After a well fought out point at Brighton, Villa’s next task was back at Villa Park, where we’re still unbeaten in the league. Our opposition were a struggling Cardiff, who under Neil Warnock haven’t been able to climb up the league as much as they’d desire. Coming into the game, Villa were also still unbeaten under Bruce’s management.
Cardiff’s form leading into this match was almost common for a mid-table team with two wins, two losses and a draw. However, they now lie in the relegation zone and despite some tidy free agent signings; still lack a run of wins. The most notable transfers were Junior Hoilett and Sol Bamba who were recruited in order to make the starting eleven more competitive.
Hoilett impressed the most against Villa out of any of their players and even though it pains to say it, ex-Villa man Joe Bennett also performed well. I didn’t expect much of a challenge coming into the game and they didn’t trouble the Villa back line much over both halves. However, I doubt they’ll be in and around the relegation zone for long as there are plenty of teams who are worse than them in this division.
Potential Finish this Season – Lower half of the table, but safe
The atmosphere was very flat to begin with but picked up once a few goals started flying in. Furthermore, despite Jack Grealish being kicked up in the air for 90 minutes, there wasn’t an aggressive feeling around Villa Park at any point. The lower North Stand was bouncing on a few occasions and plenty of England chants were belted out towards the away end.
On the whole, the atmosphere was okay but the Holte End lacked the presence it gave in the victory against Blackburn. Grealish and Jonathan Kodjia’s showboating in the latter part of the second half gave the crowd something to shout about and they definitely entertained the home support.
Away Fans – 8/10
The Cardiff away support is notorious for being a lively bunch and they were certainly lively in the first half; they drowned out the home fans and made themselves at home with a bright blue smoke bomb. They also added to the England vs. Wales banter with their own rendition of their national anthem and a whole host of other chants, including ‘England ran from Russia’.
They deserved something to shout about and got it when Rickie Lambert equalised. However, once their team were behind they definitely went quieter and were goaded by the home fans.
Overall they were a brilliant set of away fans who certainly added to the atmosphere inside Villa Park, credit to them for travelling in their numbers. A grand total of 2,500 Cardiff fans traveled over the border for the match.
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