Dismal: Ipswich (0) v (0) Villa – Fortunate point after dreadful 90 minutes + Player Ratings.

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What did another disappointing draw tell us as Aston Villa fans?  Perhaps little other than what has become glaringly obvious; this is going to be a long first season in The Championship.

It would be funny if it weren’t quite so bad.

Away draws, ordinarily aren’t to be sneered at.  However, the point that Villa stole from Portman Road today shouldn’t disguise the fact that Villa were exceptionally fortunate.

It’s telling that we couldn’t muster a single shot on target.  It was also a dreadful game of football.

The Villa Underground wants to be a place of positivity, but equally, it’s important to have a grasp of realism.

The first half at Portman Road was an ugly affair.  Not through combative or hard fought scenes, rather, for dreary interplay, limited quality and both sides showing about as much flair as a spoiled turnip.

The second half at least offered some excitement, it was just unfortunate that Ipswich were the side to seize the initiative, unsurprisingly in the latter stages.

It’s now become a recurring nightmare watching us fade on or around the hour mark.  It is even scarier how desperate we become from the 80th minute onward.

Ipswich will lie awake wondering how they didn’t secure all 3 points.

Villa have Kodjia and Cissokho to thank for near identical goal-line clearances with our Italian keeper well beaten.  

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Gollini also earned his money this week, saving from a smart Sears free-kick.  Another set piece from the Ipswich man sailed narrowly wide, whilst we breathed another sigh of relief as Sears (again) struck the post at the death.

It’s unclear why we retreat so deep, but it must stop.

At the final whistle it was hard to feel anything other than relief.  Yes, we are back to being happy at having “survived”.  A sad state of affairs for a club we are told is on the ascendancy.  

Perhaps The Villa Underground will keep the Champagne on ice just a little longer.

Up next….Newcastle United….nothing like a bit of rivalry.

Player Ratings:

Gollini – 6 – Good save when called into action but almost caught in possession during the first half.  Uncertain.

Chester – 6 – A steady partner for Elphick but can be prone to hoofs upfield.  Struggled with physicality at corners today.

Elphick – 6 – Struggled to dominate, particularly defending set plays where the Captain looked particularly exposed.

Richards – 5 – On early for injured Baker.  A steady if unspectacular performance.  Good shows of strength but limited otherwise.

Bacuna – 4 – Ineffective in advanced positions and dispossessed during a key threatening move.  Large anonymous.

Westwood – 5 – Stereotypical performance, lots of running around to little or no effect.  Soldiered on after receiving a nasty cut to the head.

Jedinak – 5 – Good shows of strength and some nice touches.  Limited display otherwise.

Grealish  4 – Notably poor performance on return from injury.  Wasteful in possession and carried little threat.

Amavi – 4 – Another disappointing return to action for the Frenchman.

Kodjia – 7 – Man Of The Match – Worked hard with little or no support.  Also provided much needed height at corners, heading clearances and stopping a certain goal.  Didn’t we sign him as a striker?

Ayew – 4 – Worked tirelessly but to little effect.  As exciting as he is frustrating, today, mostly just the latter.

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