Aston Villa picked up their second away win of the season with a 3-0 thrashing over Derby County. It was clear that Villa had started to play the Dean Smith way. They were playing to their strengths and playing attacking, creative football.
The defence is looking much better but still the odd iffy moment at the back and too many missed opportunities to give a 10 (I’m a teacher … I’m meant to be harsh!).
Performance of the season. See how we rated the players:
Ørjan Nyland – 8
Made some important saves in the first half. Solid performance although not an awful lot to do the rest of the game and second clean sheet is massive for him.
Alan Hutton – 7
Looked pretty solid and pushed forward to start some of the attacks in the second half where he was moved to left back.
James Chester 7
Other than a mistake just before half-time which almost led to a goal from Scott Carson‘s clearance, he made a clearance off the line and looked more reassured than earlier in the season.
Axel Tuanzebe – 8
Improving week by week. Swept up the ball several times to break down any Derby threats.
Neil Taylor – 6.5
Subbed at half-time. Didn’t really get forward as Hutton did and had a busy first half.
Albert Adomah 7.5
Worked hard to drive forwards and create. Also chased down and won back several loose balls.
Conor Hourihane – 8
Looked great alongside McGinn. Supported the attack but also held well when needed. An obvious avenue for goals and assists from set pieces and got his goal to make it 3-0 with a goal similar to the one at Blackburn.
John McGinn – 9
Another trademark performance in midfield. Worked tirelessly, broke up Derby’s play, ran box to box and not only scored, but sent in a perfect ball to assist Abraham. Brilliant performance.
Jonathan Kodjia – 6
Wasteful in front of goal. Had several chances to break the deadlock and failed to hit the target. Subbed off for Bolasie.
Jack Grealish – 8
Followed up last weeks performance with creativity and direct attacks. Kept possession and looked to use the wings to develop the attack. Close to a goal in the first half.
Tammy Abraham – 8
On one hand, he did miss several chances but he was a constant menace and kept the Derby centre-halves on their toes. Good finish to double the lead.
Ahmed Elmohammady – 8
Brilliant when he came on. Personally, think he’s been the most improved player this season from last and he tested Derby with some deeper crosses. Good source of creativity throughout the second half.
Yannick Bolasie – 8
Brilliant when he came on. The cross for the first goal showed what was missing from Kodjia. Pacy and tricky to defend against. Becoming better and fitter by the week.