Aston Villa 1-0 Cardiff City: Villans Grab Huge Win To Strengthen Their Playoff Hopes
Aston Villa welcomed Cardiff to Villa Park hoping to close the gap on the Bluebirds and confirm their playoff place. Although Villa dominated the possession stats, Cardiff would have been the more disappointed party to have not taken the lead, after their pressure led to Elmohamady clearing off the line before two great saves from Sam Johnstone kept the score at 0-0.
As it looked like the game was going to stay that way, Robert Snodgrass put a free-kick into the box that was only half-cleared, with Jack Grealish volleying it into the top corner. The result means that Villa have a chance to go up this season via the playoffs.
Aston Villa Player Ratings
Sam Johnstone – 8
Made two vital saves from a free-kick at the end of the first-half to keep the score even.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 7
Cleared off the line in the first-half stoppage time, although he didn’t know too much about it.
Mile Jedinak – 7.5
Filled in at central defence at the last moment when John Terry picked up an injury and put in an impressive shift for his team.
James Chester – 7.5
In the absence of John Terry, Chester had to lead the defence and did an excellent job.
Axel Tuanzebe – 5
Injured after just 25 minutes and was replaced by James Bree.
Glenn Whelan – 6.5
The elder statesman of the team came in and performed well to keep the impressive Cardiff attackers at bay.
Conor Hourihane – 7
Had a solid game. Was good on the ball and put in some important tackles. Replaced by Chris Samba when Villa needed to shore up the game.
Albert Adomah – 6
Was a part of a strong attacking performance from the Villa team but was sacrificed when Steve Bruce went looking for the winner.
Jack Grealish – 8
Scored a fantastic volley to put his side in the lead, late in the game.
Robert Snodgrass – 7.5
Provided some constant threat from the wing and could have won his side a penalty in the first half. A brilliant performance from the on-loan midfielder.
Lewis Grabban – 7
Looked like a lonely figure at times but pushed the Cardiff defence. Had a late chance to increase the Villa lead but put it well wide.
James Bree (for Tuanzebe) – 7
Bree is usually a right-back but he filled in at left-back after Tuanzebe suffered an injury.
Jonathan Kodjia (for Adomah) – 6.5
Looked lively after coming on. Had the tricks and skills to bamboozle the Cardiff defence.
Christopher Samba (for Hourihane) N/A
Came on with a couple of minutes to go, in what was an attempt to shore up the defence.