Villa Blog

Sloppy Villa Gift City But Can Hold Their Heads High

Had Aston Villa not been so sloppy and given the Premier League Champions a two goal head start.Then maybe we would be talking about three wins from three for Steven Gerrard and the perfect game plan. One where Villa sat back, absorbed everything City threw at them, then grew into the game before delivering them a sucker punch. 

However, such is City’s quality, for the first twenty minutes it appeared to be a mismatch and was boys against men. Their constant attacks were relentless, particularly from the wide areas. At times, our defenders looked like Bambi on ice. Ultimately City’s pressure took its toll and eventually we conceded. But it was the manner in which we conceded that I found most disappointing. 

A Series Of Errors

There may have been an element of misfortune. But for me it was a combination of sloppy errors which led to the goal. Firstly, I think Leon Bailey should have closed down Diaz. And I think on another day Matt Targett gets his head on that shot and heads it out. Also given the high standards set by Emi Martinez. I did expect him to get across his goal to save it. I will give him the benefit that he may have been partially unsighted.

City’s second goal was a thing of beauty. But it too was also avoidable. A counter attack saw McGinn fail to track the run of Bernardo Silva. Who in turn met Jesus’ inch perfect cross with magnificence. He produced a cushioned volley that gave Martinez no chance. At 2-0  It was looking a long way back.

There Is A Time And Place

I get we want to become a possession based team. But I had my heart in my mouth at times. We were slow, hesitant and sloppy as we tried to play out from the back. It was clear Martinez was not too happy with it at times. City’s press is so impressive you just don’t get time. So seeing Martinez going route one at times was a relief. Especially knowing Ollie was winning and holding up the ball. That allowed our midfield to get up in support.

We had a few attacking opportunities in the first half where if Bailey & Buendia had not overplayed it at times, then we may have caused City bigger problems. 

Visible Improvments

Overall, I thought Emi Buendia had a decent game. He looks like he’s slowly getting fitter and he will be a big player for us in time. Morgan Sanson also did ok in his cameo. And of course Marvelous was again Marvelous. It was very close call between Ollie Watkins & Douglas Luiz for my Villa man of the match. However, Douglas Luiz just edged it for me. He had his best game in a Villa shirt. Not sure if that was because the opposition was Man City or Steven Gerrard playing him a little higher up the pitch.

At full time even though we lost, I was proud of our performance. Especially in the second half. The manner of this defeat just confirms to me that in the short time Steven Gerrard has been in the Villa hotseat. That change is happening and progress is occurring. I think we can take plenty of positives from this defeat to City.


8 Responses

  1. Vancouvervillan

    Looking forward to seeing more of Sanson on Sunday. Despite the injuries I think we’ve got a few options.
    I’m assuming Young will play at LB for concussed Targett, so there’s an opportunity for AEG to start and Bidace possibly from the bench?
    Ramsey, Sanson and Luiz to fight out the other MF spot as I’m assuming SJM & Nakamba are certs.
    Should be an interesting game, I think Bidace has to get involved at some point with us lacking Bailey’s pace? Also 3 games in little more than a week could also be a factor.

  2. AVFCVillablog

    Quotes From Gerrard Presser:

    “It’s a real privilege and honour to be in this position.

    “Three weeks into the job, I’m even more excited than I was when I took the role.”

    On The opposition

    Gerrard: “We’ve spoke on many occasions in the early weeks about making it as difficult as we can for opposition teams, especially when they come to Villa Park.”

    “We want it to be a memory for them [the opposition], that when they come back, they know they’re going to face a really tough team and they’re going to have to work for anything they get.”

    The Fans

    Steven Gerrard: “There is no possible way we can take this where we want to take it without the support and the backing of Villa Park.
    “In the three games so far, I can’t ask for any more, they have been absolutely terrific.”


    Gerrard on Marvelous Nakamba: “We knew he was a good player but we’re really pleased with how he’s gone about it in the past couple of weeks.”

    Gerrard on Brendan Rodgers: “There is a mutual respect there, he always helped me as a player and I’ll always remember that, but once the whistle goes, we’ll be ready to compete for the points.”

    1. Vancouvervillan

      Nakamba sitting deep and central in that MF 3 makes all the difference. Luiz was never a DM and looks way better further forward.

  3. HenleyVillain

    That bodes well then. If he’s experimenting and we nearly get points off Man City, just think what he might achieve when he has worked out his best team 🤣

  4. Vancouvervillan

    Yep agree with Henley, good accurate assessment. Luiz certainly looks better being played further forwards, and I really liked what i saw from Sanson.
    Their 2nd goal was brilliant but couldn’t help thinking we were way too far forward and over committed with only a couple of minutes to go to half time.

  5. HenleyVillain

    Pretty accurate summary. Noisy there last night, and considering we were taken apart in the first 45, second half was almost a joy to watch. Chants of VTID along with ‘You’re not Super any more’ roared around all 4 sides of the stadium, along with plenty of booing for you know who. I think he preferred to acknowledge the minority of supporters still prepared to applaud him.