Villa put in the kind of home performance that suggested they would end the season as a play-off team at best, rather than an automatic promotion prospect.
Against Millwall’s rearguard action they simply lacked ideas or urgency and were happy to tempt fate allowing Millwall to counter, often with a man over.
Villa mustered one shot on target, compared to Millwall’s eight attempts, despite having more of the possession.
Luckily Sam Johnstone was alert all game or Millwall would have nicked their first away win of the season. Millwall will no doubt kick themselves for not doing better with some of the openings they had.
Not a great game for anybody.
Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Millwall
Sam Johnstone – 8 MOTM
Didn’t put a foot wrong in a competent display. He showed his alertness a couple of times early in the first half coming out well to cut out Millwall’s break away’s. Was forced into several smart saves due to slackness by the Villa backline.
Villa’s Man of the Match by far.
Alan Hutton – 6
Functional coming forward, when Villa needed a smarter player on the overlap or to help overload. Subbed by Bruce due to this. Exposed by Millwall’s counter more than once.
Chris Samba – 7
Plenty of clearances, many with his head, notably cutting out a promising Millwall counter on the 20th minute. Went off injured though. Kept it simple with his distribution, but was found lacking when it came to the pace of Millwall’s counter. Still, overall, and okay offering.
James Chester – 6.5
Chester was caught out on the ball early in the first half that almost cost Villa a goal. The defence at times was prone to lapses, and in his role as captain, the Welshman must take some of the liability for that.
Neil Taylor – 6
While defensively he was ok overall, again like Hutton, he was a little one-dimensional going forward, when Villa needed something a little extra to break Millwall down.
Glen Whelan – 6
A clean sheet, so he did his job in that respect, but Whelan had one of his more sloppy games in possession, with a handful of wayward passes. He didn’t help Villa’s cause going forward or dictating more meaningful possession.
Robert Snodgrass – 6
A bit predictable favouring in his right foot and cutting in all the time. Despite a good slide rule through ball to set up a chance for Davis, not his greatest game in the opponent’s half.
Snodgrass got caught in possession allowing Millwall to counter attack in the first half, an opportunity the visitors should have done much better with. That said, defensively he did break-up a couple of promising Millwall attacks.
Henri Lansbury – 6.5
Pivoted deep in the midfield and statistically had the most touches of the ball of any Villa play, but offered nothing inspirational ala his goal against Leeds.
For me, Lansbury or Hourihane are not playing forward enough to make things happen on a more regular basis.
Josh Onomah – 6
Saw a lot of the ball and had a few shots off target, but failed to influence the game or provide the spark needed to break Millwall down. Disappointing again from the point of view of failing to make things happen.
Keinan Davis – 6
Fired over after 10 minutes, then should perhaps should have done better when put clean through by Snodgrass just before the half-hour mark.
This was a game where you needed your striker to snatch a goal, but in the end it proved that Davis, despite his effort and hustle, isn’t that match-winner just yet.
Albert Adomah – 6
Looked lively early on with both a header and curled shot going wide. The intent was there, but the space he’s been used to wasn’t. Not helped by Villa lacking in ideas when going forward.
Off the Bench
Grealish (59) – 6.5
Was one of Villa’s more positive players in the half-an-hour he was on the pitch for. He also had the only Villa shot on target.
El Mohamady (70) – 6
His delivery was no better than Hutton’s when he came on.
Elphick (78) – N/A
Funnily enough MOMS on the last podcast (see below) had predicted Tommy Elphick would play more of a role for Villa this month. Only touched the ball a few times in the 10 minutes or so he was on.
Villa Team Performance – 5
A lack of ideas and invention going forward, coupled with carelessness in relation to Millwall’s counter-attack.
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