Aston Villa went into this evening’s derby clash with West Bromwich Albion again looking to get our season back on track after plenty of struggles in the 2021 portion of the campaign.
We were without Jack Grealish once again which came as no surprise to anyone, but the inclusion of Ross Barkley certainly raised eyebrows after his more recent performances – well, no shows off the substitutes bench.
Baton down the hatches…
It was a lively start, it was almost reminiscent of our 2020 form. Calm at the back, pressuring at the front…Ollie wasn’t isolated. Barkley’s passes found team mates…Douglas Luiz looked possessed and we even had the flicks and backheels back.
Barkley even won us a penalty and Anwar El Ghazi rifled it into the net 9 minutes in.
I know it was the Baggies, but what had Dean Smith done to the Villa we’d got used to?
Albion almost replied immediately with a freekick – but, so sad.
It wouldn’t be modern (sick) football if VAR wasn’t involved though and after a more niggly period of the game, Albion finally muster an attack and one of their players goes down like a two dollar under no challenge at all and the idiot in charge levels things up.
VAR gets involved, but as we know, we don’t get these – particularly when the chosen replays shown are the distance ones which don’t actually show what the up close ones did – no touch.
1-1 – Stuart Attwell strikes again, but I knew I’d say that at least once ahead of kick off sadly.
After a wobble, we did react better though and slowly got back on top and but for a misplaced pass, a lack of a run or a shot straight at the keeper, we’d have quickly had the advantage again. Albion weren’t out of it though but even allowing for our usual errors, this was much better than we’d seen since the turn of the year.
Half time – so good half or bad?
Bad apparently, within seconds of kickoff a defensive slip saw Albion in from absolutely nothing and it was 2-1.
Never do things the easy way do we.
There was plenty of huff and puff and we continued to have good chances to get back into it, but we wasted them and Lady Luck clearly wasn’t with us as we just didn’t get a bounce or a deflection – in the way Albion did for their second.
The visitors had their period on top, but we started showing signs of life again as the game edged to a close but again, with no finish.
We eventually saw Keinan Davis as a Plan B and he caused masses of trouble and even hit the bar but we were resigned to defeat. We even brought long injured Wesley on for a very late cameo, presumably to put a couple of minutes into his legs and give him a little boost of confidence and then from nowhere, Ollie won a header in the box and Davis pounced.
Full time – I’m off for a much needed drink.
One of our better performances in 2021 on an attacking front and it looked like we had angered the Footballing God’s with nothing going for us and nothing to show for a better dominating performance…I’ll take the point.
25/04/0021 7:00 pm
Referee: Stuart Attwell
|Aston Villa||West Bromwich Albion|
|El Ghazi (pen 9). Davis (90+2)||Costa Pereira (pen 23), Mings (og 47)|
|Douglas Luiz||78||Costa Pereira|