It was one of the more frustrating Aston Villa matches in recent memory. A bright start wasn't capitalized on. Villa stagnated and didn't react at all to Crystal Palace making tactical changes, and the home side slowly but surely began to dominate. And even after Villa's lone substitute had the most incredible debut cameo, resulting in the tying goal, the claret and blues still managed to gift Palace a late winner.
Some Villa players impressed in the club's third Premier League match of 2015-16. Meanwhile others...well, not so much.
Based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, here are the players ratings for Aston Villa from Saturday's 2-1 loss at Crystal Palace:
GK: Brad Guzan, Rating: 3
Pretty terrible time for Brad Guzan to have a game like this. With more than a week left in the transfer window for Tim Sherwood to find a new goalkeeper, the American had a nightmare. Consistently horrific distribution throughout was compounded by the stupidity in the 87th minute of passing up the opportunity to start a counter attack and instead giving the ball to an inexperienced left back with Palace players just a few yards away. The result: Palace scored the winning goal on a shot by Bakary Sako that probably should've been saved by Guzan.
RB: Leandro Bacuna, Rating: 4
Strange match for Bacuna in that he was better defensively than offensively. Five clearances, four interceptions and four blocks against a talented corps of Palace attackers was assured, but he struggled going forward and his crossing was poor. And a time-wasting yellow card on a throw-in? Just more unnecessary Villa stupidity.
CB: Micah Richards, Rating: 5
Aston Villa have conceded three goals in three games against three pretty good attacking teams, yet some fans are blaming the defense for Villa's mediocre start. Micah Richards has been steady, both individually and in his role as the captain of a young team with little Premier League experience. On Saturday, he was solid. Neither goal was his fault, and his 90-percent passing and athleticism contributed to the Villa efforts.
CB: Ciaran Clark, Rating: 5
Played a really solid match until Palace's opening goal. Clark was completely dominated by Scott Dann from a corner kick as the Eagles took the lead, which was especially strange considering how good Clark has been in the air so far this season. An annoying moment, but not one that should cause Villa fans too much worry because on the whole, Clark was solid again.
LB: Jordan Amavi, Rating: 4
Amavi will have better days. His lacksadaisical mistake on the ball cost Villa a point, and his overall match wasn't too good either. Now that Premier League teams know about his pace and dribbling ability, Amavi must adapt accordingly. From his first touch, Palace doubled up on Amavi, not allowing him any room to pass forward, dribble or pick out a good cross. And when he did send crosses in, they failed to find a Villa head. Hopefully he learns from Saturday's gaffe, because he still has the potential to be a great player.
CDM: Carlos Sanchez, Rating: 7
Very good match for the Colombian anchor of Villa's midfield diamond on Saturday. Sanchez actually dropped when he needed to, something he failed to do much last season, covering the area in front of Villa's back four, breaking up Palace attacks and even starting some moves for Villa. Understandable that he was subbed because he's only recently come back from his extended summer break following Copa America, but it was no surprise that Villa struggled defensively after his departure.
CM: Ashley Westwood, Rating: 6
96-percent passing says it all about Westwood's day. His consistency early this season has been nice to see. He really has become one of Villa's better players and who knows, maybe the England call-up manager Tim Sherwood suggested for him isn't so far fetched. If only some other Villa players had the composure on the ball of Westwood.
CM: Idrissa Gana Gueye, Rating: 5
Villa's worst midfield player in this match, but Gana wasn't bad at all. He recorded 90-percent passing with four tackles, doing a job for the team. But his passing needs to be more expansive; he's been pretty wasteful in dangerous positions so far this season. With Westwood and Sanchez in the team as more defensive midfielders, Gana needs to show more quality offensively to justify his selection going forward.
CAM: Jack Grealish, Rating: 7
Smooth and solid return to the starting lineup for Grealish. It was apparent that he really worried the Palace defenders as they backed off him throughout the match. He started really well, creating an early chance for Gestede and driving Villa forward with his dribbling and well-weighted passing. If and when the end product comes with Grealish, watch out Premier League.
ST: Gabby Agbonlahor, Rating: 4
How the hell did Agbonlahor finish 90 minutes in this match? Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew just sat on the bench the entire match as Tim Sherwood had two subs remaining and watched on as Gabby missed chances and killed Villa attacks. Agbonlahor actually got into some good positions, and should of scored when clean through in the 13th minute, which makes his lack of composure and quality in the final third all the more frustrating.
ST: Rudy Gestede, Rating: 5
Won 11 aerial duels, but Gestede just didn't do enough to help Villa look dangerous on Saturday. His 50-percent passing was pretty poor as his hold up play disappointed. But his teammates (COUGH, COUGH Gabby) need to do a better job of supporting him and reading his headed flick-ons and lay-offs. Was carded for a poor high boot that gave Palace a free kick from which Villa were lucky to survive.
RW: Adama Traore, Rating: 9
Remember the name Adama Traore. What a debut. The first two times he touched the ball, he was crowded out. But the first opportunity he had with any space, he dribbled around two Palace defenders, played the ball towards goal and was rewarded with a deflected own goal for Villa's only tally. Also impressed on his next touch, taking the ball wide and drawing a foul in a dangerous position, which of course Villa wasted on the free kick. The new Villa No. 20 has the chance to be as exciting as the old Villa No. 20 based on this cameo.