Aston Villa hosted Ipswich town in the third match in eight days and did not make many changes to the lineup — with just Jedinak coming in at center back. Ipswich made four changes to their starting eleven.
It cannot be a surprise to anyone who has followed Aston Villa for this season that the match was dominated by one dancing winger. Albert Adomah continues to improve his game and take (seemingly) all the chances he is given. And he does it with a smile and some quality dance moves.
First half: Alarm clock needed.
To call it a slow start may be an understatement
Villa earned a corner kick in the opening minute but it was easily cleared as both teams settled into battling over the ball in midfield for the opening minutes (neither team particularly keeping the ball).
At the eight minute mark Adomah earned a free kick down Villa’s left. Snodgrass sent in a good ball but it was Alan Hutton (really) who headed it wide. Villa and Ipswich resumed the practice of long balls, losing possession, back passes followed by more long balls.
Conor Hourihane conceded a corner in the 15th minute. Sam Johnstone flapped at a cross coming in and Ipswich found the back of the net. Thankfully for the Villa faithful the referee called a foul for impeding in the keeper. The near-goal woke the Lions up as Davis immediately got clear in the attacking end but was unable to beat the keeper with a strong left-footed shot.
The match looked like it might pick up... and then Mile Jedinak got injured causing a stoppage in play. The Australian seemed to be nursing his shoulder. After some on-field treatment the bearded-man came back on (for now) and was immediately called upon to clear a ball out of the Villa box.
Snodgrass nearly connected with Adomah on a nifty back-heel in the box on 22 minutes. It was a good idea — and one of the few genuinely creative moments in the first half. Ipswich’s right back made a storming run leading to their first chance of the day in the 25th minute. No one stepped up of the stop the run and the ensuing shot was too high. One of the possible reasons no one stepped up was because Jedinak was unable to continue. Before the goal kick, Samba was subbed as his replacement. Mile headed directly in the tunnel as the injury woes continue to pile up.
Ipswich created some pressure around the half an hour mark targeting Alan Hutton’s right side. But it was Kenian Davis who had a chance against the run of play when he sent a diving header off target from a good Albert Adomah cross. The young striker continues to get in good positions and in fairness to him it was not an easy chance with a defender right on him.
Aston Villa finally broke through in the 35th minute. Onomah & Davis combined to earn a corner. Snodgrass’ ball in was headed clear but fell right to Whelan. The Irishman fired a hopeful show (but kept it low) and it was deflected right back to him. A clever header caught Ipswich defenders off guard and Albert Adomah took the ball with his patented coolness — saw it around the keeper and continued his fantastic goal scoring run.
Aston Villa almost gave it right back when Ipswich win a corner and nearly scored — but thankfully the header just missed the top corner. After the scare — Aston Villa were on top for the rest of the first half with a few half-chances. Good to see the boys respond.
Second Half: Seeing it through
No changes for either side during the break.
Albert Adomah picked up where the first half ended earning a free kick down the left a minute into the second half. Josh Onomah has a few kicks a the ball inside the box — but could not quite make a good connection to get it directed at goal.
The matched turned scrappy with the physical play ramping up. The passing accuracy.. less so. The ball was pinged back and forth but neither team was able to open anything up.
Until Prince Albert (possibly in a can) in the 65 minute. Glenn Whelan maintained possession for Villa. Snodgrass made a beautful long pass that got by a lunging defender and found Adomah one-on-one with the keeper. And everyone knew what was coming as the ball found the back of the net and Albert starting dancing. So did the Holte End — up 2-0. 10 goals for the winger this season so far.
One dangerous moment came in the 74th minute when a long ball from Ipswich’s midfield beat the Villa back line. But good awareness from Sam Johnstone when he came and got the ball at the top of the box.
With about ten minutes to go Steve Bruce made the second sub for Aston Villa -- Neil Taylor off, Elmohamady on. Alan Hutton switched sides over to the left of defense. The squad seemed happy to see the match out.
The end was not as clear cut as Villa fans wanted though. Keinan Davis hobbled off (replaced by Jack Grealish) after grabbing the inside of his leg. The health update will be something all will be watching. The Davis injury, and to a lesser extend the Jedinak one to, put a slight damper on the end of what in the end was a comfortable win for Aston Villa.