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Sheffield Wednesday pull the rug from under Aston Villa's feet with 2-1 victory

It finished 2-1 to Wednesday this time, with a 1-2 punch that AJ would be jealous of.

Preston North End v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Despite Aston Villa's attack showing a bit of bite and ferocity over the past few weeks, Sheffield Wednesday were able to quickly remove any sort of threat from the Villans.

Villa's Armistice reflection before the game proved to be the one moment of genuine beauty for the home side, and it was perhaps appropriate that 'The Last Post' was played before the game, for more reasons than one. Lest we forget. Lest we forget indeed.

How were the Owls able to diffuse the ticking time bomb of a potentially explosive Villa attack? Not through a solid defense, nor through the pecking of a solid counter - but through two good goals early on. The Lion Rampant of Villa was effectively sat firmly in the dentist chair whilst the trio of Barry Bannan, Adam Reach and Jordan Rhodes removed the danger of Villa, with force.

Villa were always going to struggle in a match in which they would suffer an instant sucker punch and Adam Reach's superb effort would prove to be just that. The shot, not fifteen seconds into the match, fell with force past the leaning Sam Johnstone and set the tone for the rest of the match, where moments of brilliance would be rewarded.

Aston Villa's ill luck in the first half continued, when John Terry fell victim to what could be a serious injury. It seems somewhat ironic that the man, who's health and fitness had been admired, would go down to injury. The Villa captain was able to walk off, but his replacement, the monolithic Chris Samba, was unable to get settled with James Chester at the back and Villa suffered another setbeck. John Terry's injury is likely a broken metatarsal bone, which is no good. Robert Snodgrass followed with a recurring rib injury affecting him.

Some superb play was forced past Samba, who seemed mildly surprised at the determination and ability of the Wednesday team. Jordan Rhodes found it all too easy to stroke the ball home with the diminutive Barry Bannan, a Villa graduate, pulling the strings. Villa's momentum had dwindled and disappeared before the first half had finished.

The second half was one of revival for Villa, who genuinely did try to force their way into the game. Sheffield Wednesday were all too happy to sit back and defend. The doors were locked for a Villa team who were starting to find their feet and bang on the door.

The attacking play of Keinan Davis and Scott Hogan was stifled, but the pair did attempt to press deep in the Wednesday half, but to no effect. Davis was sliced down in an awful off the ball challenge that set the tone for his day - in which he was hassled throughout.

Jack Grealish returned to the Villa Park pitch for the first time this season and his play was a sight for sore eyes. He was unable to link up effectively with the strikeforce of Chris Samba (yes), Keinan Davis and Scott Hogan, but not because of any fault of his own, nor a lack of technique, but more because of how Wednesday were able to shut down the final third.

Samba would go on to score Villa's only goal of the game, but Keinan Davis was able to rattle home an effort that was likely wrongly called back for handball.

The Villa team struggled to adjust to their new positions at times, with Alan Hutton clearly looking uncomfortable at centre-half and Scott Hogan finding himself isolated on the flank. Chris Samba was largely ineffective at the spearhead of Villa's attack, but was in the right place at the right time for Villa's goal and should be applauded for his general play despite a sticky start.

Despite all of this, it was Glen Whelan who struggled the most. The Irishman looked very uncomfortable throughout the game and the tempo bypassed him almost in the same manner in which time flies. Certainly he looked a man lost in time, lacking the speed to shut down the counter and the ability to make things happen for Villa. Whelan had a good platform to perform, but was unable to pass, nor protect the ball. 2-1 to Wednesday and Villa will need to do a bit of soul searching.

The referee on the occasion tried to hard to make an impact on the game, and the manner in which he officiated should be considered by all to be disgraceful, as officials should never be the focal point of a match, yet when there was action - the refereee was at the centre of it. The questionable decisions remained, especially when a foul on Terry early on allowed Adam Reach to bury the ball home.

Thankfully Villa have some time to find their feet with an international break coming up, however Steve Bruce will once again need to figure out his team - full of depth in all areas except the one area it needs. At the back.

John Terry emulated all Villa fans as he slammed his fists against the pitch in frustration. Just like our captain, we can't quite believe what has just happened to us.