Another game against a top-eight side has resulted in yet more failure where Aston Villa are concerned. This time it was Derby!
3,200 supporters travelled to Derby to support Steve Bruce and his team but things turned quite sour very quickly when the manager picked a side that didn’t include a striker. Instead, he opted to play an out of form Josh Onomah out of position despite having two strikers on the bench.
The home side probably should have taken the lead after just 30 seconds when Matej Vydra played through David Nugent who looked certain to score until he was denied by a great tackle from Neil Taylor.
Another scare come after 15 minutes when Sam Johnstone was caught in no man’s land but he recovered to push Nugent’s headed chance over the bar.
It was just a matter of time before Derby would take the lead and it came courtesy of Glenn Whelan. The midfielder played a dreadful pass back towards the goalkeeper which in turn played Vydra through who then squared the ball for former Villa forward Andreas Weimann to tap home.
Villa’s first shot on target come in stoppage time of the first half through Conor Hourihane but in truth, Derby deserved to be in the lead at the break.
They started the second half a little better and maybe should have equalised. Albert Adomah’s cross found Onomah and Robert Snodgrass saw his shot cleared off the line by Richard Keogh.
Villa was poor on all fronts and kept giving the ball away cheaply. I didn’t feel Derby were that great and I am sure their supporters will probably say they are capable of better but Villa was woeful. Once again, Bruce got his tactics all wrong.
Scott Hogan was introduced was unlucky not to score a header that he glanced towards the far post but it was the home side who confirmed the win when Keogh played through Jonny Russell to slot home.
Steve Bruce: “In a big game of this magnitude, the disappointing thing for me was the number of mistakes we made, we made so many it was scary and we made too many to win a football match. Second half I was pleased with how we played, we had enough possession but not enough shots on target; we’ve had 12 or 13 attempts but only two on target.”
Gary Rowett: “It’s probably the best start we’ve had all season and Johnstone has made three really good saves early on. That was something we wanted to do, to physically try and pin them back early and we had some good moments; with a little bit more composure at times we could have had more.”