The fixture saw Aston Villa attempting to keep two streaks alive. The claret and blue came into the match having earned all three points in their last two Championship outings.
Since 1993, in all competitions, Villa had also only lost two of their previous thirteen against the Tractor Boys. Naturally, Mick McCarthy’s men were hoping to replicate their rare 1-0 victory in this fixture last season.
After a fairly slow and uneven start to the match, Villans everywhere found great solace in the play of their newfound hero, Albert Adomah. His two goals extended a scintillating run form that earned him another ‘Man of the Match’ award.
The Ghanaian winger’s effort combined with a number of other solid individual performances to help Steve Bruce and Aston Villa extend the aforementioned streaks.
Yesterday’s win kept Villa at fourth in the table with 35 points. Three points on Friday night against fellow promotion contender Leeds United could potentially see the claret and blue move into 3rd!
Here are the full player ratings – based on a scale of 1 to 10 – for yesterday’s 2-1 victory over Ipswich:
GK: Sam Johnstone, Rating: 5.75
It took a quarter of an hour for Villa’s keeper to see any action. In the 16th minute Martyn Waghorn’s corner to the near post ended with Joe Garner putting the ball into the back of the net. However, all supporters breathed a sigh of relief when the referee determined that Garner had fouled Sam Johnstone.
For the rest of the match, the Manchester United loanee showed a command of his box. At roughly the half-hour mark, Johnstone quickly collected two balls in his box and parried away a threatening Ipswich cross.
The second half saw him have a fairly limited involvement. The most notable moment probably came in the 75th minute when Johnstone was forced to close down and claim Waghorn’s crafty pass over the top.
Yesterday’s clean sheet marked Johnstone’s 16th in 41 matches for Aston Villa. Steve Bruce has been ordered by this man to make the loan move a permanent:
LB: Neil Taylor, Rating: 6.5 (substituted off, 81st minute)
The Welsh international was rather impressive against the Tractor Boys. Taylor led the claret and blue in successful attempted tackles (i.e. an 83% success rate). In addition to those tackles, he also led the back four in interceptions.
On at least two occasions, Villa’s left-back did rather well to deal with the barnstorming runs of Dominic Iorfa. Taylor’s 67 total touches were almost equally distributed between the two halves. When he was in attack, he demonstrated the ability to make smart passes and move effectively off the ball.
It should be noted, that since returning to the starting XI, Neil Taylor has done well to resolidify himself as the starter.
CB: James Chester, Rating: 6.5
Yesterday afternoon at Villa Park, Chester was the embodiment of a no-nonsense defender. ‘Chesty’ led the team with ten total defensive clearances and ten aerial duals won.
A lot of those simply involved him clearing the ball out of touch to give Villa’s defence a chance to regroup. His strong play was what you would expect from a captain in a clean sheet performance.
CB: Mile Jedinak, Rating: 5.25 (substituted off, 26th minute)
My match notes read:
“How many headers has he had in the first six minutes?“
Those resulted in this bit of sarcasm:
The Australian showed enough to suggest that, with John Terry out, he could be an effective option in the centre of defence. Unfortunately, he picked up a knock in the 19th minute and was taken off seven minutes later. At that point I wrote the following, “mea culpa, mea culpa…”
RB/LB: Alan Hutton, Rating: 6
The Scot led the back line in terms of successful passes completed (i.e. 36/50 or 72%). Defensively, all three of his clearances came just at the edge of the 18-yard box.
When Emyr Huws took Hutton down in the 72nd minute, Villa’s right-back showed that should he ever pursue a baseball career, this would be a good choice for his walk-up music:
He’s taken some deserved stick in the past, but you’ve got to at least embrace his consistent tenacity on the pitch.
LM: Albert Adomah, Rating: 9.5 (MotM)
With another brace yesterday against Ipswich, Albert has now tallied five goals in three matches! This season, he is averaging one goal for every 116 minutes of action in the Championship.
After yesterday’s victory, you could not have blamed Adomah if he had asked the Villa Park dressing rooms this question:
His run of form is bordering on the sublime. If the Ghanaian keeps playing at such an incredibly high level, Steve Bruce’s side might not need too many others to bang in goals (i.e. a not joke).
CM: Conor Hourihane, Rating: 5.75
Hourihane has shown he’s certainly more than capable of putting in ‘Man of the Match’ shifts. However, yesterday was not one of the days where his play likely caught the eye of many.
