Aston Villa made it two wins from two with a 3-2 victory over Wigan Athletic at Villa Park yesterday. An own-goal and goals from Birkir Bjarnason and James Chester gave Villa all three points but there is still much work to be done. See how we rated the players below:
Orjan Nyland – 6
The new number one will be disappointed with the manner of the first goal he conceded. Not that it was his fault, but to concede it at the Holte End won’t live favourably in the memory of the Norwegian international. In truth, his distribution was poor, although if he can contribute to clean sheets and live up to the expectations Steve Bruce has placed on him, he’ll be okay.
Axel Tuanzebe – 6
Returning for his second stint at Villa Park, Axel looked defensively solid throughout. Yet, all his youth career he’s played either at the heart of the defence or as a holding midfielder, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the attacking threat coming down the right flank is limited.
James Chester – 8
I can’t imagine he’ll drop below a seven all season, but the skipper added a goal to his usual solid defensive display. His presence is critical to any promotion push this term, especially as question marks remain over his partner, which needs to be sorted before Bruce chops and changes one of the most important positions on the field.
Mile Jedinak – 4
Brilliant in any ariel duel, Mile has to be used effectively in the middle of the park when grinding out results in Millwall, Middlesbrough or anywhere else because we know how difficult this league can be. However, as seen before against Sheffield United last season, Jedinak for some reason has a mistake in him.
Alan Hutton – 6
The Scot who lit up Villa’s previous display at Hull struggled to make an impression going forward in this one.
Birkir Bjarnason – 7
Popped up with the all-important winner in the dying embers. The Icelandic workhorse got around the pitch well, getting stuck in but lacks a physical presence to shield the backline like Jedinak does. Matching up against the impressive Powell, he struggled to win the first ball. On other occasions, this could have ended up in problems for the Villa defence.
John McGinn – 9 (MOTM)
Excellent debut from the former Hibs man who moved to B6 on Wednesday. His engine allowed him to cover every blade of grass, contributed attacks and also helped win the ball back, all this with intensity and aggression. Already looking a snip for the price we paid, McGinn’s delivery caused chaos in the Wigan box, allowing Chester to profit in the early exchanges in particular.
Andre Green – 6
The young winger went illusive for the most part, especially as most of Villa’s threat came from set-prices and direct football alike. I still hold the belief that if we can exploit the wings, using Andre’s pace and power, we’d certainly be a more fluid and dynamic side in the attacking third.
Jack Grealish – 8
It will be hard to find a more creative, technically gifted and promising player in any Championship side, let alone the bottom half of the Premier League. The reception he absorbed before kick off showed what Jack means to the Villa faithful. He’ll be the key to a promotion push, obviously.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 5
Elmo, like Andre, struggled to get involved throughout the game. However, he could have done more to help out new loan signing Tuanzebe. At least on one occasion, the Egyptian failed to help defend the overload on Axel’s right side meaning Wigan had a good opportunity to lead in the opening minutes.
Jonathan Kodjia – 6
Although less frustrating than up at Hull, the Ivorian international needs a goal none the less. He couldn’t have had an easier opportunity to do so when McGinn set him up superbly, with only five yards from goal, Kodjia must bury these chances. Bruce is actively looking for competition in the forward positions, although prime target Tammy Abraham wants to fight for his place at Chelsea despite Villa’s interest.