A Strange Game, Which Aston Villa Players Were Hiding?
Match ratings for Villa v Preston North End
Johnstone - 6 - fairly comfortable, routine saves when needed. All over the place for their goal though.
Tuanzebe - 6 - stared well, looked accomplished but faded badly as the game wore on. Looks well capable at this level.
Chester - 7 - assured display in the main. Fantastic interception late on, looked after Axel pretty well.
Terry - 7 - dealt with Preston's forwards pretty comfortably, another day at the office really.
Hutton - 7 - nothing much to do, typical committed display and I was absolutely he'd scored when he cut in and unleashed that effort late on. Still can't believe it didn't go in!
Jedinak - 6 - not his best display. Combative and in the action as usual but not as dominant in the air as normal and distribution was average tonight, to say the least.
Hourihane - 5 - anonymous, and not for the first time. The ideal chance to take a game by the scruff of the neck and he was nowhere to be seen.
Bjarnason - 7 - improved as the game wore on but so painfully obvious he needs to be in the middle - all at sea on the left in the first half.
Snodgrass - 5 - injured fairly early on and little more than a passenger for the rest of the half. Not surprised he didn't return.
Onomah - 6 - was a bit more involved in the second half as we changed shape, but just so damn lazy it drives me mad. Dining out on his reputation and goal v Bristol City - needs to work FAR harder. Lucky for him Snodgrass got injured otherwise he'd surely have been hooked at HT.
Hogan - 6 - isolated and spent much of the game trying to deal with the long balls launched to him. It's. Not. His. Game. Steve.
Grabban - 8 - MOTM for me. Tried to make things happen, won a surprising number of aerial battles and was the only real positive from tonight. Benteke-esque penalty - very cool under pressure.
Davis - 7 - worked hard, held the ball up well and showed decent movement. Really should have scored at the death though - unforgivable to miss the target completely.
Elmohamady - 6 - not really on long enough to rate properly.
Bruce - 6 - brownie points for positive changes at half-time when it clearly wasn't working, but that's about as positive as it gets for me. Maybe the players didn't do what he asked, I don't know. Team was too laid back, lifeless even and seemed to lack the desire we've seen of late. Is that Bruce's fault? I don't know.
Preston have only lost once in the past 17 after tonight (I think) but it's hard to see why - they really aren't that good. If we hadn't defended so comically for their goal, I really don't think they would have scored.
Anyway, it's a point and we go again. Sheffield Wednesday are in a mess right now and Saturday will be the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways. Hopefully Snodgrass is not seriously injured and it would be great to see Jack and/or Uncle Albert in contention.
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