0-1: Chester (20, bundled the ball over the line from Grealish’s corner after losing Batth and then Fry)

0-2: Abraham (62, slid in inside the six-yard box to convert Bolasie’s low cross after he was left in acres of space)

0-3: Whelan (83, saw his drive from 25 yards helped in off the post by Randolph after a Hogan effort was stopped)

Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire) – could have given Villa a couple of penalties which would have made things worse for the home side. 6

Bookings: Friend (71, foul)

Attendance: 23,424

Entertainment: **

Boro Villa

Shots on 3 7

Shots off 7 13

Corners 2 7

Offsides 2 3

Fouls 12 10


4 Randolph: Made an excellent early save and then his day worsened after that with mistakes;

5 Fry: Didn’t have one of his better days by his usual standards and forced off through injury

5 Flint: Given a tough afternoon by Abraham and not as commanding as he can be

4 Batth: Lost his man for the first and has turned in better displays

5 Friend: Not at his best in either half of the pitch, cautioned and could have conceded a penalty;

5 Clayton: Played the ball around in the middle without every getting hold of the play

4 Howson: Gave the ball away too cheaply and didn’t do enough damage

6 BESIC: Arguably Boro’s liveliest player and did at least try a couple of things;

5 Tavernier: Never looked like adding to the two goals in his last two games

5 Downing: One second half effort which flew over but nothing too serious;

5 Hugill: Hammered the crossbar late on


McNair (for Fry 58): Given a tough half an hour down the flank. 5

Braithwaite (for Tavernier 61): Unable to cause any problems. 5

Assombalonga (for Besic 61): Struck his one chance well wide. 5

(not used): Konstantopoulos (gk), Ayala, Saville, Wing.

ASTON VILLA (4-3-2-1): Nyland 6; Elmohamady 6, Chester 8, Tuanzebe 7, Taylor 6; McGinn 7 (Whelan 81), HOURIHANE 8, Grealish 7; El Ghazi 7, Bolasie 7 (Kodjia 73); Abraham 8 (Hogan 81). Subs (not used): Bunn (gk), Jedinak, O’Hare, Revan.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Connor Hourihane – dictated play in the middle to get Villa rolling forward.