It’s been almost three years since Villa have won back-to-back away games, which was a sign that Steve Bruce’s settled first XI have got into their groove.
The 4-0 triumph at Burton, following a 3-0 win at Barnsley, are the kind of scorelines that suggest that Villa are beginning to take care of business in terms of becoming a legit promotion contender
It’s also good timing considering the next two outings are away against Wolves and then Blues in October.
A win against the bottom team Bolton at Villa Park on the final weekend before the international break should see Villa in the play-off spots, if not very close to them.
Villa are finally making progress in the right direction.
Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Burton
Sam Johnstone – 7
An easier night for Johnstone, but was alert after the hour mark to make a smart save and maintain another clean sheet to his fast growing collection
Ahmed Elmohamady – 7
Another game, another assist for Elmohamady.
Having watched James Bree in the U-23’s game against Brighton on Monday, certainly at this moment in time, Elmohamady is the smartest choice at right-back.
No issues in defence as the clean sheets prove and always contributes going forward.
John Terry – 7
A sound night from Terry. Bruce’s gamble on the Portugese golf course increasingly seems to be paying off.
James Chester – 7
Much better from Chester, after some early wobbles in the season. A couple of vital inceptions made sure of the clean sheet in the second half.
Neil Taylor – 7
Managed to get forward more than usual and was always willing to get stuck in. The fact that he had the most touches of any Villa player says it all.
Defensively, he’s certainly part of what we can start calling a sound defence.
Glen Whelan – 7
Put himself about a bit and was unlucky with a few free kicks the referee called. An improved performance on recent games, but needs to pass forward a bit more. It was noticeable a couple of times to see him passing back, when there was a better ball on.
Robert Snodgrass – 8.5 MOTM
Snodgrass was obviously going to be a little rusty when he started out at Villa after his West Ham tribulations, but this was the game where he began to show what he can do.
A well-taken volleyed goal, an assist and a beauty of a through ball to Hogan that led to the fourth goal from Onomah.
Add to that, his willingness to track back and it was a very good night’s work by Mr Snodgrass.
Conor Hourihane – 7.5
While he didn’t grab the headlines against Burton, this was a good box-to-box performance. He barely put a pass astray while in possession (he had the best passing percentage on the pitch) and he also broke up a couple of Burton moves around Villa’s penalty box.
Keinan Davis – 7
Another good day at the office and a copybook power header the one he scored against Barnsley. Bruce decided after the hour mark to rest him, showing you what a pivotal player he has been in the upturn of form for the Villa manager.
Jonathan Kodjia – 6.5
His first goal of the season has perhaps been saved for the weekend, but just his presence is giving teams something to think about, which creates space for others.
Quiet by his standards, but in not scoring, the last few games have been an important education for Kodjia in finding his role within the ‘team’.
Subbed by Bruce with one eye on the Bolton game.
Albert Adomah – 8
Continuing to do what has been written about him in every player rating column so far this season. A much more dynamic Adomah than last season and he’s also turned into a goal machine. Kodjia who?
Off the Bench…
Hogan (64) – 6.5
Didn’t have many touches during his time on the pitch, but demonstrated his alertness and smarts with a run and assist for the final goal. Important to keep him involved, so a good sub by Bruce.
Onomah (68) – 6.5
It didn’t take him long to score when he came on, as he latched onto Hogan’s cut back after a great ball by Snodgrass.
With Hogan and Onomah, Villa have proper options from the bench.
Bjarnason (78) – 6
Hardly touched the ball, so unfair to judge. An energy option to close out the game.
New podcast episode incoming…