Aston Villa were the masters of their own downfall today as a relatively decent possession based performance was overshadowed by a stupid mistake which saw Villa lose 1-0. The Lions certainly showed that possession doesn’t necessarily win games.
Derby County had a chance in the first 35 seconds of the game, with David Nugent through on goal after he wormed his way through the Aston Villa defence – but skimmed the ball wide.
Villa had the better spells on the ball from then on, but never really capitalised on any of their possession or attacks in the first ten minutes.
Sam Johnstone struggled just before the fifteenth minute, allowing a header on target on his goal from David Nugent, but he managed to push the ball over the bar.
Derby took the lead through former Villa man Andreas Weimann as Whelan made a huge clanger, playing the ball to Vydra who was in an offside position (obviously the back pass caused him not to be offside), who held the ball up well and played the ball across the box to Weimann who buried it home.
The rest of the half wasn’t much to talk about – Villa looked unable to produce quality moves forward without them breaking down. The Villans did however have 67% of possession in the first forty-five, just no end product.
Conor Hourihane had possibly the best chance of the half from just on the edge of the box a few minutes before the end of the half, but it was saved by Scott Carson. Jack Grealish seemed to be a bright spark in the squad, with a number of piercing runs and dribbles – but Derby’s Tom Huddlestone had to be the player of the half.
Snodgrass had a chance to equalise in the first five minutes, but his shot was cleared off the line by Keogh.
Scott Hogan returned to the squad in the 65th minute, hoping to score his first goal since March, as he replaced Glenn Whelan.
Sam Johnstone produced a wonderful save just after the 70th minute as he pushed a ball over the bar.
With not long to go, Gabriel Agbonlahor made his first appearance in a while after coming on for Joshua Onomah who had been poor today.
For much of the last ten minutes, Derby struggled to leave their own area with Villa attacking heavily, but to no avail.
Derby extended their lead in the 90th minute, as Johnny Russell connected to a lovely ball from Keogh which saw him one-on-one with Sam Johnstone. He poked the ball behind the keeper and that was all she wrote.
The Rams very nearly made it three in the 92nd, but Sam Johnstone’s leg was all that stopped them.