Villa 2 -1 Leicester City; A nervy, but well deserved win

We don’t make it easy for ourselves do we?

I said in the preview that I wasn’t particularly confident, but expected that we’d win.
Quite rightly too, as if you can’t beat the league’s whipping boys at home, you know you’re in trouble.

It all started rather well, I thought.
We were playing sharp, incisive footy and there were some very good quality balls going into the box.
In short, we looked very much in control.
The beauty of it was that for once, it just looked like we had too much for the opposition.
Happy days.

So what happened then?
Typical of the Villa of late, we conceded from a very decent, but nothing special shot, that Guzan should have had covered, but allowed to get away from him. It’s not the first time he’s looked ropey, but given his overall form this season, it’s not something I’m going to dwell on.

Fortunately, a cracking ball in from a Westwood free kick led to Ciaran Clark heading in very nicely for the equaliser about four minutes later. Not that I was particularly worried at that stage anyway.

And so it continued, with us looking the better side until about the half hour mark, where I can’t really explain.
Somehow, we totally went off the boil and seemed to lose all impetus.
Westwood, who I’ve slated as being ineffective (along with Cleverley and Richardson) lately was actually doing well until he got clattered by a tackle that has “opened his knee up”. That doesn’t sound too good and might mean ligament damage. Let’s hope not.

1-1 at half time then.

The second half, well it just went off the boil even more I thought, even though we were still creating chances and Benteke was looking very sharp considering his lay-off.
Fair play to Leicester, they got back into it quite well, but never seriously threatened.

And then wonder of wonders, Alan Hutton scored after good work from Gabby and ultimately Benteke.
After the slating Hutton has had prior to this season (myself included there), it was no more than he’s deserved.
I for one, would like to shake the bloke by the hand for the way he’s performed in this season up to now.

So 2-1 it was, with what should have been the build up to a couple more goals, I thought.

Leicester soon put paid to that idea and the game actually had me worried until the end.

Even though we had the most possession, the best chances and the better of the play, I was never totally convinced, is what I’m trying to say.

Not that I’m trying to take anything away from today’s performance. We deservedly won and that’s all that matters.

MOTM? Probably Schmeichel, but the commentator gave it to Gabby.
I’d probably go for Benteke, who did everything apart from put the ball in the net.
There were probably more candidates too.

All in all, a good win and three more points towards survival or whatever.


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  1. Colonius81
    Colonius81 December 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm . Reply

    ya would agree with that on the whole, My cirticisim though was of the game management of the players maybe management too for the last 20 minutes, we had the ball and did nothing with it earlier on .. but if there ever was a time and a place to do that .. it was in those last 20 minutes! just keep the ball away from a 10 man leicester! .. how hard could that be but no we still went blood and thunder on the counter attack, .. just no need .. keep the ball away from them let the ball do the work as with a man down gaps would appear if you kept strecthing them.

    other than that ..we did look like we knew what we were doing for large parts of that espeicially Westwood and Sanchez. Cleverly was linking well with Benteke but he just doesn’t come out of his comfort zone enough. if he got forward and tried a few quick one two touch passing with everyones focus on Benteke we could create openings that way.
    meh anyways .. its just one game .. good positive approach to it so lets hope it continues.
    I would like to see us keep that possession up – i know its not all that effective at times but .. the more we have the ball the less we have to defend .. simple.
    and with Benteke in the mood again. we can alternate an early ball in or a deep cross with some neat approaches with the defence all worrying about Benteke.

    seems like a reasonable game plan to me.
    Hopefully Lamberts time with Pep and Bayern last week will be applied to our approach play in some measure. I am not expecting Bayern style football, but maybe it could improve our possession game when we use it.

    we shall see

    1. Hayks
      Hayks December 8, 2014 at 9:02 am . Reply

      This is exactly right, game management. I couldn’t believe it when sissoko broke with 2 minutes to go. Everyone around me was shouting ‘into the corner, into the corner’ and he did make for the corner ‘ thank god for that, he’s doing the right thing’ a few seconds later, tries to cross it into the box to no-one, the keeper picks it up and they go down the pitch and had that chance that everyone thought was it and very easily could have gone in. If it had we’d have been talking about Sissoko a lot more this morning, and it’s just idiotic. You’re a big fella Sissoko, you could easily hold someone off for 30 seconds, you could take it into the corner and draw a throw in or a corner and that’s another 30 seconds and the opportunity to hold them off again. this is simple stuff, and they’re paid a hell of a lot, this should be obvious to them. You’re lucky sissoko , lucky we’re not talking about you more, because you almost lost us 2 points.

