Kickin' It: Villa look to rebound from loss with midweek Cup win

Michael Steele

A recap of the week that was and a look ahead to the week that will be.

After a really delightful win at Arsenal, Aston Villa have suffered back-to-back tough defeats. Nevertheless, the schedule was pretty tricky and getting three points out of that opening week isn't too bad. Let's get around to the week that was before we look ahead. Just a reminder that you should consider this your open thread for any topic whatsoever. Join us in the comments!

Just The Facts, Please


Position W D L GD Pts
Aston Villa 8th 1 0 2 0 3

Form (Last 5): L L W - -

Results Last Week: Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa (EPL), Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool (EPL)

Upcoming Fixtures:

  • First Team:
    Rotherham United (League Cup) - Wednesday, August 28, 1945 GMT, 1445 Eastern

Tracking Villa's Progress

A look at how Aston Villa are doing compared to corresponding fixtures from last season. For a more full explanation of the corresponding fixtures table, see here.

∆ Scored ∆ Allowed ∆ Points
+2 -8 +3

As mentioned in that linked article, Aston Villa are already three points better than they were in these three fixtures last season. In 2012-13, all three were losses, so the win at Arsenal looks mighty nice. And not giving up eight goals to Chelsea will do wonders for that goals allowed number. All things considered, it's not a bad start to the season.

Injuries

New Injuries Last Week:

Transfer Rumor Roundup

  • Make sure to check out our transfer rumor hub.
  • And if you'd just like a list of all the rumours from the summer, click here.
  • Not much else on the transfer front, except spurious Christian Benteke rumours that refuse to go away. I dissected them here.

Match Notes

Chelsea 2-1 Aston Villa (EPL)
Antonio Luna (6' OG), Christian Benteke (45'), Branislav Ivanovic (73')

  • Well, this is a match that left me with really mixed emotions. On the one hand, Villa put in a superb performance away from home against a very good Chelsea side. On the other, they failed to convert some big chances and saw a few key decisions go against them. Would have loved to have seen the point, but I'll take the one-goal loss.
  • One of the positives to take from the match was Christian Benteke's goal at the end of the first half. Graham MacAree did some excellent analysis of the goal that should be heartening to all Villa fans.
  • Graham also did an absolutely fascinating in-depth analysis of the match, which you can read here.
  • Kirsten's instant-reaction is here.
  • You can find Aaron's recap here, which points out a lot of the good things to come from the match.
  • The WhoScored recap is here.

Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool (EPL)
Daniel Sturridge (21')

  • As much pride as could be taken in the Chelsea match, this one was a pretty big letdown. Villa came out looking exceptionally tired - which is totally understandable, but still disappointing - and were never in control during the first half.
  • The lone goal in this one came when Daniel Sturridge absolutely eviscerated the Aston Villa defense and made a wonderful finish to put Liverpool up for good. Here's what it looked like:
    Sturridge_1_medium
  • The real problem seemed to be that Villa could never get to the counter that they thrive so much on. Liverpool did an excellent job of leaving enough people behind on any given attack that the Villa counters didn't amount to much.
  • Still, three points from three of the toughest matches on the schedule, with an easy-looking Cup match and then a long break ahead? I'll take that. We could've had more, but Villa were never totally outclassed, and I'm still convinced this is a team that won't terrify us this season.
  • Our instant-reaction thread is here.
  • Aaron's longer recap can be found here.
  • And the WhoScored recap is here.

Looking Ahead

  • After a grueling three matches to open the season, Aston Villa get an easier task for the second round of the Capital One League Cup. They've drawn Rotherham United at home, for a Wednesday match that starts at 1945 Birmingham time. The lingering concern will of course be the fact that this is Villa's fourth match in 12 days. That's a really tough start to the season, even if Rotherham are only a League One side.
  • Nevertheless, it should be an easy Villa win, and it will be interesting to see what sort of a lineup Paul Lambert uses. Andreas Weimann thrived in cup play last year and hasn't looked great to start this season. Maybe Lambert throws him out to boost confidence and subs off Gabby and Benteke for Tonev and Helenius. I'd certainly enjoy seeing that.
  • And then? After the match, Villa get a blessed break that stretches until the September 14th visit by Newcastle to Villa Park. I'll miss having football, but the break will certainly be good for the team.

Miscellany

  • My Old Man Said put up an analysis of a place on which Aston Villa could focus and yield huge dividends. Absolutely make sure to give it a read.
  • I just wanted to note that NBC's work on Saturday was pretty atrocious from a technical standpoint. Arlo White was a fantastic commentator, but the video kept going in and out and the sound was about half a second ahead. I know it's early and there are some glitches to be worked out for sure, but come on NBC. If you're going to nationally broadcast something that you're desperately trying to get people to like, you've gotta actually do it right. Here's hoping that was a one-week thing.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Check in every weekday for the latest edition of Kickin' It. Be sure to join us in the comments, where anything goes!
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