Villa Ratings: Solid victory over Sheffield Wednesday with key players shining at Villa Park.

Johnstone (6)

A steadier performance from the loan keeper.  Protected well by the centre-backs today but must start becoming more commanding in and around the 6 yard box.  Distribution was improved in comparison to recent displays.

Bree (7)

A composed showing in fullback and later an overlapping wide right role.  Linked well with Hutton and appears confident on the ball.  Remarkable that he’s just 19; one to nurture.

Chester (8)

A commanding display from the Captain.  As to be expected, positionally Chester was excellent, but also cleared up dangerous situations on more than one occasion.  The centre-half continues to grow into his role as Captain, but increasingly looks the real deal at the heart of our defence.  Visibly delighted with the win at full-time, Chester is an asset we will need to retain in the close season for sure.

aston villa Sheffield Wednesday holte end villa park

Baker (-) (Off 25 min)

Baker was booked with his first challenge of the game and came off worst from a 50/50 just minutes later.  The heart on sleeve defender soldiered on until breaking down before the half hour mark.

Hutton (7) (On 25 mins)

Whilst unfashionably in form he might be for some, there can be no overlooking this welcome upturn.  Hutton was once again a tireless figure on the byline, coming on for the injured Nathan Baker.  Baker’s loss was Hutton’s gain, with a solid fullback display, complimented with any number of forays forward.  It’s perhaps this drive, particularly going forward which impresses.  This regularly caused Wednesday problems, allowing the extra man to visibly count.

Taylor (7)

Another player who is growing in stature of late.  In a troublesome position for us, Taylor does the basics right whilst also now beginning to offer a tentative supporting role in the final third.  No nonsense is also a key part to his game and he might consider himself lucky not to have given away a penalty in the second half.  Otherwise a solid and faultless performance.

Jedinak (9)

MAN OF THE MATCH

The early season required this blog to stick its neck out and call for calm on the Australian Captain as he battled poor form & a ridiculous international schedule.  His contribution today underlined just what we were missing then and during his recent injury.  An insurmountable presence both in the midfield and centre half when called upon – Jedinak delivered a dominant, stand-out performance.

Hourihane (7)

The Irishman grew into the match having initially struggled to impose himself in the absence of the injured Lansbury.  As Villa’s confidence grew, so did his and this was best summed up with the fine cross for Kodjia to plant his header in for the first.  Hourihane cuts a reliable presence in the middle on the pitch, always looking for the ball, but more relevantly, wanting to do something positive with it.  Impressive.

Adomah (7) (Off 82 mins)

Another hard-working display from the winger, who ran himself ragged once more.  Whilst certainly hit and miss in terms of his end product, there was nothing wrong with the weighted ball to release Kodjia for his 2nd and the winner.  That’s 9 assists for the season.

Gardner (7)

Speaking of hard working, Gardner harried and chased relentlessly throughout.  Whilst the midfielders contribution overall remains a bit of a head scratcher, his effort alone provided an edge against Wednesday.  This work was often evident when we didn’t have the ball, reducing the visitors options as they looked to find a way back in to the game with a man down.

Amavi (7)

One of Amavi’s most complete games of football in recent memory.  The Frenchman, now relieved of defensive duties at fullback by Neil Taylor, looks far more comfortable in a wide midfield role.  His pace and passing range were on display and it seems that a defined role within the team is suiting him much better.  Played well today, with many of the recent unnecessary unforced errors removed.

Kodjia (7)

Strong and predatory, Kodjia was rewarded with two goals.  His first was athletically headed home from a Hourihane cross.  The second required some quick thinking to sidestep the goalkeeper.  Kodjia did the job he was paid to do today, and whilst a frustration to watch at times, delivered the goods from the key moments of the game.

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