Aston Villa continue to climb the Championship table after a tough 2-1 victory over Burton Albion. The Brewers gave Villa everything they could handle.
Leandro Bacuna’s 14th minute opener was canceled out after thirty minutes by Burton’s Jamie Ward. Momentum quickly changed as the Brewers went on the offensive – seeking all three points.
A flurry of rough and ugly football ensued in the second half. After several substitutions from both sides and a pair of Burton bookings, Ross McCormack found the back of the net.
Goals have been a premium for the Scotsman during the early part of the season. McCormack’s neat finish from Jordan Ayew’s sizzling ground cross was only his third league goal on the campaign.
Not everything was peachy for Aston Villa. Gary Gardner came off injured at half time, just days after signing a new Villa contract through 2020. He was replaced by Jack Grealish.
ASTON VILLA PLAYER GRADES:
GK Mark Bunn 7.5 & ClaretVillans Man of the Match
Tremendous, game-saving exploits from Mark Bunn. After two consecutive appearances, he is firmly entrenched as the number one for the time being.
RB Alan Hutton 4.5
Thrown around like a rag doll all match long.
RCB James Chester 5
Uncharacteristically poor match from James Chester. Always a good sign when the club wins despite a bad match from one of its key players.
LCB Nathan Baker 7
Tremendous match. Played much deeper than his right-sided counterpart.
LB Jordan Amavi 6
Amavi’s left flank was exploited for much of the match – not all to Amavi’s fault.
CDM Mile Jedinak 6
Solid shield as always. The Aussie will have to shoulder even more responsibility after a potential extended Gary Gardner absence.
CM Gary Gardner 5.5
Unspectacular, but not poor by any stretch. Let’s hope he’s not injured too badly.
CM/LM Leandro Bacuna 7.5
Truly fascinating position Bacuna plays in midfield. He operates as almost a “false winger” – a term I just made up on the spot. Bacuna scored the opener with his head from Albert Adomah’s right wing cross; Adomah’s leading fifth assist.
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ST/LW Jonathan Kodjia 5
Struggled to get into the match. Kodjia remains stuck on eight league goals.
ST Ross McCormack 6
Not perfect, as Steve Bruce tries to get him into match shape before Kodjia and Ayew’s AFCON absence. When you score the match winner, however, the rating is boosted.
RW Albert Adomah 7
Continually beats his man with skill and pace, then delivering delightful right-wing crosses.
CAM Jack Grealish 7
ST Jordan Ayew N/R
ST Gabby Agbonlahor N/R