Not a vintage performance but to concede a winner in the 92nd minute is always sickening. A 0-0 was probably about right, especially once we had stabalised after a worrying opening half an hour, but it was a ridiculous goal to concede.
Schwarzer – 4, he wasn’t having his brightest game, with some dodgy clearances and handling, before an amateur error presented Wiemann with the chance to win the game. Usually he is much much better than that, and Wiemann did well to anticipate, but fundamentally that error was inexplicable and cost us the game.
Senderos – 7, I actually thought Senderos played well, certainly our best defender anyway. Good passing and some very sharp interceptions to snuff out goal scoring chances before they offered themselves up.
Hangeland – 6, not his most assured performance but he still did well, having to deal with alot of pressure in the first half particularly and was much more commanding after the break.
Kelly – 5.5, hmm, he’s been good this season but he wasn’t terrifically composed yesterday. His decision making wasn’t great and failed to deal with some dangerous runners, Agbonlahor particuarly. Played Wiemann onside for the winner when everyone else had pushed up.
Riise – 6, Albrighton played Riise well initially, but eventually got a grip on his defensive side and in the second half was much more progressive in possession.
Murphy – 5, gave the ball away dangerously with an air of complacency a few times in the first half which lead to very threatening situations of which Villa will have felt aggrieved not to capitalise on. Fair play for his response to the Ireland elbow though, despite getting an injury which eventually forced him off he didn’t complain and just got on with it.
Dembele – 6, after a great run of form in the last few games he reminds us that he’s still got a bit to go before being called a great player. His passing wasn’t as adventerous as it had been and similarly his usual flying forward bursts had little effect.
Duff – 6.5, I actually thought Duff had a good game, looking like our brightest offensive player, constantly firing in teasing crosses and maintaining pressure on the Villa defence. Unfortunate not to score when he kissed the post with a shot on the run.
Dempsey – 6, a quiet game but he had a bit more influence once he moved into the middle. Was fairly economical in possession but didn’t really shine much, and didn’t threaten on goal.
Johnson – 6.5, as usual he worked hard and he does seem to be enjoying the freedom that Jol has given him to move about the pitch. Forced Given into our only first half save and almost set up Pogrebnyak just before half time too, but I would like to see him break into the box more, like Dempsey does, especially since he no longer has to play on the shoulder in this set up. Hopefully his injury isn’t too bad.
Pogrebnyak – 5.5, a performance which would definitely temper the enthusiasm we have for the guy after his superb start. Struggled from free kicks which cost us possession fairly often and generally struggled to get into the game. But they will happen and the service up to him wasn’t as it had been, and I’m sure he can continue as he was next saturday.
Diarra – 6.5, I actually really liked the look of Diarra when he came on. He was constantly switched on despite his nonchalant, almost arrogant, approach, his pass and move game is great, he knows his options before he recieves the ball. He demonstrated a neat range of passing too, including a great fizzed ball at Pogrebnyak’s chest from about 30 yards away and patroled infront of the back four which helped stem the tide of the Villa attack.
Ruiz – 6.5, came on with 25 minutes to go and looked bright, with the usual delicate touch and twinkling feet. He very demonstrably came back to defend successful too, so there’s signs for sure that he is coming closer to being able to play consistently in this league.