Good to see him back and was certainly more comfortable than Davis on the left

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