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Steve Bruce’s lions become lambs to the slaughter as Reading beat up on Aston Villa

That was bad.

Colchester United v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

So do you like watching Aston Villa? No? Good - you shouldn’t. Villa didn’t do a football for 75 minutes, and that was after Villa had already conceded two to Reading!

Andre Green hustled forward after a Villa counter early on, but couldn’t make anything happen. He really should have scored there, and that will pad Villa’s xG! Andre Green’s presence on the field was good to see, considering he actually padded out the left side of the field more than Gabby Agbonlahor!

Apart from that, Villa didn’t do much and seemed happy to let Reading boss the match. Reading made chances at will, especially through Modou Barrow who was all to happy to slice Villa apart. Speaking of Agbonlahor, he came on within the first twenty minutes after Scott Hogan left through injury. We’ll keep you updated on that.

Sam Johnstone was called into action late into the first-half and pulled off a stunning diving save to prevent Reading from taking the lead. A reflex save followed up later. Following that, Villa tried to steal a chance in the Reading box, but to no avail as Andre Green was rewarded with a handball foul against him.

There’s a lot I could say about the first half of football. Aston Villa only managed to grab 23% of the total possession of the ball and were hammered by Reading - did they defend well? Possibly, but they invited so much pressure that it hardly seemed worth keeping so many shots out of the net. Steve Bruce should have rinsed his team out at half-time for performing in such a timid manner.

Father Time came knocking for Villa in the 48th minute. De Laet gave the ball away on the right side and a shot from Reading’s Popa was fired off of Whelan and corked into the net. Terry, Chester and Johnstone were caught ballwatching and punished. Reading took the lead and, what else did you expect?

Then, Reading extended their lead from a corner, which Modou Barrow buried past Johnstone, who must be thinking why he bothered to save Villa in the 1st half. Villa didn’t turn up the pressure until the last 15 minutes and by then, the game was gone, or was it? Albert Adomah’s cross was chested down by Gabby who set up Hourihane who found it far too easy to bang it bast Mannone

Bright spots for Villa? Ha. Josh Onomah had a good game, in the sense that he looked like Villa’s captain and Bjarnason was the only player pressing. All Villa’s threat came through Andre Green, who really should have buried his chance early on. Either way, it just wasn’t good enough from anyone. Steve Bruce is either gone tomorrow or after a loss to Norwich - this timid, awful play cannot continue - the players are better than this and everyone knows it. Agbonlahor, Adomah and Hourihane emerged late on to give Villa the fight, but it was too late.

The irony? If Villa showed that late fight throughout the game, we’d have got a result.