The long awaited first away game of the new Championship season has ended in embarrassing defeat for Aston Villa. (Match Review by Sam Young)
There was much positivity surrounding the starting 11 for the game with Josh Onomah being handed his first league start for the club.
In a first half deprived of any real quality it was an Alan Hutton mistake that opened the door for Cardiff. Hutton failed to clear his line which resulted in a cross from the Cardiff left being converted by a Mendez-Laing header. In response, Villa failed to offer any real threat. The main cause of this was Villa’s persistence to go long despite our two strikers being 2 of the smallest players on the pitch.
Henri Lansbury once again found himself picking up the ball from in between the centre halves which elongated the gap between defence and attack forcing the ball long. In fact, Villa were lucky not to go further behind and would have if it wasn’t for two smart saves from Sam Johnstone.
I wrote recently in an article for The Villa View (here) about the need for positivity, yet a large section of the away support decided to boo at half time. In all fairness, it was one of the worse 45 minutes I’ve seen us play since the infamous relegation season yet I feel it did us no good at half time and the fans should’ve waited until after the game. Before you get the wrong idea, I am in no way blaming the fans as they have been loyal to this club and manager for a long time with little reward.
The second half started brightly for Villa with an early corner but that was as good as it got for the claret and blue. The hangover from the first half lasted long into the second half and two quick fire Cardiff goals put the game to bed with twenty minutes to go.
It’s obvious to all that the result today was unacceptable but what was more worrying was how we lost. I will try and keep as positive as I can but there is no way I can sit here and sugarcoat a performance like that. We simply weren’t at the races at all.
We failed to fashion any real chance during the whole game and were punished by the better team. It must be remembered that we are only two games into the season, but the early signs are worrying. We again had no real style of play and far too many times did we look redunadant of ideas.
We now travel to Reading on Tuesday which will again be a tough test. In my opinion, Callum O Hare must start as he offered us our only real attacking threat today when he came on.
Finally, credit must go to the fans who, despite watching such a poor performance, stayed positive throughout much of the game. This sort of loyalty won’t be afforded to the management or the players for much longer however if this type of performance becomes a regular occurrence under Bruce.