Though when it comes to analytics, Hourihane had three defensive clearances from within the 18-yard box. Those reflected the fact that his touches were once again, all over the pitch.
The Irish midfielder’s performance against Mick McCarthy’s side was silently effective. Even if he is not managing to tally goals or assists, his box-to-box presence is certainly a factor that contributes to victories.
CM: Glenn Whelan, Rating: 7.5
First and foremost, Whelan deserves an immense amount of credit for Albert Adomah’s opening goal.
When his volley from the edge of the box was deflected high into the air, the Irish midfielder stuck with the ball. His persistence caught the Ipswich defence napping on what they presumed was a cleared corner. Cleverly, his well-weighted header fell right to the feet of Villa’s goalscorer.
From that point on – and really even prior – he continued to have an outstanding match. Whelan led the claret and blue with 80 total touches on the night. He also led the team in completed total passes (i.e. 52). To boot, the Irishman tallied the most clearances and interceptions of any midfielder.
On the whole, we strongly agree with Dan Bardell:
RM: Robert Snodgrass, Rating: 7
The start of the match saw Snodgrass have the brightest efforts in attack. His quality free kick in the 10th minute found the head of Alan Hutton. Unfortunately, his fellow countryman was unable to get his effort on target.
‘Snoddy’ continued to make his presence known cutting into the Ipswich defence from the right flank. Of late, he has definitely showed that he can produce attacking moves. That said, it should be of no surprise that the majority of his 64 total touches came on that side of the pitch.
In the 66th minute, Snodgrass produced sheer excellence when he assisted Albert Adomah’s second goal. Simply put, his vision and passing touch, allowed him to play a delightful long ball out of Villa’s defensive half.
If he continues to perform like he did against Ipswich, The Duke of Cambridge might want to issue another order regarding the Scot’s loan.
CAM/CF: Josh Onomah, Rating: 5.75
It took a bit of time for the youngster to get into the match, but eventually Josh Onomah made his presence known and had a good outing.
42 of his 49 total touches came in the attacking half. Like his peer, Keinan Davis, Onomah again showed that he is physically gifted beyond his years. The Spurs talent won all of his aerial duals and had plenty of successful lay-offs whilst holding the ball.
Against Ipswich he had a number of moves in that role that just about opened up the defence. He’s clearly skilled in a role just behind the striker.
That said, as the season progresses, don’t be surprised if the lad is involved in more attacking highlights.
ST: Keinan Davis, Rating: 5.75 (substituted off, 86th minute)
Davis was able to get himself into scoring positions. In the 16th minute, he got on the end of a Neil Taylor through ball and put a powerful shot from well outside the box on target.
Seventeen minutes later, off an Adomah cross, he was just unable to keep his headed attempt down.
As all supporters should just come to expect at this point, his hold-up play was yet again strong. All of Davis’ 22 passes came in the attacking half of the pitch. He completed 19 of those yesterday (i.e. 90%).
His performances seem to be earning him the physical attention of opposing Championship defenders. Such attention led to him being substituted off with what appeared to be a knock that no man would enjoy.
Against the Tractor Boys, his impressive work rate suggested that he is up to the task of facing aggressive defenders.
CB: Christopher Samba, Rating: 5.5 (substitute, 26th minute)
After yesterday’s match, it was well evident that the big lad’s passing from defence might not be his strong suit. In fact, he very nearly knocked out Emyr Huws with a blasted effort in the 65th.
Even with that bit of cheeky stick, it should be noted that Samba more than does the job when called upon to just clear the ball out the box. After replacing Mile Jedinak in the 26th minute, he tallied 6 clearances out of the 18-yard box.
His play yesterday at the club’s hallowed ground was sufficient.
RB: Ahmed Elomohamady, Rating: 5 (substitute, 81st minute)
His industrious attacking dribble in the 87th minute led to him getting a good cross into the box. Unfortunately, nobody was there on the end of it. With 14 defensive touches in his limited time on the pitch, the Egyptian did the job as a late tactical substitute.
CAM: Jack Grealish, Rating: N/A (substitute, 86th minute)
Last season, Grealish had 5 goals and 5 assists in 31 appearances in the Championship. He’s more than proved himself to be a threat to create chances whenever he sees time on the pitch.