Aston Villa drew against ten man Ipswich Town today, in a game that truly showed that Villa need to improve in the way they play – and quickly.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
The game started relatively well for both sides. Aston Villa had the vast majority of possession, but Ipswich looked the stronger of the two going forward.
Gwion Edwards single-handedly tore Aston Villa apart just after 10 minutes, passing three players on the right flank before playing the ball in field and making a run. He received the ball again, but thundered it off the crossbar – luckily for the Villans.
It took 20 minutes for John McGinn to have a huge impact on the game again, with the Scot playing a teasing, nay, delicious ball in to a rising Jonathan Kodjia, who put a glancing header in past Bartosz Bialkowski – and boy could you see what it meant to the Ivorian forward to get scoring again.
Ipswich had put in a series of rash challenges on Jack Grealish, but the first yellow card of the game was given to the home side’s Tayo Edun for a crunching tackle on Elmohamady which left him needing treatment from the physio. The resulting free-kick from Grealish found Kojdia’s head again, which just scraped across the crossbar and over.
Orjan Nyland was certainly at fault this week for the opposition’s equaliser in the 35th minute. Nyland came rushing out of his net to catch a ball, before dropping it in a crowded penalty area and allowing Chalobah to put it into an empty net.
Ipswich Town went down to ten men just before the 40 minute mark, with another rash challenge from winger Tayo Edun, on his league debut, which saw him receive his second yellow and his marching orders. The resulting free-kick had a penalty shout come with it as the in swinging ball from Grealish was heading to James Chester who was floored in the box, but the referee waved it away.
The sides went in even at the break, but Aston Villa had the advantage due to the extra man on the field.
In the second half, former Aston Villa man Janoi Donacien received a booking just before the fifty minut mark as he chopped down Jack Grealish who was making his way towards the Ipswich area.
Jack Grealish had probably the best opportunity of the first ten minutes, finding himself with acres of space in the Ipswich box, but he was quickly enclosed – and whilst he did manage to dribble his was past around four Ipswich Town defenders – he couldn’t get a shot off.
In the 62nd minute, Birkir Bjarnason made way for Conor Hourihane, and Axel Tuanzebe came off for Andre Green. Elmohamady subsequently moved to right back, with Adomah swapping sides to the right, and Green taking his place on the left.
Ipswich Town’s new man Kayden Jackson arrived to the party in the 72nd minute, and four minutes later Aston Villa youngster Rushian Hepburn-Murphy came on for Albert Adomah.
In what was a relatively dreary second half, Hepburn-Murphy brightened up the play a bit with his pace – but there wasn’t much to talk about from either side.
In the 92nd minute, Aston Villa had a final chance with a free-kick from John McGinn after Jack Grealish was fouled. The ball in was good, came out, and Conor Hourihane took a shot that was parried away from goal by Bialkowski.
In essence, it was a relatively poor display from an Aston Villa side who should have won the game regardless, but even more so against ten man opposition.