Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Fulham, as Pragmatism Seals Win

Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Fulham

My Old Man Said’s Aston Villa player ratings return after a long exile. With Villa players now on another level under Unai Emery, it would be rude not to bring them back. Lets try a new style with two Villa supporters providing their inputs…

By Charles Hay & Isaac O’Connor

Aston Villa cemented their position in the top six in the Premier League after with a very controlled and pragmatic win over Fulham. After a dominant first half display, Villa eased off in the second, content to keep Fulham at arm’s length. Unai Emery’s men defended well, and kept a fifth successive home clean sheet, as they nicked a 1-0 win. It’s now five wins on the trot at Villa Park and and 10 unbeaten in a row (8W 2D).

There were hints that Villa could do with one or two of the likes of Matty Cash, Boubacar Kamara, Leon Bailey and Philippe Coutinho, back in the match day squad, as Villa laboured at the end against the Cottagers.

Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Newcastle

Emi Martinez – 7

Martinez was accurate with his passes (82% compared to less than 50% before he went off against Brentford) and created counterattacks and dictated the temp of the game. Besides that, Fulham’s zero shots on target, tells the story of the Argentine’s night. – CH

The Argentine had little to do defensively but his calm distribution and being quick off his line to sweep up loose balls, gave the team a base to build from and brought structure to the defence. – IO

Álex Moreno – 7.5

Moreno often stayed close to Mings while defending, not allowing any Fulham players to rush between the two of them. Besides the clever positioning, he didn’t do too much. Perhaps not as tidy with his passing as in previous games, only having 79% pass completion. – CH

The Spaniard’s pace and ability to beat defenders had Kenny Tete worried several times, who had obviously been told to be on his guard against Moreno. Got a well-deserved standing ovation when he came off, but that was probably for his collective effort in recent matches, than this game. – IO

Tyrone Mings – 9

In the first half, Mings showed how Emery’s team can mix it up, with some smart and accurate longer balls. His improved distribution typifies his evolution under the Villa boss. Mentally, he looks stronger and he’s playing with more fluidly (the less he thinks, the better he is!). A beautiful header at the other end, for a long overdue goal. – CH

An almost faultless performance as Mings furthered his name into England debates. The winning header from McGinn’s corner, his solid distribution, composure and general lack of mistakes won Villa a 5th home clean sheet in succession. – IO

Ezri Konsa – 8

Ezri was very confident on the ball, and always had a plan on where he is going to pass it, if he was under pressure. Solid and consistent against Fulham and didn’t let a single player past him. – CH

Another stunning performance from the English centre-half pairing, and Konsa time and time again won back long balls, cleared pressure, and played good passes to both flanks. His Rolls-Royce status is returning. – IO

Ashley Young – 7

Young was conservative in the first half, focusing on providing more protection on Fulham’s counterattacks. He protected Villa’s box and held strong against any physical attempts to play against him. Not his most composed game with the ball. – CH

Young didn’t have the best day as he failed to consistently keep Solomon quiet, and his yellow card summed up his defending as a whole. However, a few good clearances and some good wins of the ball kept him at having an ok overall game. – IO

Jacob Ramsey – 8

Ramsey excelled more in the defensive side of his game against Fulham. After the half hour mark, Ramsey began giving Fulham something to think about by cutting inside, giving Moreno or Watkins space to run into. In the second half, a disciplined Ramsey continued his defensive duties. Fulham did nothing on the right side until he subbed off at the 77th minute. – CH

Another player to have Tete worried, was one of our own – Villa’s 41 gave a good showing on the left, with a joint highest three key passes. – IO

Douglas Luiz – 8 

Luiz was his dependable box-to-box self against Fulham. Off the ball, he cut down the opponent’s space and covered Moreno’s forward forays, while on it, he kept things ticking by with total composure. – CH

Douglas Luiz yet again pulled the strings in the middle of the park, and dominated throughout the 90. The Brazilian helped break up play, helped defensive rigidity, as shown by his team-high three tackles. – IO

Leander Dendoncker – 7

Very good backtracking. He was always prepared to defend and support the backline. A really solid defensive midfielder display. He also made a smart run forward early in the first half, so it showed he has trust and synergy with Douglas Luiz, knowing that he was covering. – CH

Back to his best today after a blip last time out at Brentford, Dendoncker did well to bolster the midfield and played good forward passes, and completing 86.8% of passes that he attempted. – IO

John McGinn (c) – 8

After an uncertain start as Villa Captain, under Emery, McGinn is growing into the role properly. Disciplined in his defensive duties and making astute contributions in attack against Fulham, with a couple of shots and three key passes, McGinn led by example. – CH

A lot of fouls won in the midfield to relieve pressure came from McGinn. The Scotsman time and again gave good deliveries into the box, including the corner for the winner. – IO

Emi Buendia – 6

Emi was double or even triple-teamed very often in the middle of the pitch. Every time he got the ball, he didn’t have space and was either forced to shoot or to pass wide. At times, perhaps Buendia should have played a quicker ball, when he did get swamped. – CH

Buendia’s two shots helped drag up his overall rating as with only one key pass, and only 26 passes, the Argentinian didn’t have much involvement throughout. Getting dispossessed five times, the highest of any player on the pitch, isn’t something to write home about, but all in all Buendia did okay. – IO

Ollie Watkins – 7

Ollie had a frustrating game, largely due to being well marshalled by Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo, who had a solid game. Watkins had to be patient, as space to run at the backline was at a premium, although he did have four chances, although only one troubled Leno.

Similar to Buendia, Watkins struggled to get into the game, with 15 passes, but four shots. 46.7% pass accuracy isn’t amazing but taking into account context, this percentage isn’t all that bad. – IO

Off the Bench

Lucas Digne – 6

A little dodgy with his defending. Right when Digne came on, Fulham felt new life on their right-hand side. Was clearly told to play conservatively by Emery, as he didn’t run-on and attack the flank, when he had a couple of chances to. – CH

French international Digne helped sure up the defence, and completed 100% of his passes. Although, from three passes, not exactly difficult. – IO

Bertrand Traore – 6

Traore came on and provided some worry with Fulham to not push too far forward. He scared them a few times with potential counter-attacking runs. – CH

The tricky winger had very little to do in his short time on the field and had little impact. -IO

Calum Chambers – 6

Came on to waste the clock and give Young some rest. – CH

No foot wrong from Chambers really, two clearances to help relieve pressure from the defence is exactly what was needed. – IO


Unai Emery – 7

A well-managed match from Emery. After Villa took the lead, the focus seemed to be on managing the three points, maybe the Spaniard was conscious that Villa’s current injuries don’t give him the squad depth to change things up. If he had, maybe Buendia would have come off. He was displaying a lot of frustration and there was the potential for it to manifest into a poor yellow card or potentially threatening free kicks. – CH

Unai’s main XI is really solidifying itself, but the squad around are all showing their worth. This win makes it 10 unbeaten in a row for Emery’s Villa and took them up to 5th, before Spurs 2-2 draw with Manchester United. The game was managed well and taking off Young on a card was a good decision. Is it time for us fans to start believing? Or renewing passports..? – IO