The Villa Appetiser: Aston Villa v Bristol City 2017
That was more like it!
A much-needed three points were won this weekend, and while the performance was far from convincing, a win to stop the rot was all that mattered.
Bristol City started the season well and inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Di Matteo’s Villa earlier in the season, but form has declined for the Robins as the season has gone on.
Can we make it back-to-back wins?
Steve Bruce on three points
“It’s relief for everyone concerned.
“It was always going to be something like that to get us up and running again. It’s been a long time.
“Some of the stuff we have had to take has been fair but some has been a bit unjust.
“But we have got a result – that’s all that matters in times like these.
“Thankfully, the lads showed a bit of something to get the result.
“Derby had some decent possession but didn’t have a shot on goal until late on.
“We defended well, worked hard and had one or two opportunities to make it 2-0.”
Steve Bruce on the Villa job
“This is where we are at the moment.
“I am really privileged to have the job. I have waited 20 years for it.
“I will, given time, get it right. I have done it at every club I have been at and I will do it here. We are nowhere near it at the moment.
“But we will keep working hard and keep improving.
“The backing I have received off the chairman and chief executive has been terrific.”
Johnson on Villa / Kodjia
“Jonathan Kodjia wanted to go. Once we had received a good, acceptable bid then it was right for the club.
“The timing of Kodjia’s departure wasn’t ideal but we are where we are. We wish him all the best, just not tomorrow!
“The attitude and energy pleased me most on Saturday and we’ll need the same again at Aston Villa.
“With the money [Villa have] spent, it’s a bit like the Galacticos of the Championship.”
25th Aug 1979 Newcastle 1 Villa 1
Goals from Kevin Mabbutt and Tom Ritchie secured an away win for the Robins the last time City headed to Villa Park.
Villa – Last five matches at home: W 2, D 1, L 2
Bristol City – Last five matches away: D 2, L 3
One to Watch
Aaron Wilbraham – The 37-year-old striker scored at St. James’ Park this weekend.
Bristol City have failed to win during their last 12 Championship away matches
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Kodjia missed the game the last time we met Bristol City as Villa looked to bring him to the club. A lot more has changed since then too.
That 3-1 loss saw the likes of Ayew, McCormack and even Kozak (as a substitute) feature, so in a way it’s no surprise that our much-changed team have struggled for form.
A win against a decent Derby side was a welcome relief from the recent woes but it was hardly a dominant display (29% possession), and Villa were hanging on as the game came to a close.
Just above the relegation zone, Bristol will undoubtedly make it difficult for Villa, and would perhaps settle for a point away from home.
As well as all that, Bacuna’s energetic display against Derby was impressive, and makes his absence a significant and unfortunate loss as he serves a three-match ban.
“it’s a bit like the Galacticos of the Championship” – johnson ON VILLA
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
The history books suggested that we might be in with a good chance against Derby. With Bristol however, past records are less useful, particularly as we haven’t played the Robins since the late seventies.
When Villa were looking for Di Matteo’s replacement Lee Johnson was one of the names suggested by some, but it hasn’t been going so well for the ex-Barnsley boss lately.
Bristol City have failed to win during their last 12 Championship away matches, and while goals haven’t been an issue for Johnson’s men, recent results have been particularly disappointing.
The Robins were 2-0 up at St. James’ Park before drawing 2-2, while the other week saw them throw away a 3-0 lead away at Derby, eventually ending 3-3. September was the last time they won away!
Bristol City have conceded the first goal in 22 league games this season (a joint league high), and this should give goal-shy Villa some encouragement. Jonathan Kodjia will also be keen to get back to goal-scoring ways and impress against his old club.
Prior to our recent slump in form we made a habit of grinding out wins against teams lower down in the table.
Take away our recent home losses to Ipswich and Barnsley, if you haven’t erased them from your memory already, and our home form still isn’t bad.
Hopefully we carry on we left off on Saturday – playing a little bit better in the process!
If we can match the effort levels against Derby, there’s no reason why we can’t get a second 2017 win.
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