What a strange game that was.
I don’t know what Reading came as, but it wasn’t a football team with any intent on winning, was it?
I don’t know what their plan was, but if it was to try and contain Villa, it failed miserably even before they had Dave Edwards sent off for two clumsy challenges.
It was almost like watching an “A” team playing a “B” team, with the latter being instructed to not really try and the result was the most one-sided game I can recall in years.
It comes to something when their goalkeeper was probably their hardest working player.
Still, Reading’s lack of effort made it look like we were in a training game, where we literally had the run of the park, with plenty of crossing practice thrown in. Which is just as well, as it looked like we needed it.
With the poor crossing matched only by some equally poor shooting and heading, it made for somewhat frustrating viewing and that was the quietest I can recall Villa park being, for a 3-0 win, ever.
Never mind. After us having about fifteen attempts on goal and nearly 75% possession, Bjarnason opened the scoring with a nicely taken strike not long after the restart.
I have to say I marked him as our MOTM, as he worked hard and had much more movement in the middle.
Grealish was a close second, as he pulled the strings.
Anyway, after some more good teamwork, Hourihane scored the second with a glanced header and that pretty much wrapped up the game, which led to Onomah and Kodjia coming on for Snodgrass and Adomah, followed by Whelan for Grealish.
These were good, common-sense changes aimed at resting the starting three, but the truth is I could probably have got on and looked a threat.
Even Whelan had a small dalliance near the penalty area in open play, such was Reading’s lack of intent.
Not that I’m taking anything away from the win, as you still have to get the goals.
Talking of which, Scott Hogan scored the third to make things more deserving of how the game went.
So it’s hard to judge if we played well or not really, as the opposition were so poor, but a 3-0 win is exactly that, which helps nicely with the goal difference and should see us safely into the play-offs.
More importantly, it’s a win, where we can hopefully go on another roll, leading to good momentum for when it really counts.
Happy days, eh?