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Villans lose out at Turf Moor

It was a dissapointing night for Aston Villa after everyone involved with the club is left scratching their heads as to why Villa came away with nothing.

After the game, Dean Smith said "My main emotion is disbelief. I’ve said to the players it is a difficult league to win in but we have just thrown three points away through really poor defending and basic errors." He's right, it did feel like we had three points in our gasp and we had just droppped it down a well, to help out Burnley who were at the bottom waiting to get out.

The first half started off well with Ollie Watkins expertly steering home Matt Targett's pinpoint cross after some good work from Grealish (not the last time I will say that in this piece) It was 14 mins in and Aston Villa were ahead. Villa continued to play well and threatened on multiple occasions to get a second goal before the Half-Time whistle blew. Shortly after the goal, McGinn did superbly well to hold off the Burnley midfield and play a long accurate ball forward to play Watkins in one-on-one, Watkins, taking his time, tried to pick his spot but an on-rushing Nick Pope deined him with the ball falling to Ross Barkley who struck the crossbar. Some more great work on the left from Barkley and Grealish as they linked to tee up Traor who's shot hit the on-rushing Ben Mee, Mings then had a chance but Pope wasn't going to get beat at his near post and got down smartly to deny the England International. It was probably one of Villa's best performances of the season in the first half, stretching the back four and causing Burnley all sorts of probems but a tactical switch from Burnley at Half-Time changed how the game went.

Burnley brought on Jack Cork for Josh Brownhill, Cork sat a bit deeper and this stopped Villa from continuing their free-flowing football that they were playing in the first half. 5 mins into the first half and Villa gave away a needless corner as Tyrone Mings was battling with Chris Wood and ultimately lost, Corner was whipped in and Ben Mee rose higher than anyone else, poor marking as Villa surely knew the threat Burnley posed from Set Pieces, it was criminial to let Ben Mee have a free header as the central defender scored his second goal of the season, shortly after that Villa's evening was nearly made worse as Burnley got in behind and Chris Wood had to force Martinez into a top drawer save.

Villa did however grow back into the game and managed to create some chances, one of note was a Grealish superb run, somehow keeping the ball in play and away from defenders running 50/60 yards before being off balance for the shot on his weaker foot, forcing Pope into a comfortable save, not long after Grealish was at the heart of things again for Villa linking up well with Luiz is played it into the box for Grealish to get a deserved goal, flashbacks of Rotherham away for this one as Grealish went away celebrating. Villa were back ahead, but this didn't last long.

Burnley didn't drop their heads, they kept coming back and come back they did, a poor clearance from Matty Cash ended up being recycled by Burnley and Dwight McNeil was allowed to cross the ball in unchalleged with the ball going all the way through without a touch. Stil to this day, I don't know how one of the Villa defenders or Burnley attackers didn't touch the ball, Martinez thought there would be a touch too, hence why he didn't get a touch on it himself, 3 minutes later and Dwight McNeil was at the heart of another Burnley attack, putting in a good ball to the back post, which seemed to hang in the air for ages before Chris Wood beat Matt Targett to fire home, it was a pinpoint header from Wood, aimed to perfection as Martinez had little chance. A mad 5 mins and suddenly the game was turned on it's head. Villa went from arguably their best performance in the first half, with their worst in the second.

So why did Villa lose?

- Villa applied pressure 72 times against #BFC (the lowest all season), with 62% possession

- For comparison Villa had 59% possession against Newcastle and applied 111 pressures

- Villa also had a dribbling success rate of 18.8%, previous low was 57.1%.

(stats from pgr_analytics)

Player Ratings:

Martinez - 8.0

Martinez was again one of Villa's top peformers, pulling off some very good saves to deny Burnley, distribution at times again was a bit off.

Cash - 6.0

Not one of Cash's best games in a Villa shirt, thought majority of Burnley's chances ame down his side but it was still an athletic performance and in the first half especially linked up well with Traore.

Konsa - 6.2

Don't think Konsa did much wrong last night, had a free header that maybe he could have done better with, but defensively wasn't really troubled

Mings- 6.5

The Agenda Continues.....The Hause brigade continue to want Mings out of the team but I thought he was solid, didn't really do anything wrong and could have scored but for a Nick Pope save.

Targett - 7.5

It was app number 50 for Matt Targett and I thought he was excellent, linking up with Grealish and providing the assist for the first goal, potentially could have done better for the third goal but let's be honest not many people stop Chris Wood when he has that advantage over you.

Luiz - 7.0

Thought Luiz was tidy today, didn't give the ball away as much as he did vs Newcsatle and provided the assist for Villa's second.

McGinn - 6.5

McGinn did some really good things, the pass over to Watkins, just to name one, but I don't think he was massively at the races last night, just dont think he affected the game as much as he could have.

Traore - 6.5

Thought Traore was okay, first half he was causing Burnley all sorts of problems and was very unlucky not to get on the scoresheet but in the second half that tailed off a bit.

Barkley -6.5

I always think Barkley holds onto the ball too long, again tonight he did the same, so frustrating to watch, he played okay though, hit the crossbar, probably should have scored.

Grealish - 9.0

My MOTM, Captain Fantastic, he was absolutely brilliant last night and was simply running the game, and trying to drag Villa through on his own.

Watkins - 8.0

Watkins was good again, pressing from the front, and took his goal well, he was a threat all night and could have had 2 himself.


Trezeguet - 6.0

Didn't really have enough time to affect the game, should have come on earlier.

El Ghazi: - 6.0

Didn't really have enough time to affect the game, should have come on earlier.

Davis - 6.0

First touch summed up his performance in the end.

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