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Villa player ratings vs Blues: Delaney’s side squander lead

Aston Villa endured second half frustration as they allowed local rival Birmingham City to claim a share of the spoils in this dramatic Premier League 2 encounter.

It was a relatively slow start from Mark Delaney’s men, who struggled to gain possession in the opening minutes.

It wasn’t long until their quality began to shine through however, as Caleb Chukwuemeka capitalised on a mistake from Caolan Boyd-Munce in his own area and squared the ball to Tristan Abldeen-Goodridge, who made no mistake in front of goal.

Birmingham City did react well though. Jobe Bellingham was heavily involved in some neat play down the left wing, which ultimately led to George Hall tucking away a close range effort to equalise.

Making his return from a horrific knee injury Trezeguet looked raring to go from kick-off.

Whether he was dropping deep, intercepting passes or playing neat flicks in the final third, his performance was very promising in the first half.

He ultimately made Blues pay, as he fired his side back into the lead from the penalty spot. The penalty was awarded following some impressive play from Keinan Davis in the area, who was eventually brought down by Archie Matthews in goal.

Trezeguet calmly slotted his effort into the bottom right corner of the net and Villa then pushed for a third before half time.

Momentum shifted quite dramatically in the second half, however.

Both Trezeguet and Chukwuemeka were substituted and as they left so did all momentum for Villa. Oriol Soldevila was a man possessed in the second half after he scored the second and saw his effort saved for the third, which Kyle Hurst tapped in.

Villa struggled to mount any meaningful attacks once their star players had exited and were in danger of falling behind at times.

Marschall – 7

Several key saves in this fixture and was unlucky that one of them was quickly followed up by Hurst for the third goal. He commanded his area well and was comfortable in his distribution from the back. If it wasn’t for him, Villa may have come away with nothing.

Alcock – 6.5

Defensively solid apart from the final moments where Birmingham flooded forward more frequently. There was a moment of brilliance going forward too, as he brought the ball down and linked up well with Keinan Davis. A solid showing from the young right back.

Lindley – 6

He was caught in possession by Soldevila for the second goal and won’t want to see a replay. After this, it sparked a reaction and he was aggressive in every aspect of his play. Showed a good range of passing and coolness in possession, every defender makes mistakes and he’ll bounce back from it.

Munroe – 6

Similar to Lindley on this occasion. Was comfortable in possession and showed a good awareness defensively. The marking in the area could have been tighter for the first goal and one of the two should have tracked the run of Hurst for the third. They will learn from the lapses in concentration that cost the team.

Barber – 6

Looked bright with his link-up play with Trezeguet down the left. Showed quality in possession and a willingness to get forward and contribute offensively. Was sadly forced off with an injury in the first half which cut a promising performance short.

Iroegbunam – 6.5

He was his usual self in midfield. Fantastic reading of the game and dictated it at times. Did give possession away at several points throughout but it didn’t cost the team. His play suffered when Villa lost control, as Blues flooded forward and began to cause him more problems.

Thorndike – 7

Another impressive performance from the versatile midfielder, who found himself more centrally today. His first touch and dribbling ability make him nearly impossible to stop at times, this paired with the work rate he brings makes him a real nuisance for the opposition. He was solid throughout but as he played deeper, failed to impact the game in the final third as much as Villa possibly needed him to.

Trezeguet – 8

A fantastic 60 minute run out in his first appearance in a Villa shirt since his knee injury in April. He was dropping deep to collect the ball, running at his opponents and linking up well with whoever was close to him. As expected he looked a cut above this level and this could be promising for Steven Gerrard who is currently without Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore.

Caleb Chukwuemeka – 8

Another key performer. His quality on the ball, first touch and trickery was unmatched at times and the opposition struggled to get close to him due to his strength. He had two assists on the night for Keinan Davis and Tristan Goodridge and was influential throughout. When he left the game Villa lost control and Davis struggled to get involved, Caleb was key to how this team played.

Goodridge – 6.5

He was the scorer of the first goal which was well taken but after this he struggled. His first touch eluded him at several times but he had a strong claim for a penalty in the second half, after he was brought down by Josh Williams.

Davis – 8

Scorer of the third goal and he won the penalty that Trezeguet tucked away. Davis was dominant once again as it looked like a men amongst boys at times. He bullied the opposition and proved too much to handle relatively consistently, until the substitutions came and Villa lost all momentum.

Pierre – 6

He came on for the injured Barber and did his job well. Villa didn’t possess the same threat going forward but this was due to the team as a whole, not his performance.

K. Young – 5

A late substitution and came in at a tough period within the game. A few neat touches and had a chance to play Davis in but his pass was intercepted by the defender.

Frith – 5

Fairly uneventful showing as he also entered the game at a tough time. Showed tenacity defensively but a lack of quality in the final third, as he was either tackled or saw his pass intercepted.

We’ve teamed up with LiveScore to invite fans to nominate their favourite results – the games which were much more than a score. Nominate the match that mattered to you here

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