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Player Ratings: Team effort helps Aston Villa finally win in the Premier League

Aston Villa ended the club's long-lasting win drought in the Premier League on Tuesday night, beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at Villa Park thanks to a stroke of luck and a lot of hard work from every player on the pitch.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

They did it. Eleven men wearing claret and blue at Villa Park managed to score more goals than another team in a game of Premier League football for the first time at home this season.

Sure, it took a huge goalkeeping error by Crystal Palace's Wayne Hennessey for the 1-0 win on Tuesday night to happen. But Villa won the three points -- and probably deserved it based on 90 minutes of hard work and good commitment from the Villa players who gave everything throughout the match.

Some Villa players stood out more than others, but nobody let the team down, which resulted in the elusive victory that Villa desperately needed. Here are the Aston Villa player ratings from this week's win over Crystal Palace, with rankings based on a scale of 1 to 10 along with stats and analysis:

GK: Mark Bunn, Rating: 6

Perhaps a surprise inclusion in the team, Bunn had a quiet-but-assured night. He only had to make one save on a tame free kick by Yohan Cabaye thanks to the efforts of the Villa defense and midfield, but Bunn made his presence felt with assured kicking most of the time and claimed the ball well when needed.

RB: Leandro Bacuna, Rating: 7

Criticized for his Instagram post laying on the beach just last week, Bacuna proved that he's anything but lazy on Tuesday night. No Villa player was more committed to the cause. The right back ran his socks off, making four successful tackles and five clearances as his defensive display matched up with his neat work going forward.

CB: Jores Okore, Rating: 6

Okore's passing was great  at 88 percent, but he did make a few minor errors that put Villa in danger at times. Palace's best chance in the first minute came space voided by Okore. But the Villa center back recovered to make six clearances and his athleticism quelled the threat of Palace's pace on the wings.

CB: Joleon Lescott, Rating: 7

The "goal scorer" was another who has taken lots of heat this week, but Lescott had his best game in a Villa shirt. Six clearances and four interceptions showed he can still read the game reasonably well, and he displayed some nice chemistry with Okore as they both covered for each other well. The duo is undoubtedly Villa's best CB combo right now.

LB: Aly Cissokho, Rating: 7

Perhaps the most surprising performance of the night, Cissokho defended dutifully against Palace's threatening attackers. His crossing wasn't great but did threaten at times. Honestly, it was just amazing to see a competent left back at Villa Park for the first time since Jordan Amavi went down.

CDM: Idrissa Gana, Rating: 7

Involved heavily and another who showed legs up for the fight. Five interceptions and 85 percent passing from Gana helped the Villa midfield tick over and keep possession for large spells of the first 60 minutes before his tackling and energy boosted the team's effort to see out the result in the final half hour.

LCM: Ashley Westwood, Rating: 5

The most anonymous of Villa's players, Westwood still put in a shift for the side. Didn't have any notable stats and his passing wasn't great, but he still contributed to the victory.

RCM: Jordan Veretout, Rating: 7

Veretout continues to be at the heart of much of Villa's good attacking play. He recorded his fourth assist of the season on the goal from the corner kick, with all four coming in the last eight games on Villa's seven total goals during that spell. Besides that moment, Veretout created two other chances and posted 84 percent passing as the French midfielder put in another quality performance.

CAM: Carles Gil, Rating: 7

Gil twisted and turned and maintained possession at a 94 percent clip as he played the attacking tip of Villa's midfield diamond to near perfection without creating any clear-cut chances. Adding some final product to his play, which might result from developing some chemistry with Kozak, could make Gil Villa's key player down the stretch.

LS: Jordan Ayew, Rating: 9

Another brilliant performance from Ayew, who left Palace defenders all over the pitch throughout the night. With five take-ons and 94 percent passing, nearly every Ayew touch resulted in something positive for Villa. He attempted four shots and will be disappointed not to have scored, but the Ghanaian once again proved himself as Villa's best overall player. Also: The tackle Ayew made on Jason Puncheon in the 83rd minute was the first time in months that I genuinely believed that Villa believe they can stay up this season. The way Ayew ran back 40 yards to win the ball back for the team was true leadership from a player who has totally bought in to this team's fight against the drop.

RS: Libor Kozak, Rating: 6

Some were stunned to actually see Kozak start a game for Villa, but it needed to happen with how bad Rudy Gestede has been in recent weeks. He was a bit rusty in timing his runs, sure. But the most important thing was that Libor actually attempted to make the runs. There were a few times where Kozak made great runs and wasn't found by teammates. When Villa study the film and see those, maybe his teammates will find him in future games, assuming he continues to start after this victory.


LCM: Ciaran Clark, No Rating

Didn't mess up as he came on to solidify Villa defensively.