Aston Villa made it nine wins from their last nine matches thanks to a 2-0 win against Bolton at the University of Bolton Stadium.
As expected, Villa had the majority of the possession in the first-half, but the final ball, too often than not, was lacking. There was little goalmouth action to talk about in a 45 minutes that won’t live long in the memories of those who watched it.
However, Dean Smith must have had severe words with his players at half-time as his men came out all guns blazing after the break and found themselves ahead with just two minutes of the second-half gone.
Tammy Abraham collected the ball on the right, ghosted past a couple of Bolton players and then produced a great cross that Jack Grealish headed home from a few yards out.
Villa all but put the game to bed ten minutes later when Grealish latched on to a great over-the-top ball by John McGinn and then flicked it on for Abraham to bundle over the line for his 25th goal of the season.
Bolton, to their credit, didn’t throw in the towel and tried to at least score a consolation goal, but they could find no way beyond Villa’s defence and Smith’s men saw the game out without too many scares.
Here are our Villa player ratings for today’s game against Bolton:
GK: Jed Steer - 7
Had one shot to deal with the whole match and he dealt with it relatively comfortably. He was vocal throughout and made sure that his defenders knew where possible dangers could lie.
RB: Ahmed Elmohamady - 7
Put in a solid defensive performance and when he got forward he put in a number of teasing deliveries.
CB: Tyrone Mings - 7
Back from suspension and probably won’t have such an easy game for a long while. He won nearly everything in the air and snuffed out any rare Bolton attacks that came his way.
CB: Axel Tuanzebe - 7
Like Mings, Tuanzebe was rarely troubled but when he had work to do he was calm and collected. Hopefully his injury isn’t a bad one.
LB: Neil Taylor - 7
Put in another solid defensive display and got forward often to try and help set up a goal.
RM: Albert Adomah - 5
Gave it his all down the right flank, but the majority of his crosses were poor if we are being honest. At the moment, Villa’s weakest position is on the right-wing.
CM: Glenn Whelan - 7
Made a number of important interventions and passed the ball well throughout. If he keeps playing like he is, he might be rewarded with a new contract in the summer.
CM: John McGinn - 7
He ran, he ran, and then he ran some more. Like usual, McGinn worked his socks off and was always the first on the scene to try and win the ball back. Was taken off in the 72nd minute due to his yellow card scenario.
CM: Jack Grealish - 8.5
At times it looked like Grealish was having a stroll in the park. Whenever he went on one of his runs, the only way Bolton could stop him was to foul him. He opened the scoring and provided a fine assist for Villa’s second.
LM: Anwar El Ghazi - 7
His direct approach caused Bolton a number of issues and helped to create plenty of chances for his side.
ST: Tammy Abraham - 8
His hold up play was very good today and the cross that set up Grealish for the opening goal was sublime. Put his body on the line to score his 25th goal of the season. Hopefully his injury isn’t a bad one.
SUB: Keinan Davis - 6.5
Came on for Abraham on the hour mark and made a nuisance of himself. His hold-up play was good and he was unlucky to see a shot creep just wide.
SUB: Conor Hourihane - 6
Came on for John McGinn in the 72nd minute and did the job that was asked of him.
SUB: Mile Jedinak - 6
Came on for the injured Tuanzebe in the 74th minute and helped to ensure that Villa walked away with a clean sheet.