Aston Villa were held to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace on Sunday, with Jeffrey Schlupp’s late goal cancelling out Ollie Watkins’ opener.
In truth, it was a disappointing performance from Steven Gerrard’s men, as they struggled to get into a rhythm in possession and never really gained a sense of control over the game up until our goal.
While we did improve after Watkins found the back of the net, we couldn’t hold out for all three points as after some poor defending, Schlupp was able to grab a share of the spoils for Palace as our hopes of breaking into the top half of the Premier League this season look to be over.
Credit is also due to the visitors who made life difficult for us with their energy and intensity, but Villa will certainly be disappointed with our own efforts in the draw.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Crystal Palace:
Emi Martinez, 7 – Produced some key saves when called into action, as he remained alert throughout. One negative is the communication issues he still seems to have with Tyrone Mings in particular which need to be sorted out.
Matty Cash, 7 – A battling performance as ever as he was strong in the tackle when defending, while he showed plenty of desire and energy to get up and down the right wing.
Ezri Konsa, 6 – Was having a solid game but it was cut short due to a knee injury. Gerrard was concerned about the knock when speaking after the game, and so it’s hoped that it isn’t as serious as initially feared.
Tyrone Mings, 6 – A decent effort as he kept things tight for the most part, but was caught out at times and his distribution out from the back wasn’t always as accurate as desired.
Lucas Digne, 8 – Solid defensive shift and produced the delivery that found Watkins for the opening goal. Another good outing from the Frenchman, who is showing his quality ahead of a big year next season.
John McGinn, 7 – Scrappy display as he got about the pitch throughout the game and wasn’t afraid to get stuck into a tackle. Gave us some much-needed physicality and energy in midfield.
Marvelous Nakamba, 5 – Struggled in this one, as not only was he caught out of position on a number of occasions which allowed Palace to exploit the space between the lines, but his passing needs to improve too. Does the hard work in winning the ball back, but can’t get us going into the offensive phase.
Douglas Luiz, 6 – Brazilian midfielder was tidy in possession, but didn’t have enough of an impact on the game both on and off the ball. Lacks the physical presence and agility to be a driving force in that department, while he was stuck between two roles as he couldn’t get forward enough beyond Coutinho to give us more options.
Philippe Coutinho, 6 – Kept dropping deep to get on the ball to try and make something happen, but it wasn’t to be. Deserves credit for continuing to probe to carve out opportunities, but it’s not quite happening for him at the moment.
Danny Ings, 5 – For such a prolific and ruthless finisher, it hasn’t been a good week for Ings. After some notable misses against Liverpool, he followed that up with more on Sunday as he should have had a brace in the first half. Will be bitterly disappointed with his lack of goals in the last two games.
Ollie Watkins, 7 – Another tireless shift up front with his work off the ball to pressure the opposition defence, and bagged a goal too to cap off a good day at the office. Did drag a big late chance wide though, and it’s those moments and opportunities that we need to be better with and more ruthless.
Calum Chambers, 6 – Came on and filled in well for Konsa as he continues to show his versatility to play various roles.
Jacob Ramsey, 6 – Villa have certainly missed his ability to drive forward with the ball at his feet, which gives us a more direct threat and pace in the side. Will be annoyed to have given the cheap free-kick away in the build-up to their goal though.
Emi Buendia, 7 – At this point the reasons for him not to start don’t exist. Another impressive, impactful cameo appearance off the bench as he immediately gave us a fresh threat and creativity in the final third. Deserves to start on Thursday against Burnley.