Dean Smith’s Aston Villa side got back to winning ways thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win over Bolton at Villa Park on Friday night.
Villa started off very brightly and they were rewarded for their fast start in the 4th minute when Tammy Abraham sent a Bolton defender for some tea and biscuits with a neat turn, before setting up Jack Grealish for his first goal of the season with a neat through ball.
The Villa fans were hoping that this would open the floodgates, but, to their credit, Bolton grew into the game. However, they met a Villa defence that just didn’t feel like being beaten.
The nervous tension was finally released in the 58th minute when James Chester headed home at the back post. Replays suggested that he might have been just offside, but Villa fans will argue that it’s about time something went in their favour.
Bolton didn’t let their heads go down and they pushed for a consolation goal, but Villa defended well as a team and were rarely troubled.
Here are our Aston Villa player ratings for Villa’s win over Bolton:
GK: Orjan Nyland - 5.5
Didn’t have many saves to make throughout the match, but when he was called into action, he dropped two high balls that could have cost his team dearly.
RB: Alan Hutton - 6.5
Put in a very solid defensive display and ran up and down the pitch for the entire match. Always gives his all.
CB: James Chester - 8.5
Chester was back to his very best today and didn’t let anyone get past him. He also cleared the ball off the line with an athletic clearance and scored his second goal in as many games.
CB: Axel Tuanzebe - 8
Tuanzebe was solid alongside Chester and he made a number of important tackles that prevented Bolton from getting a shot at goal. Looks at home at centre-back.
LB: Neil Taylor - 6
Taylor gets a lot of stick from fans, but apart from a handful of small mistakes, he had a decent game at left-back. Will be tested more against better opposition though.
RM: Albert Adomah - 5
You cannot fault the effort that he puts in, but it just isn’t happening for him at this moment in time. He did nearly get on the scoresheet with an acrobatic overhead kick though.
CM: Conor Hourihane - 6.5
His teasing deliveries from set-pieces caused a number of issues. He played in a more defensive role today, and did a good job.
CM: John McGinn - 7.5
Made a number of mistakes early on, but he grew into the game and stamped his authority on the midfield. When Villa lost the ball, he was the first one on the scene trying to win it back.
CM: Jack Grealish - 8
Always wanted the ball and when he received it, you could sense the Bolton players start to panic. He is starting to look so much better under Smith and grabbed his first goal of the season.
LM: Jonathan Kodjia - 6
Should have scored in the first half, but he mishit his shot horribly. Made a number of fine runs, but his final decision making was poor.
ST: Tammy Abraham - 7
Abraham sent the Bolton defender for a hotdog with a delightful turn before setting up Grealish with a neat through ball. He caused the Bolton defence issues throughout the game and should have really scored early on in the second-half.
SUB: Yannick Bolasie - 6.5
Came on in the 74th minute for Abraham and made an immediate impact by using his pace and strength to gallop down the wing. Put in a couple of decent crosses.
SUB: Scott Hogan - N/A
Only got the last ten minutes to make an impact.
SUB: Glenn Whelan - N/A
Came on in injury time for Jack Grealish just to help see the game out.