If you asked Steve Bruce if he would have taken four points from two away games against Birmingham and Preston I am sure he would have happily taken them.
Villa headed up the M6 with yet another Championship test just three days after the hard-earned draw against our local rivals on Sunday.
Despite what looked like tired legs, Bruce opted to make just one change by bringing in Keinan Davis for the injured Jonathan Kodjia. Preston marked their last game before Remembrance Sunday with a minutes silence before kick off.
Villa probably should have taken the lead with eight minutes on the clock. Albert Adomah found space out on the left and squared the ball across the box for Davis but his firm shot was superbly saved by Preston keeper Chris Maxwell.
Absolutely Brilliant from the lads tonight! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
— André Green (@AndreGreen_) November 1, 2017
It wasn’t long before the away sides dominance paid off. The ball was swung in from the corner and found the head of James Chester, who rose above Josh Earl and powers Bruce’s men into the lead.
Preston’s zonal marking letting them down made the goal look so easy – a system I have never been fond of. You have to play man marking for me.
Alex Neil’s men then had a shout for a penalty and replays later showed that maybe Villa got away with one. Maguire drove into the area and Chester caught him when he stuck his leg out. No complaints could have been made had a penalty been rewarded.
A few minutes later Villa comes close again but a great header from Davis was stopped by an impressive Maxwell for Preston. The offside flag was up but the keeper wasn’t to know that.
Just after the half-hour mark, Villa doubled their lead. Pearson gave possession away for Preston allowing Josh Onomah to break down the left before he squares across to Robert Snodgrass who scores with a neat low finish.
Preston tried to get themselves back into the game in the second half but it just wasn’t to be. Everything they through at Aston Villa was counteracted with top defending.
Villa may have been disappointed not to score more but its another win and a clean sheet.
The win sees Steve Bruce’s men climb back into the playoff positions into fifth position while Preston stays in tenth.
Unreal performance from the boys!! 🙌🏻⚽️ great to get back to winning ways! 😄⚽️ #AVFC
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish1) November 1, 2017
Steve Bruce: “We had some really good chances and maybe we should have scored some more. Defensively we were excellent.
Keinan Davis has a big future ahead of him. He must maintain it and keep going”