January

Jan 30th 2018 – EFL – Sheffield United 0:1 Aston Villa (Att 26,477)

Possibly expected a little more from Villa on the basis they had enjoyed a ten day rest before the game but who cares, we won – again. For most of the match it was fairly even, both teams cancelling each other out. But what we do get from Villa now is the feeling that they can take all the pressure any team can throw at them – we don’t look like screwing it up anymore. With a couple of minutes to go I would have taken the draw (wouldn’t we all) but a great cross from Bjarnason led Snodgrass to come inside the defender and loop it into the far corner. Five on the bounce and only one conceded – now that’s what I call a January.

Match in Five WordsSam Johnstone, absolute Villa legend

 

Jan 20th 2018 – EFL – Aston Villa 3:1 Barnsley (Att 31,869)

Could Villa make it four league wins on the bounce? Of course we could – and it was two quick goals from Scott Hogan that put Villa on the front foot within the first ten minutes. Now we all remember what happened when we did the same thing against Sheffield United last month and when Barnsley pulled one back the nerves were slightly there. But another goal from Conor Hourihane against his old team put Villa back in the ascendency and after that Villa rarely looked like losing. Last season Villa lost three and only drew one (ending the month ten points of the play-offs) – fair to say then that coming in to February this year hopes of a return to the promised land look a little more realistic.

Match in Five WordsComfortable, time to kick on

 

Jan 13th 2018 – EFL – Nottingham Forest 0:1 Aston Villa (Att 25,433)

Before the game that old clichĂ© kept coming out – it’s a game between two former European Champions in the second tier of English football. Well, whisper it quietly, but we may not have to hear that again next year. Without the excitement of the Bristol City game it at least didn’t have the frustration of the Peterborough game – Snodgrass placed a ball into Hogan who scored for the second league game in a row. Whilst we didn’t batter down the Forest goal after that you have to say that our goal was rarely threatened in the game. That makes it three wins on the trot, three clean sheets on the trot and another three points in the bag whilst we consolidate our play-off position. With some easier games coming up over the next few weeks what could possibly go wrong?

Match in Five WordsRarely stylish, but easy victory

 

Jan 6th 2018 – FAC – Aston Villa 1:3 Peterborough United (Att 21,677)

To be fair, Villa fans wanted some of the younger & fringe players to get a run out in the game but the only real thing that was confirmed is that Jed Steer does look an able deputy goalkeeper. That may sound strange after conceding three but, even though Villa took the lead through Davis early on, it was Steer who kept Villa in the lead with a string of saves. Indeed, none of the three goals conceded could be blamed on him. We lost, lets just get over it – the league is our priority this year.

Match in Five WordsDid we really want it?

 

Jan 1st 2018 – EFL – Aston Villa 5:0 Bristol City (Att 32,604)

OK hands up those of you, who like me, walked up to Villa Park fearing the worse? The ‘in form’ team from the South West had been in an automatic promotion place as their form in November had continued into December (unlike Villa’s). First twenty minutes was dire and then Villa clicked. The first goal was a great pass from Grealish to Adomah who placed a wonderful cross for Hogan to loop a header in. Before half-time, Adomah crossed again for Hogan who saw his effort parried by the goalkeeper but only into the path of Snodgrass who couldn’t miss – and there was still time for Grealish to shoot and just place it on to the post with the keeper nowhere. In to the second half and a great run from Grealish who passed the ball for Snodgrass to get his second. Game over, but still time for Bjarnason to open his account for Villa and for Hourihane to grab the inevitable fifth. Great night for Villa – only one criticism. This isn’t the first time we have played a team off the park this season – but we do need to do it more often. Bruce had said he was only ever a week a way from being in trouble – the last two games have seem him escape, again.

Match in Five WordsFootball is a wonderful game