A professional Aston Villa have moved within 2 points of the play-off places with their third league win in a row.
Despite Steve Bruce naming an unchanged team for tonight’s fixture, Villa were far from hitting the ground running. In truth, the opening encounters were scrappy with Villa struggling to retain possession or create anything meaningful. This didn’t last for long however, as we began to find our feet at the Pirelli Stadium.
Good work from Jonathan Kodjia cutting in from the left resulted in the Burton post being thumped and it wouldn’t be long before the deadlock was broken. Kodjia was again influential from the left, a cross field run resulting in a lay off to
‘Elmo’ whose fantastically weighted ball from the right flank found Keinan Davis who powered a header past the Burton keeper to make it 1-0.
Villa didn’t sit back and soon found themselves 2-0 up after a superb Robert Snodgrass through ball put Albert Adomah one on one with the goalkeeper and he coolly slotted away his fourth goal in his last 3 league matches. After this quick double, Villa took total control of the rest of the first period and Robert Snodgrass’ maiden goal in claret and blue topped off what was an almost flawless 45 minutes.
Villa came out in the second half looking to consolidate their first half lead and for a period were successful in doing so. In all fairness, Burton refused to let their heads drop and began to come back into the game. This period of pressure perhaps prompted Bruce to bring on Josh Onomah and Scott Hogan in place of Davis and Kodjia. This saw Villa move from their starting 442 to more of a 451 and helped solidify the midfield for Villa.
The game was ultimately wrapped up when the two subs combined with Hogan rounding Bywater before cutting the ball back for Onomah to fire into an empty net. This fourth goal killed off any threat of a Burton comeback and Villa saw out the last 20 minutes comfortably.
Man of the match is a difficult call today as there are many possible suitors, but for me I would say it was either of our wingers – Adomah or Snodgrass. One of our problems last season was that we relied on Kodjia too heavily to score us goals, so to have both our wingers on the scoresheet tonight is a massive positive. Snodgrass’ goal and assist tonight are glimpses of what he is capable of and with more game time and match fitness I believe he will really kick on as our season progresses.
Our attention must now turn to Saturday’s home fixture against Bolton which is another must win. If results go our way, we could end September in the play-off places. We are now certainly heading in the right direction with performances and results appearing to have turned a corner. Our away form is beginning to improve, so it is imperative that we continue to be successful at Villa Park to push further up the league table throughout the remainder of the season.
Here’s to another 3 points Saturday, UTV!