Aston Villa suffered a bitterly disappointing 4-2 defeat to Leicester City on Saturday, as a really poor defensive performance was our downfall.
Things started positively as Ollie Watkins put us ahead early on, and although we gifted the visitors an equaliser with poor play passing out from the back, we responded well and restored our lead through a Souttar own goal just after the half hour mark.
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That was as good as it got for Villa though, as we conceded two more poor goals in the space of six minutes just before half-time and while our chances stacked up in the second half, we weren’t clinical enough to turn the game around as Leicester killed any hope we had with a late Praet goal.
Unai Emery will undoubtedly be hugely disappointed and frustrated with the display and how we weren’t defensively sound enough especially in the first half, and while there was hope we’d break into the top half of the Premier League table this weekend, it’s a timely reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done and improvements to be made.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Leicester City:
Emi Martinez, 5 – Risky pass that was punished for the first Leicester goal and couldn’t keep them out in one-on-one situations. In fairness, he was left exposed by his backline, but he’ll be highly frustrated with conceding four goals.
Ashley Young, 5 – Battled hard as we would expect, but had trouble dealing with Leicester’s attacks down that flank. Defended resolutely and ended up picking up a couple of knocks along the way, but couldn’t give us the solidity we needed along with the rest of the defence.
Ezri Konsa, 5.5 – Defended well for the most part, but when we’re being cut through so easily, the entire backline has to take responsibility. Gets a slightly higher rating as he dealt with danger better when called into action but this was poor from Villa as defensive unit.
Tyrone Mings, 5 – Looking back at the goals, Mings struggled in this one. Had his moments where he was a key presence for us too, but from Iheanacho in acres of space behind him for his goal to being turned inside out on the pass for the third goal with Tete breaking in behind, those were big moments defensively.
Lucas Digne, 5 – Replaced at half-time. Did well getting forward down the left flank to offer width and an attacking outlet, but defensively struggled and was also nowhere to be seen for Iheanacho’s goal. Those question marks over his defensive capabilities remain.
Jacob Ramsey, 5 – Also taken off at the break as he was far too quiet in the opening 45 minutes. Didn’t offer enough when we had possession and wasn’t able to provide enough help defensively for us to deal with Leicester’s threat.
Douglas Luiz, 6.5 – Put in a good shift in midfield as although we were often overrun and needed to be more physical and have a better presence in the middle of the pitch to have more control, his passing was excellent as he dictated the tempo at times and broke the lines often.
Boubacar Kamara, 5 – Poor performance on this occasion and it’s possibly the first time writing that about Kamara. Took too long on the ball for the first goal and was dispossessed in a dangerous area, and then lost the ball again in the build-up to another goal after that as he wasn’t quite as sharp and composed as he normally is. Hopefully just a one-off dip.
Emiliano Buendia, 7 – The Argentine playmaker was brilliant in this one. Constantly on the move and looking for space to be a creative threat, while linking our play up nicely in the final third and creating openings for others throughout. Such a shame he couldn’t get on the scoresheet, with two of his efforts hitting the woodwork. Was one of the better performers for us in this encounter.
Leon Bailey, 5 – Started well and looked a threat, but Kristiansen started to win their mini-battle on that side of the pitch as the game went on. Progressively more quiet, and couldn’t find a finish when he did have a couple of chances in the second half.
Ollie Watkins, 7 – Took his opener really well as he did brilliantly to firstly follow up the shot and get to the ball first, and adjusted himself expertly to turn the ball goalwards and into the back of the net. Forced the own goal too as his attempted cross was deflected in, and battled throughout to lead the line with movement and hold-up play.
Alex Moreno, 5.5 – Was looking like a really positive impact off the bench as he added quality to our attacking play down the left side and was a real threat. However, although we were struggling to find a breakthrough anyway, he should have done better to clear the danger for the fourth goal, which effectively killed the game.
Philippe Coutinho, 5.5 – Showed glimpses of quality with a nice through ball and passing, and thought he’d bagged a goal only for it to be ruled out for offside on Luiz. Did lose the ball on several occasions too though as he couldn’t find a way through.
Matty Cash, 5 – Added energy and stability on that right side after coming on for Young, but his distribution was poor as he couldn’t find teammates with passes forward in the closing stages.
Leander Dendoncker, N/A
Jhon Duran, N/A – Good to see him get on for his Villa debut. Hopefully will have picked up a couple of things even in limited playing time.