I think we’re just too good! Another away win leaves Villa in fifth, just five points away from the automatic spots after a comfortable 2-0 win against Preston.
And that’s what it was, comfortable. At no point did Preston really trouble Sam Johnstone in the Villa goal.
From the very start it seemed we wanted to make up for a relatively disapointing Second City Derby. Albert Adomah squared the ball across the box to Keinan Davis who was denied by the strong right hand of Chris Maxwell.
But it didn’t take long for our pressure to pay off. After ten minutes, James Chester headed in Robert Snodgrass’ corner to put us one up.
That was the catalyst for Preston decided to come at us a bit. Goal scorer Chester nearly gave away a penalty (which looking back, probably was one) when he tripped Sean Maguire, and John Terry had to head over his own crossbar after a dangerous cross had evaded Johnstone.
So when our second goal did come, it was at the perfect time. Just as Preston were getting back into the game, Josh Onamah was latched onto a poor Ben Pearson pass. The Spurs loanee showed a cool head in waiting for Snodgrass to arrive while Davis made a decoy run drawing a defender away. Eventually, the former played the ball across to Snoddy who rolled in for 0-2. Or as we say in Welsh, ddim – dau.
Anyway, it was Onomahs interception which illustrated Villa’s tenacity. It’s great to have flair players like Connor Hourihane, but when they fight for every ball it just makes them ten times better. (For other examples of this see Glenn Whelan).
In the second half Villa never looked like conceding. Steve Bruce keeps the midfield and defence so structured that for a side to find a way through, they must vary their attacks, which is something Preston didn’t do enough. Also,when the home side had the ball in dangerous areas, they didn’t move it fast enough to create anything of note.
Villa nearly capped off an excellent performance with a third from Adomah. Hourihane found the Ghanaian in space in the box but the latter couldn’t add to his five goals this season, hitting his shot onto the roof of the net.
Nevertheless, what could’ve been a banana skin of a game turned out to be a relatively routine win. Villa need to be aiming for at least nine points from the rest of November in order to challenge for those automatic promotion spots.
Keinan Davis – Davis was once again excellent up top, this time on his own, and is turning into a real success story for Villa. The big man is just as adept on the floor as he is in the air, and showed this with a lovely touch and turn to completely mug off a Preston defender at one point. Should he be considered Villas first choice striker?
I also did a short article discussing the main talking points from this game, which you can find here on the Claret and View: https://theclaretandview.com/2017/11/02/the-talking-points-from-villa-2-0-preston/