While Ollie Watkins and Emi Buendia will justifiably make the headlines after our win over Everton, a trio of Aston Villa players were pivotal in our return to form.
The two goalscorers provided two important moments of quality to help us secure all three points at Goodison Park, but Unai Emery was pleased with the team performance as a whole as we kept a much-needed clean sheet and got back to winning ways after a three-game losing streak.
READ MORE: Five key talking points as Villa get back on track with win over Everton
Integral in that bounce-back was a trio of Villa players who have long been influential for us and have seen plenty of change during their time at the club already, but they’ve had to adapt to a new coach and continue to be important figures for us.
Martinez bounces back, decisive contribution
While Emiliano Martinez was relatively untroubled at Everton, he ended the game with four saves, one of which was a brilliant bit of goalkeeping as he denied Amadou Onana’s header from hitting the back of the net.
In addition to that, he had two successful runs out to clear danger, one high claim and 73 percent passing completion as he showed more composure and accuracy with his distribution, a fundamental aspect of his game now under Emery.
It was an important response from the Argentine shot-stopper after what happened last weekend against Arsenal, as he continues to make decisive contributions that can change games and he remains a fundamental figure between the posts for us in terms of his leadership and presence.
Mings a pillar of the Villa defence
Moving into defence, a lot was said about Tyrone Mings’ absence against Man City and how badly we missed his presence at the back. His poor clearance for Arsenal’s first goal last weekend showed that he still needs to cut mistakes out of his game, but there’s no denying that we’re a stronger and more formidable defensive unit with him in the Villa XI.
Mings ended Saturday’s clash with six clearances, one blocked shot and one absolutely crucial clearance off the line as he kept it goalless in a big moment in the game that swayed it into our favour from that point onwards.
Further, he won all 10 of the duels he was involved in, eight of which were aerial which showed his importance in that particular aspect of our defensive performance, while he had 75 touches and 81 percent passing completion.
It was a brilliant defensive shift from the 29-year-old, who is a pillar of the side and will hopefully continue in this form moving forward and consistency remains the biggest challenge as well as cutting out those errors.
McGinn influence in both phases in midfield
Aside from his assist for our second goal, McGinn was excellent in this one as he battled and scrapped out of possession to try and give us a foothold in midfield while also showing quality at key moments to help find breakthroughs.
Having won the foul for the penalty with a burst into the box having drifted inside from the right, he repeated the trick for Buendia’s goal as he moved more centrally off the right flank to support Watkins, before finding the Argentine playmaker who did the rest.
McGinn had 84 percent passing completion and won seven of 11 duels in an all-action display. Emery spoke of his delight of having him back available when he returned from injury earlier this month, and he’s making that role on the right side of midfield – albeit likely not his preferred position – his own as he continues to show commitment, determination and sacrifice for the team.
1 thought on “Influential trio of Villa stalwarts showcase importance in crucial win”
People have constantly blamed Ming’s for Arsenal’s first. He was running towards the goal line, the ball comes across just behind him. Defenders instinct get a head on it.
Look at Kamara failing to pick up Saka originally then failing to react. Bosh