“It’s all rather pointless”, shall be the argument of the zealous, but screw that - I’m a true believer and I am absolutely here for Villa smashing four goals past hopeless and desperate sides.
That’s what you get for sacking our Mick.
Onto the ratings. 5 is average.
Sam Johnstone - 5: Some nerves early on, and Ipswich should have rightly taken the lead, but football isn’t about ‘ifs’, it’s about what actually happened and Sam was quick to restore stability at the back. He’s turning into such a good keeper at Aston Villa. Had absolutely nothing to do for the rest of the game either. I forgot he was playing. I genuinely didn’t see him for forty-five minutes. He could have been reading his Kindle for all I know, and you know what? It wouldn’t have made an ounce of a difference.
Ahmed Elmohamady - 6: Quiet game for Elmo, but showed some quality defending as a make-do centre-half to cut out Jordan Spence’s incisive pace. Was allowed the freedom to roam forward and made use of this by smashing a shot out at a 90-degree angle into an Ipswich player’s face. He’s nothing if not eventful in his play. Missed another good chance as the ball slammed off of his head into the Ipswich crowd.
James Chester - 7: Chester has it in him to look shaky and Villa didn’t look greatly comfortable at the back early on. Seems to gel well with Jedinak now in the centre of the Villa defense and is always a Villa all-star, even in his middling games.
Mile Jedinak - 7: I think Mile Jedinak has finally delivered on his promise at centre-half, and really, he should be considered one at this point after his makeshift appearances there. Was shaky in spells, but has now settled. That’s really good for Villa’s depth.
Neil Taylor - 7: Someone up there is looking out for Neil Taylor, who probably avoided a leg amputation after Grant Ward’s high tackle transformed Taylor into another villain for the baying Suffolk crowd.
Pinged in a number of good balls as the game progressed and was taken off for Scott Hogan
Glenn Whelan - 7: Sparked to life like a flame after a torching in the second half with the most lively pass I’ve ever seen him place when he pinged it to the feet of Josh Onomah in the box. Drug test him. Seriously. I’ve never seen him move so fast. Is this the sun’s doing? If so, screw your witchcraft, you gigantic yellow space tw*t.
Josh Onomah - 8.25: Always quiet on the flanks for Villa, and it’s telling. He must be deployed centrally as his defensive work is, in general, quite good. It’s so annoying that this keeps happening, but hey - he did well to test Bartosz Białkowski in the Ipswich goal and woke up in the second-half and his fast-paced passing is always welcome, especially when he’s going to win the ball and pick a gap out in the final-third. Some of his passing was sublime, and four key passes says it all. Made it happen for Villa and lead the team in tackles. Not bad at all.
Birkir Bjarnason - 8: Bjarnason is Villa’s first choice in the middle, above all. There’s no way that anyone should start over him. He might lack game-changing quality, but he allows Hourihane and Grealish to play so much better. Nothing phases him. What a gem we seem to have unearthed. Slotted in at left-back later on, where he made devastating runs into the box.
Conor Hourihane - 8.5: Not his best finish of the season, but that positioning on his goal is to die for. Seems to flourish when Whelan and Bjarnason allow him to run rampant and dictate play in the final-third. Replaced by Henri Lansbury late on, and will get a little bit of a well-earned rest now.
Jack Grealish - 8: The main man at Aston Villa, and even in a quiet game he is doing it all. Every single move runs through him, and he’s the complete passer. Such an impressive footballing intelligence at such a young age. Received a great pass from Onomah and was unable to place it in the net, or fashion a chance.
Lewis Grabban - 9: Played the role of pantomime villain with indefectible purpose. A moving train when in motion, a rock solid bastion when not. Villa’s first goal may as well be given to him, as he cut in from the left, slammed a shot of the Ipswich defence and against the post to Conor Hourihane. A Rube Goldberg assist. Managed to grab his first goal with a smart section of centre-forward play by spinning his marker and slamming a shot in off the post from an angle. He is top stuff, even when on the wing, where he claimed his second goal. Brilliant! Taken off for Albert Adomah with minutes to spare.
Henri Lansbury - 7.75: Came on for Conor Hourihane late on and that’s testament to how well Villa are stacked in midfield, as he’d start for 90% of teams in the Championship! His 100-metre one-two pass with Birkir Bjarnason that resulted in Lansbury nodding it in to make it four for Villa should go down as the play of the season. Ripped Ipswich apart with three key passes in his short time on the pitch, so well done to this man
Scott Hogan - 5: Makes Premier League runs, but never seems to be in the right place at the right time. Which makes it seem that much worse when Lewis Grabban always is in the right place. Wasted a few chances as time ticked on.
Albert Adomah - N/A: Came on too late to do anything. Fair play, had a nice jog in good weather.