Aston Villa followed up their 3-0 win over Minnesota United with a 1-0 win against Shrewsbury Town on Sunday afternoon.
The Shrews came flying out of the blocks and put Villa under pressure for the first ten minutes or so, even forcing a fine save out of Jed Steer.
However, Dean Smith’s men grew into the game and were the better team for the majority of the first forty-five minutes, but they just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Keinan Davis came the closest, but he saw his fierce shot saved superbly by Max O’Leary in the Shrewsbury goal.
All of the outfield players were changed at half-time and the deadlock was finally broken in the 66th minute when Wesley Moraes flicked a great through ball on to Scott Hogan, who managed to squeeze the ball under the advancing O’Leary.
Villa kept pushing for a second goal to kill off the game, but some resolute defending from the home team meant that Villa had to settle for just the one goal.
Despite the scoreline, Smith will be relatively pleased with a lot of what he saw today.
Here are our player ratings from the game…
GK: Jed Steer - 6
Only had one real save to make during the whole 90 minutes. At times he was a bit too relaxed on the ball and Villa fans will be hoping that it’s because it was just a friendly.
RB: Frederic Guilbert - 7
Made one mistake very early on that nearly cost Villa, but he was solid for the rest of the half and linked up extremely well with Jota. Put in a number of teasing deliveries.
CB: Tyrone Mings - 6
Was rarely troubled and looked comfortable in possession, but he did make a few uncharacteristic mistakes.
CB: Ezri Konsa - 7.5
Looked comfortable on the ball and won his fair share of aerial duels. Put his body on the line late in the half to block a shot.
LB: Neil Taylor - 5
Didn’t have much work to do defensively, so spent a lot of time in Shrewsbury’s half. However, like usual, his crosses in the final third were mostly poor.
RM: Jota - 7
Jota is looking like a right steal. His touch was top class and he caused a number of issues down the right flank. Put in a number of teasing deliveries as well.
CM: Birkir Bjarnason - 6.5
Played the defensive midfield role and put in a very solid shift. Made a couple of important clearances.
CM: Jack Grealish - 8
Was without a doubt the best player on the pitch in the first half. He made a number of great runs that left a few Shrewsbury players in his wake.
CM: John McGinn - 6
Didn’t get involved as much as he probably would have liked, but he did make a number of vital interceptions to stops Shrewsbury in their tracks.
LM: Andre Green - 5
Tried his best, but his final ball, more often than not, was too poor to cause the Shrewsbury defence any problems.
ST: Keinan Davis - 7.5
His hold up play was top quality today and he was unlucky to see a fierce shot saved superbly by Shrewsbury’s keeper.
SUB: James Bree - 5
Just does not look confident at the moment. He made a number of sloppy passes and didn’t get forward enough to help with attacks.
SUB: James Chester - 6
Didn’t have much to deal with, but was well alert to any dangers that did come his way. It’s good to see him getting back to full fitness.
SUB: Kourtney Hause - 6
Like Chester, he had a relatively comfortable afternoon and just did the job that was expected of him. Came close to scoring late on.
SUB: Matt Targett - 6
Like Taylor, he didn’t have that much defending to do, but he showed that he is clearly a better option when it comes to going forward.
SUB: Rushian Hepburn-Murphy - 7
Made a number of darting runs down the left flank and caused the Shrewsbury defenders a number of issues. Was unlucky to see a shot well saved by O’Leary.
SUB: Conor Hourihane - 7.5
Controlled the midfield when he came on and put in a number of teasing deliveries into the box. His set-pieces were pretty spot on as well.
SUB: Callum O'Hare - 6
Got into some great attacking positions, but didn’t show enough confidence to go for a shot. Should have been awarded a penalty early on in the second half though.
SUB: Henri Lansbury - 5
Played a few great through balls early on, but faded out of the game as it wore on. Probably won’t be at Villa come the start of the season.
SUB: Scott Hogan - 7.5
Linked up well with Moraes and took his goal extremely well. He also tracked back a few times to help defend.
SUB: Wesley Moraes - 7.5
Showed what a great touch he has and provided a fine assist for Hogan’s goal. His hold up play was good and it looks like he will be a right handful for defences in the Premier League.