By Dominic Toner
Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood played 90 minutes against Leeds on Thursday night – and his performance divided opinions among the club’s supporters on Twitter.
The 26-year-old was recalled to the starting line-up by manager Steve Bruce for his 21st appearances of the season in the Championship clash.
Villa earned a 1-1 home draw against play-off contenders Leeds as Jonathan Kodjia scored an 86th minute penalty to cancel out a Pontus Jansson goal for the visitors.
The Midlands giants moved up to ninth in the league table with a point and are five points adrift of the play-off places.
Westwood’s performance was a major talking point with Villa fans on Twitter arguing contrasting views.
Here is a selection of their messages:
Westwood man of the match for me! Superb #avfc
— Mark Reading (@MarkReading25) December 29, 2016
Good game by Westwood today #avfc
— Alan Norton (@avfc49) December 29, 2016
Westwood has had quite a few poor games lately, but this has been another level. Just running around chasing shadows like a dog. #avfc
— Chrsmo (@Chrsmo) December 29, 2016
The day Ashley Westwood leaves is the day the curse is lifted. #avfc
— Chris Stanley (@chrisstanley1) December 29, 2016
Westwood continues to show why he is Premier League class! ???? #AVFC
— Duncan Kemp (@hunkiedunkie) December 29, 2016
Gotta stop playing Westwood.. He offers NOTHING!!! #avfc
— Richard Jones (@villarichie) December 29, 2016
Westwood isn't strong enough to tackle, isn't big enough to win in the air and isn't positive enough to score goals and create. Fact. #avfc
— Villa Views (@ViewsVilla) December 29, 2016
Westwood moved to Villa Park in 2012 from Crewe and has made 160 appearances for the club.
The central midfielder is defensively-minded and has scored just five goals during his Villa career.
He was a part of the disappointing relegation from the Premier League last season and made 37 appearances across all competitions, but opted to stay with the struggling club in the summer.
Bruce has enjoyed a strong turnaround since his appointment mid-season and is hopeful the club can still challenge for promotion after a poor start under ex-manager Roberto Di Matteo.
Westwood has continued to be an important player for Villa this season and is expected to stay in the first-team set-up despite his critics.
In other Aston Villa news, the club’s attacker should be sold in January is one of the three things learned against Leeds.