5 Star Player Ratings: Aston Villa 5-0 Bristol City – Villa rocket up to 5th.

  • Sam Johnstone
  • Ahmed Elmohamady
  • Alan Hutton
  • Tommy Elphick
  • James Chester
  • Robert Snodgrass
  • Conor Hourihane
  • Mile Jedinak
  • Jack Grealish
  • Albert Adomah
  • Scott Hogan
4.5

Johnstone

A composed performance in blustery, at times deteriorating conditions at Villa Park.  Despite rumours linking the Manchester United loanee with a possible switch to West Brom, he was his usual composed self when the visitors threatened.  Protected well by Elphick and Chester, what little Johnstone had to do, he did well.

Elmohamady

A competent display at fullback from the former Hull man, whose excellent technical ability and calmness on the ball were a real asset here.  Elmo hasn’t nailed down a regular start of a position as yet, but his vision and coolness on the ball was evident across the evening.  The Egyptian international is also always eager to get forward and was often the supporting cast member for Snodgrass.

Elphick

Another strong performance from the centre-half brought back in from the cold due to injuries to Samba and Terry.  Off the back of an impressive display in the 1-0 win against Middlesbrough, Elphick’s physicality and experience was evident.  Aside from one loose ball in the second half, Elphick cut a commanding presence at the heart of the Villa defence, giving Bruce a welcome selection headache as John Terry nears a return to first team action.

Chester

James Chester often goes about his business quietly and this was no different.  Chester reads the game like a natural and was key to Villa settling in the first half with a number of key interceptions.  Equally, the Welsh international featured at a crucial moment, blocking on the line a near certain goal as Barnsley got in behind Johnstone.  A superb all round defensive performance.

Hutton

Whilst The Scottish Cafu often trades of an unquestionable work ethic, he complimented this with a powerful and complete display.  Hutton never looked at risk defensively and maruaded forward on a number of occasions.  Hutton is also on of few players to be willing to carry the ball out of defence, a rare trait in the modern game, which can often lead to spontaneous attack and catch opposition midfields unawares.  Top performance.

Jedinak

It was difficult watching the Aussie giant struggle so badly at centre half against Derby and then Sheffield United, where he gifted goals away through error.  Therefore, a return to form both and centre-midfield at Middlesbrough and now against Bristol City is very welcome.  Jedinak was an impasse for the visitors, hoovering up everything in the middle of the park.  Countless headers, interceptions and duels were won as he dominated affairs.  Subtle, but outstanding.

Snodgrass

Arguably the Scottish internationals best performance since joining on loan from West Ham.  Snodgrass nabbed a deserved winner last time out at The Riversidebut put together a hugely energetic display at Villa Park, causing the visitors no end of problems.  Creative and predatory, Snodgrass’ reward were two goals, with the second involving a small sidestep and finish.  On another day he might have had 4, with two fine opportunities in the second half put over the bar.  Tireless, a constant nuisance when Bristol City had the ball and single-minded when on it, we saw the best of Snodgrass tonight.

Hourihane

A first rate display from a player bizarrely benched recently.  A willing and often under-appreciated runner, Hourihane covered significant ground across the 90.  Whilst Jedinak is the ships anchor, Hourihane is the on-board motor, driving the play forward.  The Irishman is technically excellent, able to pick a pass and was rewarded for his efforts by scoring the fifth.  Superb throughout.

Grealish (Sub off 80 mins)

Many vividly recall the FA Cup semi-final performance from Grealish as the moment his potential shone through.  Tonight reminded us that with the right freedom, support and intent, Grealish can hurt the opposition at will.  What we witnessed was a controlled, direct and fearsome display from the Villa midfielder, who Bristol City simply had no answer for.  Grealish was instrumental in moving the ball into dangerous areas, pleasingly attacked with greater pace than we’ve seen and was unlucky to see a first half effort hit the post.  Jack had run his race at 80 minutes and was withdrawn to a deserved ovation.

Adomah (Sub Off 70 mins)

Adomah held the limelight for a number of weeks due to his goal scoring exploits, but tonight he demonstrated just how dangerous he is in terms of creativity.  The winger delivered consistently dangerous balls into the box, which must have seemed like a second Christmas to the previously starved Scott Hogan.  Indeed, two of Adomah’s balls left the Bristol City defence helpless, to Hogan and Snodgrass’ goals.  The winger was a constant threat, showed his usual close control and trickery and had done the damage by 70 minutes.  Adomah was another who we could afford to rest and ensure properly recognised with applause from the terraces.

Bjarnason (Sub On 70 mins)

The much maligned midfielder came on for a cameo and contributed also immediately, seizing upon a through ball before coolly slotting beyond the visitors keeper.  With a number of subs hereafter, Bjarnason found himself moved from the wing to central midfield, where he helped see out the victory.  He harried and chased and impressed in the 20 minutes he featured.

Hogan (Sub Off 83 mins)

Hogan showed glimpses of promise in the defeat at Brentford but has struggled for form and purpose since his arrival at Villa Park.  Indeed, it’s been very stop/start.  However, tonight we saw Hogan visibly moving more naturally across the front line, replacing the increasingly static and isolated figure we’ve become so concerned about.  He was rewarded for these efforts with service, directing a difficult header over the stranded City keeper, a superb goal.  Minutes later Hogan was unlucky to see an even better header saved and the rebound snapped up by Snodgrass.  As pleasing was the running and bursts of pace on display across the 80 minutes he was on the pitch; it’s done the big money striker no harm at all.

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