Aston Villa made it thirteen games unbeaten in the Championship against our local rivals, Birmingham City. The game ended in a 4-2 home win despite the Blues taking the lead. Blues could have made it 2-0 but hit the woodwork and three minutes later Villa were leading 2-1. The rest is history as they say. Read our full match report here and see below for how we rated the performances of the starting eleven.
Orjan Nyland – 6
He collected crosses comfortably to relieve pressure off his back four, instead of flapping away the danger. Neil Cutler’s appointment seems to be working so far, with the Norwegian distributing improving also.
Alan Hutton – 9
The attitude and application Hutton has shown in a Villa shirt was second to none. He deserved to embrace the moment of winning a Second City derby. And in the fashion, he did it – by running with the ball from his own half.
James Chester – 6
Slightly lacklustre, Chester may have been carrying the knock that forced him out of the Wales team. But all the same, keeping three clean sheets before entertaining Blues goes some way to prove the difference in defensive stability since Smith joined.
Axel Tuanzebe – 6
Axel, like Chester, didn’t have the best of games. Although he challenged Juktiewicz well throughout.
Neil Taylor – 6
Limited going forward, Smith will be looking to add some pace and attacking intent on the left flank come January.
Conor Hourihane – 6
Seemed to struggle without John McGinn, forcing long balls to wide areas with little success. Nonetheless, the Irishman proved dangerous from dead ball situations.
Glenn Whelan – 5
Whelan struggled to get to grips with the pace of the game from the first minute. Sloppy passing and control – McGinn was missed.
Jack Grealish – 8
Grealish proved his worth, influencing the game with a goal and link up play in wide areas with Adomah and Kodjia alike. With Smith demanding that Jack adds more goals to his game. The runs he made into the box against Blues proves that his contributions this season could be pivotal.
Jonathon Kodjia – 8
Kodjia looked selfless, powerful and clinical. He took his goal with aplomb, to get Villa back into the game.
Albert Adomah – 8
Albert looked as impressive as he was against Blues last term. Although, as he picked up an injury in the latter stages, his absence could open the door for Bolasie who also looked sharp on the flank.
Tammy Abraham – 7
Abraham got his sixth of the season, despite missing a golden chance, heading over the bar from yards out. His goals could prove the difference this season.