Aston Villa battled back to secure a 2-2 draw with Man Utd on Saturday, with Philippe Coutinho scoring on his debut for the club.
Villa fell two goals behind after individual mistakes proved costly again, with Bruno Fernandes benefitting on both occasions to put the visitors in a strong position heading into the last 20 minutes or so of the game.
However, to their credit, Villa continued to push for a way back into the encounter, and it eventually came through Jacob Ramsey who scored his first home Premier League goal.
That set up a dramatic finish as Coutinho drew us level, and although we couldn’t go on and find one more, it was a brilliant comeback and a game that had plenty for Steven Gerrard to analyse and assess moving forward as while he won’t be happy with the first-half performance, the character shown to get a point was certainly impressive.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Man Utd
Emiliano Martinez, 5.5 – Unsighted for the first goal but will feel he should have done better and that goes down as a rare mistake. Made amends with a string of important saves that kept us in it, but ultimately the disappointment over the error will overshadow those on this occasion.
Matty Cash, 6.5 – Was a completely different player in the second half compared to the opening 45 minutes, as he got stuck into everything and set the tone for the rest of his teammates. Can’t afford a slow start and to look so off the pace early on though as he needs to produce at a high level consistently in what is a pivotal role in Gerrard’s side.
Ezri Konsa, 5 – Forced to come off at half-time after picking up a knock to his hip. Was putting in his usual solid shift prior to that, but the hope now is that it isn’t anything serious that will keep him sidelined for long.
Tyrone Mings, 6 – Improved after the break, and while he did well defensively for the most part, he must move the ball quicker in possession. On countless occasions he took too long on the ball, slowing the tempo of our play and allowing Utd to get back into a shape and make life difficult to play out from the back. Did well to drive forward in the build up to our equaliser.
Lucas Digne, 7 – An excellent first showing from the Frenchman as he looked a real threat going forward down the left flank with both his delivery into the box and as a direct goal threat. That’s why Gerrard wanted him and he’ll no doubt get better and better as the weeks go on and he continues to settle.
Morgan Sanson, 6 – A decent performance as he was important in terms of his work-rate and pressure in midfield, while he showed some nice skill to get out of trouble and open things up for us. Always trying to be positive in possession, but he was left frustrated after being replaced shortly after he was put under pressure and his errant pass led to Utd’s second goal.
Douglas Luiz, 6.5 – A little safe in terms of his distribution and was muscled off the ball a few times, particularly in the first half. However, grew into the game as it went on and gave us a good base to keep things ticking over and set the tempo of our play to keep pushing toward.
Jacob Ramsey, 8.5 – A brilliant finish for his first Premier League goal at home as it sparked us back into life and led to the comeback. Added a superb assist to his night’s work too for the equaliser, and he’ll be delighted that he was decisive. Gerrard’s half-time team talk certainly worked, as Ramsey looked to be more direct and braver on the ball in the second half, and that in turn led to the important breakthroughs.
Ollie Watkins, 7 – Never stopped working hard on and off the ball throughout the game. His touch let him down on a few occasions but his work-rate and movement continued to stretch the Utd defence and pull defenders out of position. He still looks much better when played through the middle as the lead striker rather than being pushed out wide or in an inter-changing role with Ings.
Emiliano Buendia, 8 – Was involved in all of our good play as he was a bright spark in the final third for us. Really starting to grow into his role at Villa now as he’s becoming more confident and pulling off bits of skill to get the crowd going too. Positive with everything he did in terms of trying to thread balls through for his teammates, all he’s missing now is the goals and assists to really become a leading figure in the side.
Danny Ings, 5 – Another game, another indication that playing both Ings and Watkins isn’t going to work. He looks a bit lost in many ways when playing as a two-pronged attack, as he just can’t get involved in our build-up play and then lacks the service to become a real threat. Gerrard has a big decision to make now in terms of who he drops and plays as the focal point of our attack moving forward, but Ings’ place is surely under threat.
Kortney Hause, 7 – Did a really good job after coming on at half-time. Wasn’t easy as he played out of his natural position on the left side of the two centre halves, but he kept things tight at the back alongside Mings and was constantly looking for that switch across the pitch to Digne which created some dangerous moments.
Philippe Coutinho, 8 – What an impact on his debut. His introduction itself lifted the entire crowd after things fell flat going down 2-0, and to cap it off he went on and grabbed the equaliser with an excellent run into the box to create a simple finish for himself after an excellent assist from Ramsey.
Carney Chukwuemeka, 7 – Imposed himself well in midfield as he added bite to our play off the ball and showed good physicality when on the ball to push forward.