  2. Jay Dee
    Jay Dee December 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm . Reply

    There are no easy games in this league and every side gets their chances it comes down to whose more clinical on the day.Even the leagues bottom side play pretty decent football they just don’t defend very well but attack ok.We had 65% of the possession which is good IMPO.Unbeaten in 5 is showing we are getting better.Well done to Clarky for taking out their striker as what goes around comes around wish Westy a speedy recovery.Hutton took his well a well deserved win utv

  3. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain December 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm . Reply

    Badger, agree with most of your piece, although if I had to pick a Villa MoM it’d probably be Hutton; not so much for the goal, but for his overall ‘fight’ and attack. Really was what the lion on the badge was supposed to represent!
    Mind you, the real MoM for me was Schmeichel: his reflex saves kept the score respectable for Leicester.

    The one disappointing Villa performance was N’zog: although I posted on here earlier in the week asking for him to be given a chance, he did sweet FA while he was on [apart from somehow picking up a booking] and I really can’t work out whether he just can’t be arsed to do anything, or whether his performances for Wigan were some sort of grand illusion…

  4. jvillan
    jvillan December 7, 2014 at 8:35 pm . Reply

    the back 4 have been brilliant last few games let vlar sit on bench,sanchez getting better with every match,benteke what can you say, its either westwood or cleverly not both in one team ,zog to me ,was his last chance today and he failed out door asap we need a couple of wide players and if we get them have makings of a decent side

  5. ifiruledtheworld
    ifiruledtheworld December 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm . Reply

    So nice to pick up back to back wins! Hopefully Westwood won’t be out too long and is back before we know it! Hopefully Cleverley’s isn’t too serious either.. if they are both set for a relatively lengthy layoff we could find ourselves looking for a new midfielder come January. (Plus Bolasie PLEASE!!)

  6. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum December 7, 2014 at 8:52 pm . Reply

    Didn’t watch it…preferred Christmas shopping instead. Sounded an interesting game though. Not changing my opinion on Lambert though. He’s still shite..

  7. Benno
    Benno December 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm . Reply

    Happy Villa fan, first time in a long time. Thought we played some decent stuff and on another day Benteke would have had a hatrick!

    Very impressed with Okore at the back, starting to look the real deal. Hutton was solid again, and what a nice finish. Glad I put him the fantasy team! Sanchez ran the midfield once Westwood had gone off, seems to be improving by the game. Benteke is just a menace, having him in the team make such a difference.

    Nzogbia was woeful again. How did he getting a starting place today. Grealish created more chances in 20 mins than he has in the last 3 games!

    I hope Lambert can see that by not having 3 strikers that we were able to actually create chances. You cant play Gabby, Benteke and Weimann in the same team, its so fucking obvious! For me, Grealish should get a start next game, and be given all corners to take!

    I know a lot of people have been slating Vlaar, but if we could convince him to stay, him and Okore may make some partnership!

  8. bencey83
    bencey83 December 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm . Reply

    Couldn’t agree more Benno

  9. 88
    88 December 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm . Reply

    MoM today Clark, not just the goal and overall performance, but especially for the tackle on Ulloa. Vardy had just done Westwood and Leicester had been going in hard a few times. Clark set down a marker that we weren’t going to be bullied and he was standing up to be counted.
    I reckon he deserves a lot of credit the last few games – he’s had a lot of stick and been written off, come back into a struggling team with a new partner who hasn’t played for a year and he’s led by example. Sure he’s got a mistake in him, but credit where its due – he was immense again today.

  10. Tekkers48
    Tekkers48 December 7, 2014 at 11:55 pm . Reply

    Clarke now starting to show signs that he is real captain material for villa. We showed today that we can play a bit and that I think was dispite the manager and his tactics. Only made the changes due to injury. This game was one I would have started grealish. He has a lot to learn but will learn more on the green stuff than sat on the bench.

  11. Benno
    Benno December 8, 2014 at 4:48 am . Reply

    Badger-I agree that Weimann wasn’t missed, but as a partner for Benteke (with no Gabby in the team) he would score a bagful of goals for us.

    As for Nzogbia, he has been off the pace for a long time. Does nothing but give the ball away and foul. Shame as once he was a top player.

    I just have a horrible feeling that against WBA, Lambert will revert back to the front 3 and we will suffer for it.

  12. saddened
    saddened December 8, 2014 at 10:40 am . Reply

    Good game of football and showed some great passing at times, we had a bit of swagger about us and thought we played far more as a team, but why bring on Richardson just do not get it…. And think Grealish did more than Nzog in his first 5 mins…. Motm for me was Hutton. Lets hope Grealish gets some starts now, as Leicester really didn’t know what to do with him.

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