Villa Player Match Ratings – Villa 3-1 Barnsley – Hogan & Grealish on fire.

Scott Hogan Barnsley Aston Villa 3-1 Villa Park Holte End

Johnstone

Another composed performance between the sticks for Johnstone, whose most telling contributions came in the second half.  His first save came at his near post, positioning well to save a close range effort.  Next, he managed to someone get a hand to an effort which seemed destined for the bottom corner, his best of the game.  Finally, a Johnstone made a curling effort seem easy, despite it appearing between a number of bodies in the box.  The United loanees distribution can be erratic at times, with a couple of poor kicks gifting the ball back to the visitors.  Otherwise solid.

Elmohamady

Elmo continues to impress and grow into his fullback role at Villa Park.  Quiet and unassuming, the Egytian international was a cool customer again with any number of calm and collected flicks and passes throughout the game.  As valuable is his willingness to get into dangerous positions and ability to deliver a dangerous ball.  Whilst Hogan will receive rightful plaudits for his opener, Elmohamady’s expert assist should not go un-noticed either.  A excellent all round performance.

Chester

A largely assured performance from a player who looks even better alongside veteran John Terry.  Chester coped well across the afternoon, despite a deteriorating pitch and is one of few centre-halves we’ve had at the club over the years to be naturally comfortable on the ball.  Whilst caught out in the 2nd half by an awkward ball, the chance it presented Barnsley was spurned.

Terry

A reassuring sight at the heart of the Villa defence and we once again witnessed a top class performance from Terry.  Strong in the air, at ease on the ground and competitive in every single challenge, little got away from him again.  As valuable as his defensive contribution is the discipline and organisation he instills in the team.  Superb again.

Hutton

Hutton continues his career resurrection with another largely flawless showing.  Defensively he was his usual combative self, shirking nothing as is the norm.  Once again willing to carry the ball dangerously forward, linking well with Adomah and causing not end of problems with runs into space.  A tireless performance.

Bjarnason

The Icelandic international finds himself on a mini-resurgence after struggling to establish himself following a transfer to Villa Park.  However, he has seized the opportunity presented with good performances in a defensive midfield role against Forest and now Barnsley.  Bjarnason was energetic and a constant nuisance for Barnsley, chasing the ball whenever it broke and making more than one important challenge to break up play.  Whilst sometimes overly cautious with the ball, opting to knock it backwards on more than one occasion when a positive pass was on, few would draw criticism from his overall display.

Snodgrass

Snodgrass’ recent form has melted away the dissenters, with another top performance doing his growing reputation at Villa Park any harm.  The West Ham loanee’s work ethic was fantastic once again and his persistence in moving himself or the ball into threatening areas gives us genuine threat.  Snodgrass contributed yet another assist, delivering the corner for Hogan’s headed goal.

Grealish

A controlled and mature performance from Grealish, who terrorised Barnsley with his movement and range of passing.  The midfielder finds himself in a enticing form of late and if this can be nurtured and maintained offers us a dangerous weapon in our armoury.  The standout moment came in the first half, with a superb run into the area, leading to a perfect pass for Hourihane to score.  Unselfish at times, maruading purposefully and an absolute nightmare for the opposition, this is the Grealish we want to see week in week out.

Hourihane

Converted a fine goal for Villa’s third and cut a composed figure in midfield, perhaps we are now starting to see the true attributes of Hourihane, in a confident and more balanced Villa team.  The Irishman can at times be a little ponderous, but cannot be accused of never trying hard nor to make something happen.  Whilst there still feels to be another gear to his play we might not be seeing, there was little wrong with this display.

Adomah

Contrasting halves for Adomah, who found himself under close scrutiny from Barnsley as they looked to nullify his threat.  Still, Adomah managed to deliver a number of dangerous balls amidst an at times physical battle with the right back.  Struggled and tired as the game wore on, but gave his all for the shirt again.

Hogan

Confidence boosting goals against Bristol City & Nottingham Forest see Villa with a completely different striker on our hands.  Hogan was rewarded for his movement and desire with two good goals and was unlucky to not get a hat-trick, forcing the Barnsley defence into almost scoring an own goal, before seeing an effort crash the upright in the 2nd half.  Hogan’s first goal saw him cleverly prod Elmohamady’s cross home for the opener.  Minutes later the former Brentford man reminded us of his aerial abilities again, out-jumping the defence and keeper to head home Villa’s second.  4 goals in 3 games paints a picture of his recent form and the contribution he could yet have over the remainder of our season to come.

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