Aston Villa returned to winning ways last night when they welcomed bottom of the league Sunderland and their new manager Chris Coleman to Villa Park.
Both sides seriously have issues with injuries. We all know about Villa’s well-publicized problems but Coleman had to deal with seven first-team players unavailable also.
Steve Bruce named the same side that beat QPR the weekend despite some thinking he could rotate a few players with one eye on the game against Ipswich the weekend.
Sunderland was left furious when the home side took the lead just after 10 minutes when they felt they should have had a free-kick in the build-up to Villa’s opener. Aiden McGeady went down but the referee didn’t feel it was a foul and Bruce’s men broke and Albert Adomah made it three goals inside a week when he slotted home Robert Snodgrass’ cross to the far post.
In truth, it was a poor game with both sides giving the ball away cheaply and looking tired. Sunderland’s hopes rested on the shoulders of Lewis Grabban who looked to cause problems to the Villa defence but he was left isolated too many times.
The home side should have doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark but Sunderland goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter prevented Snodgrass from scoring when he pushed the ball around the post.
Villa did double their lead a few minutes later when on-loan Tottenham midfielder Josh Onomah scored his third goal of the season when his 25-yard shot deflected off Tyias Browning into the back of the net. They do say when you are at the bottom everything goes against you and the small contingent of travelling Mackams must have felt this way.
It looked like Bruce’s men would romp home with a victory but their lack of killer instinct and their inability to be able to kill off a game potentially could have cost them when Grabban scored a late goal for the visitors.
The game leaves Sunderland at the bottom of the league with just one win all season as Villa climb up to fourth and finds themselves just five points adrift of the top two. Villa will need to be better against Ipswich the weekend if they are to make it three wins inside a week.
Steve Bruce: “We didn’t play very well at all but we found a way to win which is important.”
Chris Coleman: “It’s only us who are going to get out of it, by hook or by crook. Overall, they had a go and at 2-0 down they could have melted and they never did. In these moments this is where team spirit comes from. It’s only us who can fight the fight, no one is going to come and help us.”