Aston Villa’s 2-0 win against Preston was perhaps Villa’s most impressive performance on their travels this season. A good attitude and positive approach to this game from the off, allowed them to boss the game in the first half and lay down the foundations for the win.
Preston, who were missing defensive regulars, were perhaps lucky not to lose by more.
Keinan Davis was certainly key to Villa functioning as a proper team, while the dynamic centre-back partnership of Terry and Chester were once again immense, with a deserved goal for the later.
A win this weekend against Sheffield Wednesday and it’ll be full steam ahead, going into the international break.
Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Preston
Sam Johnstone – 6
Could have gone out for a beer in Preston town centre for the first hour of the game. Safe hands when Preston briefly threatened at the end.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 6.5
Active and busy throughout the game defensively and played with a calm head.
John Terry – 8
James Chester – 8
Another solid 90 minutes for Chester. Even more clearances made than Terry. We’ll give him an extra point for scoring Villa’s opening goal and for the vital tackle (that wasn’t a penalty in the referee’s eyes).
It’ll be for just this season, but this Chester and Terry partnership is really coming up golden.
Alan Hutton – 7
Kept out Neil Taylor from the starting XI and played well enough to suggest he might keep out Taylor for a few more games yet.
You can’t keep a good Hutton down.
Glen Whelan – 6.5
The most passes of any player, which shows you that he’s always at the heart of things without making a fuss and grabbing the headlines.
Robert Snodgrass – 7.5
An active threat for Villa getting a few shots off and scoring with a composed finished, after Bruce had given him a verbal bollocking a few minutes earlier. An assist for Chester’s header too. Hard-working when tracking back too.
Conor Hourihane – 7
Got the tackles in to prove he’s an all-rounder in the middle of the park, might have had an assist or two, if his teammates had their shooting boots on.
Josh Onomah – 7
After disappearing on the St Andrew’s pitch, Onomah resurfaced again at Deepdale. Always works well with Davis. Chalked up an assist.
Keinan Davis – 8 (MOTM)
Proof that you don’t simply have to score goals as a striker to win games. Davis very much turns Villa into a team, linking up the midfield (rarely wastes a pass) and allowing midfielders to get involved with his hold up play.
He’s also comfortable with quick-release passes to keep Villa’s momentum going. Plus, Davis wasn’t afraid to put himself around and he shook up Preston’s makeshift defence on numerous occasions.
Davis’s intelligent running off the ball also opened up space at times for his teammates, as it did to allow Snodgrass to score Villa’s second.
A great all round display. Kodjia who?
Albert Adomah – 6
Decent work rate and effort, Adomah did well tracking back and linking up with Onomah and Davis, when Villa went forward. A sloppy finish after being put through by Hourihane perhaps took the gloss off his night.
Off the Bench
Jedinak (67) – 6
After an active substitute role against the Blues, this was very much 20-odd minutes of going through the motions for Jedinak.
Hogan (71) – 5
After only registering four touches in each of his previous 10 minute cameos, the extended 20 minute period gave Hogan a chance to get more involved (15 touches), but he had little impact on the game.
de Laetat (88) – N/A
Brought on for Snodgrass to offer extra security. Good to see him get at least some involvement in recent weeks after a long lay-off.
Check out the latest podcast episode offering up both rants and insight!