Forget Dendoncker: Villa’s 3-pass flop who lost 100% duels let Emery down big time – opinion

Aston Villa suffered a shock 2-1 defeat in their FA Cup third-round clash with League Two side Stevenage in one of the biggest upsets of the round of fixtures so far.

Unai Emery will surely be absolutely furious with his team after the dramatic climax in the meeting between the two teams and the players should feel embarrassed with how quickly the game took a turn for the worst.

Villa had 79% possession of the ball, more shots on target (17 v 8), more dribbles completed (4 v 1) and more accurate passes (647 v 115) but ultimately failed to kill the game with accuracy in front of goal and poor decision-making set the stage for disaster.

In the first half, the hosts got off to a fantastic start, dominating the pitch and were eventually rewarded for their work ethic when Morgan Sanson found the back of the net in the 33rd minute to give Villa the lead with a rare strike.

In the second half, the Villans continued to dominate every area of the pitch until summer signing Leander Dendoncker made a catastrophic foul as the final man in the box which saw the Belgium international sent off.

A penalty was given to Stevenage which Jamie Reid converted to level the score-line with just two minutes to go.

But it didn’t end there, after going down to ten men the team were unable to hold off their opponents when Dean Campbell found the back of the net from a short corner to win the game in the dying moments.

Dendoncker will obviously share a large part of the blame but another player who had a performance he will be wanting to forget in a hurry is striker Danny Ings.

He was nothing short of anonymous throughout this evening and ultimately, let down his manager by not making his presence known and killing the game to avoid the outcome.

Over his 72-minute performance, despite delivering an assist for the goal, the centre-forward completed just three accurate passes during a performance where he failed to offer his teammates much.

Furthermore, he lost possession of the ball every two touches, lost 100% of his duels and failed to have a single shot on target.

Ashley Preece did award the forward a 6/10 in his Birmingham Live player ratings but suggested the Hertfordshire side kept him ‘at bay’ in a display that should worry Emery, as Ings failed to even trouble a fourth-tier defence.

The former Southampton goal-machine has been linked with a move to Everton this month and after that performance at Villa Park, it may be something the manager is willing to consider as he endeavours to improve the inconsistent performances the squad has shown over the campaign so far.

With that being said, there seems like there is a lot for Emery to consider going forward in the January transfer window and if players in the squad can’t step up when they are needed it should come as no surprise when the former Villarreal boss replaces them.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top