Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
Aston Villa recorded their fourth win in a row today at home against rock-bottom Bolton Wanderers. The Claret and Blue are unbeaten in eight, who would have thought?
The game started off shakily, which is something that Villa fans should be used to. Because of this shakiness, Whelan was carded early on for a rash challenge.
For the first twenty-five minutes, thing seemed to look as if they weren’t going Villa’s way. Both teams had attempts on goal, but many of the decisions made in the first third of the game were being given to Bolton.
These decisions, regardless of who’s way they were going, were not letting the game flow naturally.
Villa’s best chance of the half at this point came in the 36th minute, when a long ball found Jonothan Kodjia, who had the opportunity to square it for Adomah who would have buried it into an open net. Instead, he selfishly took a shot and it was pushed wide.
During the resulting corner, Kodjia attempted some magic and was yanked down to the ground. Adomah seemed to tell him to take it, perhaps a way of restoring the player’s confidence. Kodjia stepped up and fired it into the left corner of the net, right in front of the Holte.
For the first fifteen minutes of the second half, there was nothing of note to mention. There were glimpses of both Snodgrass and Elmohamady linking well on the right hand side, which can only bode well for the future.
John Terry was looking for his first goal for the club, attempting to divert a Hourihane free-kick in the 69th minute. Whilst the ball went wide, it looked like something they’d been practising on the training ground.
In the 71st minute, Scott Hogan made his now regular appearance from the bench, coming on for Jonothan Kodjia. In the same minute, Onomah came on for Keinan Davis. In what was a vaguely boring half, it seemed like Bruce was looking for a different spark going forward.
With just 12 minutes to go, Villa looked much better. The balls they were playing were much more direct, and Snodgrass came close to scoring his second goal in as many games with a curling shot to the bottom right corner with his sweet left foot.
For much of the last ten minutes, Bolton applied most of the pressure and Villa seemed to be on the back foot. Bruce noticed this, as Chris Samba was brought on as an extra man in defence for Robert Snodgrass – who had an excellent game.
Neil Taylor was dismissed for a high boot late in to the game, which should never have been a red card. He walked down the tunnel to resounding applause.
Whilst it wasn’t pretty, or especially entertaining – it’s another three points for the Villa – right before the international break.