Aston Villa returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Swansea City at Villa Park. It is the first win since their victory over Rotherham in mid-September. Dean Smith would have been pleased with the display without getting too carried away. It was clear that there are still parts of our play that we need to improve but one step at a time.
Here is how we rated the performances of the starting XI:
Orjan Nyland – 7
Orjan started the contest with little confidence, parrying an off-target strike to gift Swansea a corner. Although the Norwegian arguably saved all three points after Abraham squandered the chance to double our slender advantage.
Alan Hutton – 6
Hutton swept up well behind Elmohamady throughout whilst keeping his compatriot Barrie MacKay quiet. With James Bree in the wings, it will be interesting to see if Hutton can hold down his position under Smith.
James Chester – 7
Chester looked equally composed and confident on the ball. He’ll adapt well to what Smith wants from his ball playing centre-backs.
Axel Tuanzebe – 7
It’s no coincidence that Axel’s displays have produced more clean sheets and solidarity at the back. Limiting Oli McBurnie to few chances, the Manchester United loanee will have to form a good relationship with Chester until January.
Neil Taylor – 8
Neil demonstrated the need to play a balanced back four, with square pegs in square holes. His best performance in a Villa shirt for some time.
John McGinn – 9
The same every week, the Scot has hit the ground running since he signed from Hibs. Playing with a passion and intensity needed to rile the rest of the team. He’ll miss the trip to Carrow Road through a suspension – let’s hope his presence won’t be sorely missed.
Birkir Bjarnason – 6
Provided a backbone for McGinn and Grealish to express themselves, he worked hard throughout.
Jack Grealish – 6
Still missing the class of last campaign, hopefully, the return of John Terry can stimulate Jack to perform to the heights we know he can hit.
Albert Adomah – 7
Provided great width until he replaced Jonathan Kodjia on the 75th. Albert will be used as a rotational attacker, as Bolasie picks up fitness and form.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 6
The Egyptians delivery let him down on a few occasions. Although he did create the only goal of the game.
Tammy Abraham – 7
His quality and class in the box is something that will propel us into the mix, as long as we can the door shut at the other end.