Much better from Villa, as they comfortably beat a team they only took one point off last season. The game was pretty even in the first half, but the difference in the two defences decided a 2-0 half-time scoreline.
Villa’s was marshalled well by Terry and Chester, in perhaps their best game together, as they chalked up a third clean sheet on the trot.
Meanwhile at the other end, the Barnsley keeper let himself down by racing out and failing to deal with the ball to allow Adomah to open the scoring. And then Davis was fouled in the box (although the defender did get the ball) for a penalty that Adomah despatched with style.
The highlight of the game was certainly Keinan Davis’s first goal for the club, which was richly deserved after his impressive efforts so far this season.
With games against Forest, Bolton and Burton on the horizon, there’s a chance for Villa to get the season back on track.
Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Barnsley
Sam Johnstone – 6
A quiet game on the whole mainly down to his centre backs dealing with most of the threats throughout the 90 minutes. With what he had to deal with, his handling was sound and he increasingly looks like a keeper you can rely on.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 7
Elmohamaday did ok again as Villa’s new right-back. The tenaciously of Snodgrass in front of him perhaps allows Bruce to play a more attack-minded option in the position.
In that respect, Elmohamady is certainly an upgrade on Hutton going forward. Contributed an assist.
James Chester – 7
Some vital clearances in the first half and looked back to his normal self after some off days at the start of this season
John Terry – 8
Looked commanding in the first half, especially. One of Terry’s better games in a Villa shirt.
Neil Taylor – 6
A solid enough day at the office, helped by Adomah’s willingness to track back.
Glen Whelan – 6
Was more effective in breaking up play, than he had been in his last outing. Got around the midfield more than Jedinak did in his last game to sniff out danger. Will be interesting to see who Bruce prefers over time.
Robert Snodgrass – 7
Villa seem a lot more solid and dynamic with Snodgrass on the right-hand side. One thing that is often not spoken about his game is his work rate and tenacity, which was one display today. He improves the look of the team at this level.
Conor Hourihane – 6
Busy but didn’t have much of an impact on the game that marked the 130th anniversary of his former club.
Keinan Davis – 8 (MOTM)
The revelation of the season so far for Villa. Again demonstrated good feet, movement and vision and capped off his performance with his first Villa goal.
In the same way he inspired the win against Norwich, he earnt Villa their second three points of the season.
Jonathan Kodjia – 6
A bit of a quiet performance from Kodjia who was expected to play just an hour even before kick-off, as the striker is drip fed back into Villa circulation.
Albert Adomah – 7.5
Worked hard on the left flank, tracking back and also going forward on his unfavoured flank. Scored the opener after a terrible mix up by the Barnsley keeper and his penalty was a beaut.
Perhaps should have done better when he had a chance for a hat-trick, after good work from Davis set him up.
A performance that perhaps cements him in the first XI.
Off the Bench…
Hogan (75) – 5
With the rise of Davis and the return of Kodjia, the bench could be Hogan’s starting position for most of the season.
Onomah (61) – 6
With the game pretty much won, Villa took their foot off the gas somewhat, so Onomah was really going through the motions with his teammates
Bjarnason (83) – 5
Not enough time to do anything but see out the game.
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