As if a gift on Christmas morning, the overjoyed few fled to Villa Park to watch their team live in the flesh for the first and only time of the 2020/21 campaign and they sung their heart out, filling the void of the empty 30,000 seats. An enjoyable afternoon was made even better as Aston Villa finished the season bettering their points tally from the previous campaign by a whopping twenty points.
Emi Martínez: 7/10
For the first time since joining the club, the Argentinian found himself experiencing the appreciation from the crowd on the frequent occasion of an impressive save. Having won Supporters Player Of The Year for his successful campaign, the goalkeeper was a popular man throughout the crowd.
The opposing team managed an impressive xG tally (3.78), however, much to the man in between the sticks for Aston Villa, the home side conceded just the one goal; ultimately securing all three points. Over the course of the season, it was an impressive first campaign in Birmingham as the goalkeeper equaled Brad Friedel for most clean sheets for the club and will most certainly be setting his sights on overcoming that tally next season.
Ezri Konsa: 6/10
For the second successive outing in a row, the young English defender found himself playing on the right side of defense. Unfortunately, a lack of concentration from him is what allowed the away side a route back into the game as a delayed reaction on the far post allowed opposition full-back, Ben Chilwell, to squeeze the ball over the line.
Despite this, the right-back was impressive, winning 95% of his ground duels and 100% of his aerial duels. An 88% pass completion rate exhibited his ability to retain possession when under threat from an opposition press, allowing an air of calmness and composure in the final few moments.
Kortney Hause: 7/10
An impressive final game of the campaign ensued for the former Wolverhampton Wanderers center-back. His fourteen clearances relieved pressure on the Villa back line, restraining a wasteful Chelsea attack. His ability to draw fouls in the defensive third whilst winning 97% of his aerial duels and 100% of his ground duels showed an intelligent side to his game.
Tyrone Mings: 7/10
With the Aston Villa vice-captain having forty two touches of the ball throughout the course of the game, it was essential the center-back retained possession in key moments for his side in which he did in abundance, with an accurate pass completion rate of 91%. His aerial ability shone through once again, winning a total of 11 headers and giving the attending Gareth Southgate food for thought ahead of his selection for this summer’s European Championships later this week.
Matt Targett: 7/10
The full-back became the first Aston Villa player since Stewart Downing to play every minute of Premier League action over the duration of a thirty-eight-game campaign. Having raised a few doubters in his debut season, the campaign just gone has shown just how integral he is to the side; bringing a level of consistency to his play.
Marvelous Nakamba: 8/10
The Zimbabwean picked up the Sky Sports Man of the Match award for his impressive display on this occasion. The midfield anchor protected the back four with aplomb against a pacey opposition outfit. With eighteen successful tackles, three blocked shots, and eleven interceptions, Chelsea struggled to find a way past the solid stance of the midfielder.
John McGinn: 6/10
After picking up yet another yellow card on this occasion, the ambitious Scotsman ended the campaign as the most booked player in the Premier League. The midfielder lost possession on seven separate occasions as he struggled to retain the ball. However, his defensive instincts did not fail to deceive him as he successfully fought for the ball in front of the back four, winning it back on five occasions to halt the opposition attack.
Jack Grealish: 7/10
It was a successful afternoon for the captain after he completed his first full ninety minutes since his long injury layoff. In a desperate attempt to convince Gareth Southgate to select him for this summer’s Euros, the Birmingham born play-maker drew seven fouls from the opposition; leaving him as the most fouled player in the Premier League for the second campaign running. Grealish was once again key in picking up the ball in a deep midfield outlay and driving forward; creating space elsewhere by drawing multiple Chelsea bodies.
Anwar El Ghazi: 7/10
A successful penalty saw the recently called up Dutchman end his domestic campaign with 10 league goals in a limited number of appearances overall. Since joining the club in the Championship, the wide man has had his part to play in every season so far whilst also going from strength to strength within his own abilities. His defensive acumen was also on display as he denied the opposition any chance of an attacking overlap by tracking back and providing three clearances and two interceptions.
Bertrand Traoré: 7/10
It was a first game in front of fans to remember for the former Chelsea winger as a goal against his former club landed Aston Villa the first blow towards the latter stages of the first half. A rare goal from a set piece showed intuition and collective understanding as he waltzed into the eighteen-yard box unmarked and struck the top corner of the net much to the jubilation of the home faithful.
Ollie Watkins: 6/10
It was an uneventful afternoon for the front-man after he saw himself concede possession on fifteen occasions, won only four of eleven ground duels, and had an accurate pass completion rate of 64%. Nonetheless, towards the closing stages, the front man contributed effectively and dropped further back to ensure his side came away from the contest with all three points.
Carney Chukwuemeka (SUB): 6/10
Jacob Ramsey (SUB): 6/10
Note From The Contributor: On a personal note, I would like to express my gratitude to all involved at 7500 To Holte for handing me an opportunity to express myself in the form of writing/covering Aston Villa throughout most of the campaign, and for guiding me and nurturing me along the way.
I am looking forward to many more seasons writing for the channel. If you enjoy these articles, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for my player ratings throughout the summer’s European Championships where I will be assessing all Aston Villa players involved throughout the tournament!