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Player Ratings: Aston Villa lack cutting edge in boring stalemate at West Brom

Aston Villa and West Brom played one of the lowest quality Premier League matches in recent memory on Saturday, with the 0-0 draw highlighting Villa's lack of a true goal-scorer as a big problem.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The match itself would've earned a rating of one, such was the lack of quality and excitement that Saturday's West Midlands Derby between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion produced. The 0-0 draw did extend Villa's unbeaten run to five games, but the point earned in the Premier League won't go far towards helping the claret and blues avoid relegation this season.

It was another positive performance for Villa, who dominated possession and probed for the winning goal but lacked the positioning in front of goal to score what could've been a crucial goal.

Despite a lack of scoring chances in the match, there was still much to take from Saturday's match. Here are the Aston Villa player ratings along with stats and analysis for the away stalemate at West Brom in the local derby, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best:

GK: Mark Bunn, Rating: 6

An Aston Villa goalkeeper likely hasn't had less to do in a match for years. Almost every West Brom cross went directly to Bunn. One challenging delivery was bobbled, but Bunn quickly recovered to help clear. He wasn't forced to make a single save. Bunn continues to be the best, most calming option in net for Villa right now, having conceding just once in three league games.

RB: Micah Richards, Rating: 5

Richards finally played right back for Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday, and strangely, he seemed less inclined to attack at times than he normally did when featuring at center back. His unwillingness to overlap was strange. Whether it was the order of manager Remi Garde or Richards' own actions I'm not sure, but it's hard to believe the Villa right back didn't send in a single cross in this match. He was also yellow carded for an awful challenge in the first half.

CB: Jores Okore, Rating: 6

Not Okore's best match, but not bad either. Showed rare sloppiness in his passing but defended doggedly and effectively for the most part against a futile West Brom attack, recording eight clearances.

CB: Joleon Lescott, Rating: 7

Another fine performance for the improving Lescott, who has settled at Villa under Garde to help calm this defensive unit that was leaking goals earlier in the season. Had three crucial interventions to cut out West Brom offensive opportunites: one block, one header and one clearance of dangerous Baggies' attacks.

LB: Aly Cissokho, Rating: 6

Honestly don't remember him doing anything of note. Played a physical, mistake-free game at left back. Got forward when possible and played in one fine cross.

CDM: Idrissa Gana, Rating: 6

Not quite as good as his man-of-the-match performance against Leicester, but Gana was still involved with 84-percent passing, two tackles and three interceptions. Committed a few necessary fouls to break up play. Has adapted to the pace of the Premier League, but he still noticeably tired in the final 10 minutes.

RCM: Leandro Bacuna, Rating: 5

Nine crosses without a single finding a Villa attacker. Dreadful service all day from Bacuna was a big reason why his team struggled to break West Brom down. However, was tidy in possession with 88-percent passing, to his credit.

LCM: Ashley Westwood, Rating: 6

Not a fan of Westwood's positioning as a left winger at times as it really slows down Villa attacks due his lack of pace, but he still manages to play well even in that role. Neat passing with good vision, some nice crossing and two shots on goal highlighted Westwood's game at West Brom.

RW: Carles Gil, Rating: 7

Gil should've had a few assists if his teammates would've anticipate some of the brilliant crosses the Spaniard played in. Created three chances on five crosses and completed 88-percent of his passes with another tidy, impressive display in attacking midfield. Popped up all over the pitch and caused West Brom problems all day.

LW: Jordan Ayew, Rating: 6

Tough one to rate. Ayew was again very good in possession, dribbling at pace, driving Villa forward and playing some very creative passes into pockets of space. But off the ball, Ayew's movement was pretty awful. Didn't connect with Kozak at all and was slow to react to some of the best crosses Villa played in. He isn't a true scorer of goals, just one capable of scoring spectacular goals. Needs to develop a more heightened sense of where to be in the box off the ball -- and soon.

ST: Libor Kozak, Rating: 4

Didn't really offer Villa anything. Won just one -- ONE -- header in the entire match, which is pretty much his primary role as a hold-up striker. Lost possession numerous times and was dreadful with his feet. Had one half-chance at the end of the first half where he controlled the ball on his chest and turned to fire at goal from the edge of the box..but it was immediately blocked.


ST: Rudy Gestede, Rating: 6

Won three headers -- all in the box -- as he definitely improved Villa's attack after coming on. Could arguably have done better with one or two of his glancing headers, but none of them were great chances. Disappointing to see him exit early with a pulled hamstring after he was starting to improve.

RCM: Jordan Veretout, Rating: 6

Strange decision for me by Garde to rest Veretout. Yes, the French midfielder looked tied and sloppy against Leicester, but this was a must-win game for Villa and the club's most dynamic midfielder started on the bench. Veretout came on and played a few classy passes but wasn't given enough time to make the difference.