Steve Bruce extended his unbeaten run as manager of Aston Villa to six games with an away draw with second place Brighton & Hove Albion.
Six games. Three wins and three draws. Another impressive display from Aston Villa as they carried their excellent form through the international break. Nathan Baker’s first half header – his first career goal with the claret and blue – gave Villa a 1-0 lead around the twenty minute mark.
After periods of rather quiet play, Brighton striker Glenn Murray later equalized with a sublime strike right before halftime.
After intermission, starting striker Gabby Agbonlahor (!) had to come off with a muscle injury. His replacement, Jordan Ayew, brought Jonathan Kodjia from the wing to a more central position.
The ensuing onslaught brought a plethora of chances for Aston Villa. Looking for the winner, Gary Gardner was taken off for the incisive Jack Grealish.
Unfortunately no match winning goal came, but hey, an away point at the second place team is a fantastic result.
GK Pierluigi Gollini 6
Fantastic save in the second half to ensure a draw. However, Gollini STRUGGLED distributing the ball. Had two punts sail straight out of bounds.
RB Alan Hutton 5
Not quite as promising as his recent run of games. Had a few bad fouls (unrightfully called) that gave Brighton chances.
RCB James Chester 6.5
Strong, strong performance. Impressive passing range for a central defender.
LCB Nathan Baker 7
The goalscorer! His first in an Aston Villa shirt. Has completely nailed down his place in the lineup, and at 25 years of age, has room to grow.
LB Jordan Amavi 6.5
Strong performance from Jordan Amavi. Kept danger man Anthony Knockaert anonymous for most of the match. In fact, Knockaert became so frustrated he drifted so far inward he looked like a central midfielder.
More from Claret Villans
- Aston Villa dismiss Everton for first win of Premier League season
- Tyrone Mings injured in Aston Villa’s season-opening 5-1 defeat
- Aston Villa draw Hibernian or FC Luzern for Europa Conference League play-off
- Aston Villa sign winger Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen
- Aston Villa close in on deal to sign Pau Torres from Villareal
CDM Mile Jedinak 6.5
Excellent communication shielding the back line. Jedinak was a welcome sight in the lineup after coming back late from international duty.
CM Gary Gardner 6
Gardner did his bidding in the center of the pitch. Was sacrificed for Jack Grealish around the seventy minute mark.
CM Ashley Westwood 5.5
Played well positionally, but, as always, not much in terms of creativity.
RM Albert Adomah 7.5 & ClaretVillans Man of the Match
Wow. Adomah just keeps running and running and won’t stop taking opposing fullbacks on no matter what. Assisted on Nathan Baker’s goal with a sharply taken dead ball.
LM Jonathan Kodjia 6.5
Another great performance from Kodjia. Even though he was slightly wasted not being used centrally, Kodjia put forward a tireless effort. Unlucky not to score in the second half with a pair of headers – with one smacking the cross bar.
ST Gabby Agbonlahor 5.5
A definite surprise start. Lots of pressing from Agbonlahor with not much else. Had to be taken off fifty minutes in with a slight muscle injury.
LW Jordan Ayew 6
Creative play from Ayew, as always. Threatened with his flickering dribble ability.
CAM Jack Grealish 7
Just keeps drawing fouls. Unlucky not to start, but that was most likely a result of the international break.