Aston Villa finished November with a comfortable 0-3 victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside. Before the game, Boro’ had only conceded 10 in their previous 19 Championship games. The result meant Villa had picked up 10 from a possible 12 points in November.
In another fine performance, we rated the Villa starting XI:
Orjan Nyland – 7
Despite a few shaky moments, Nyland’s reflexes kept Villa’s clean sheet intact. He brilliantly touching Jordan Hugill’s powerful effort onto the crossbar.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 6
Elmohamady replaced the suspended Alan Hutton and did his job well. His defensive fragilities, however, will be tested in future contests against a more dynamic, attacking opposition.
Axel Tuanzebe – 8
Between himself and James Chester, the United loanee kept Jordan Hugill then Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga quiet all night long. The signing of James Collins will be a necessary back-up for two very important players.
James Chester – 9
Somehow Chezzie received flack in recent games, even if he seems to be carrying an injury. On top of the fact he hasn’t hasn’t missed a league game since joining the club. Anyway, his performance at the Riverside was almost faultless.
Neil Taylor – 7
Taylor didn’t give Downing an inch and left Bolasie free on the left side. Allowing the dangerous winger to do his thing on the wing.
Conor Horuihane – 8
Conor seems to have made the other midfield role his own after successive, quality displays home and away. His delivery, although now shared with Grealish will be another trick up Dean Smith’s sleeve after the appointment of a set-piece specialist.
John McGinn – 8
Back to his best. McGinn again performed with aggression and purpose, not giving Mo Besic any time on, or off the ball.
Yannick Bolasie – 9
Yannick’s quality on the ball is simply too much for any championship full back to deal with. What’s more, the accuracy of his final ball is, for the most part, spot on, gifting Abraham enough chances to easily crack 20+ goals this season.
Jack Grealish – 8
Since getting his first goal of the campaign against Bolton, Jack’s performances have been consistent. With quality around him, mixed with the attacking philosophy of Smith, Jack’s game will be taken to the next level.
Anwar El Ghazi – 8
El Ghazi looks quality. On the ball, he’s strong and agile, but more impressively his awareness to track back and work or his team is a breath of fresh air. Since scoring four goals in a behind closed doors friendly and a brilliant strike abasing Forest, Smith had to give El Ghazi his chance.
Tammy Abraham – 9
Six goals in seven days are some achievement. Already eleven for the season, Tammy looks hungry for more.