Villa Player Match Ratings – Highs: Snodgrass & Terry – Lows: Whelan & referee!

Aston Villa Flag Holte End Villa Park

VILLA 1-0 BOLTON

Another game, another win!

This football is easy right?

Villa secured a fourth successive victory courtesy of a first half Jonathan Kodjia penalty.

In wet, overcast conditions at Villa Park, Steve Bruce now see’s the side positioned perfectly to strike at the top spots on the other side of the international break.

PLAYER RATINGS

Johnstone (6.5)

Another composed display between the sticks and fared well when sporadically tested by the visitors.  Saved low well in the first period.  Also dealt well with a difficult catch under pressure from Wheater in the second half.  Let down by poor distribution at times, gifting possession back to the opposition on a number of occasions where a short pass out would have sufficed.

Elmohamady (7)

Whilst never looking completely comfortable conducting fullback duties, Elmo put in an assured display.  Countless times he made one touch passes under pressure and is always looking for the ball.  Going forward the former Hull man is a real addition, linking play well, possessing a good touch and making very good use of space ahead of him.

Chester (7.5)

A really solid display alongside Terry on a blustery, wet afternoon, whilst often under pressure from Bolton’s directness and physicality.  Chester is a sound footballer, a real asset at centre half and played the ball out calmly on any number of occasions.  The Welsh international looks to be forging a superb partnership with John Terry.

Terry (8)

Terry won key headers, battled and lead the side to it’s victory this afternoon.  The bruisers in Bolton’s team met their match in Terry, unafraid of the rough and tumble, but also armed with the experience to read Bolton’s disjointed foray’s forward.  More vocal than earlier in the season, it was a welcome sight to see Terry running the length of the pitch to berate Kodjia for his selfishness as the score remained 0-0.  An outstanding leader and another top performance.

Taylor (6.5)

Taylor enjoyed a solid showing for the most part, with a hard fought run and dispossession a notable highlight of an assured defensive display.  The Welshman also burst forwards on a couple of occasions, with a clever square ball in-particular showing the threat he can offer as well.  His day was tarnished with a red card in the depths of injury time.  Making contact after a high booted, lunging challenge, it cannot be a great surprise to see red.  Whilst the sending off may yet be contested by Villa, this type of challenge carries risks which Taylor should know only too well.

Snodgrass (8.5)

A tireless, persistent and eye catching performance from the Scottish international.  Game by game Snodgrass seems to be building fitness, stamina and a real purpose in this Villa side.  The winger carries a constant threat and is always looking to cut inside and drive into the penalty area, a trait Bolton struggled to contain or negate.  A hardworking and effective performance from the West Ham loanee, who fully deserved the standing ovation when withdrawn.

Samba (-)

Sub on 89 minutes.  Samba’s first touch, a dreadful pass behind both centre halves almost permitted Bolton a free run on goal.  His next contribution, a decisive clearing header.  His final intervention definitely saved the points.  As Villa recoiled from Taylor’s dismissal, Bolton threw the kitchen sink.  As the final moments ticked down, the visitors piled the pressure, which resulted in the man mountain defender delivering a telling stop to protect the points.  A clever substitution.

Whelan (5)

The Irishman started positively but soon found himself bogged down in what was a poor encounter.  What might be overlooked were a great number of possession retaining passes and relentless harrying of the opposition.  What doesn’t go in his favour were too many misplaced passes after much work to retain possession.  Unfairly scapegoated at times, but did himself few favours either.

Hourihane (6)

Struggled to impose himself at times and looked far too deep with it.  Still, ghosted across the middle and a threat from dead balls.  Growing into his role, but difficult to judge against entrenched opposition in the conditions.

Adomah (6.5)

Another hardworking showing but unable to make the breakthroughs as in previous games.

Davis (7.5)

It’s no surprise that Premier League times are reportedly circling, given the meteoric rise of Kienan Davis.  It’s a pleasantly recurring theme of strength and power.  Repeatedly fouled, but rarely acknowledged by the referee, he pushed on regardless.  The ideal player for the climate and the physicality that Bolton presented.  Another promising showing.

Onomah

Sub on 73 minutes.  Performed well as Villa looked to shut out the fixture.

Kodjia (6)

Guilty of a horrendous miss when through on goal in the first half.  Should have scored or taken the easy option and squared to Adomah.  Fortunate to be awarded a penalty minutes later, but coolly dispatched.  After becoming more of a team player last term, this was one of the greediest performances to date, but tireless nonetheless. A number of occasions warranted him releasing the ball to better placed Villa players, but his eagerness to press towards goal is an asset.  Not one to write home about necessarily.

Hogan (-)

Sub on 73 minutes.  A willing runner in the closing stages.