By Danny Wright
Football Insider rates the Aston Villa players for their performances in the 1-0 win against Birmingham at Villa Park on Saturday.
Sam Johnstone 6 – The on-loan goalkeeper was a bit hesitant in his very first major derby game but he didn’t have a lot do against a limp Blues attack.
Alan Hutton 6 – Jacques Maghoma got the better of Hutton in the opening stages but he soon wised up and shut the door on the Birmingham winger time and time again.
James Chester 7 – Commanding presence in the air and showed a lot of composure in the feisty encounter.
Nathan Baker 7 – He dealt with a lot of what was thrown at him from the Birmingham attack. It was a straightforward game for both Baker and Chester in the centre of Villa’s backline. Had a hand in the winning goal.
Neil Taylor 6 – It’s hard to see Jordan Amavi finding his way into the first team after what was a solid performance from Taylor. The Welsh left-back posed a constant threat down the wing and got back to defend well. Amavi came under-fire from the fans after a poor outing against Fulham.
Henri Lansbury 6 – It wasn’t the best performance from the midfielder but his set-pieces wreaked havoc on the away side’s defence in the second half. It was his delivery that led to Gabriel Agbonlahor’s winner.
Mile Jedinak 6 – The ex-Crystal Palace man seemed like he was well up for the fight against Blues but lacked any real quality on the ball. He was brilliant in the air though and repelled most of the away side’s set pieces.
Jack Grealish 5 – He really is not suited to the central midfield role and Bruce made the wrong call not to play Leandro Bacuna in the centre of the pitch. The Blues constantly targeted Grealish’s defensive weakness throughout the game.
Albert Adomah 6 – It was a very quiet game from the wide-man. There was a chance in the first half that he could have steered goal-bound but Scott Hogan pipped him to the ball and missed.
Leandro Bacuna 4 – There wasn’t a single part of the 25-year-old’s game that proves he should be a regular feature in the Villa first team and his place at the club should come into serious doubt in the summer. It’s not the first time this season the winger has been poor.
Scott Hogan 5 – Hogan wasn’t signed to play as a lone striker, but the very best in his position know how to craft openings for themselves. The former Brentford man didn’t do that and it was a very poor outing on his behalf.
Gabriel Agbonlahor (on for Jack Grealish 59min) 8 – Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Agbonlahor kicked the derby into life and it just had to be him who bagged the decisive goal.
Gary Gardner (on for Albert Adomah 76min) 6
Conor Hourihane (on for Scott Hogan 83min) 6
In other Aston Villa news, Ian Taylor has said how many players Bruce needs to sign to earn promotion.