Birmingham news Villa player ratings vs Palace as McGinn impresses, Konsa struggles MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Crystal Palace 3 Aston Villa 2 - Villa shot themselves in the foot time and time again here as Palace came on strong to win it at the death to cancel out McGinn's and El Ghazi's goals in the first half
Breaking News ! Aston Villa led twice at Crystal Palace before going down at Selhurst Park as Dean Smith's side failed to arrest the home side's second-half onslaught. Villa were good value for their advantage in the first half as John McGinn scored a well-taken goal while, moments after Palace had equalised, it was Anwar El Ghazi who put Villa back in front. However, it was all Palace after the break with Wilfried Zaha equalising before Tyrick Mitchell won it with just six minutes remaining. Villa were without the injured Tyrone Mings and Matty Cash for this one with Dean Smith's men starting in slick fashion at Selhurst Park with McGinn bossing the opening proceedings. The Scottish midfielder notched a brillantly-taken goal for his third of the season as he caressed home with his side foot with the ball striking in off the post to put Villa ahead after just 17 minutes. John McGinn scores Aston Villa's first goal of the game during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. (Image: Henry Browne/PA) Palace came back into it after that with ex-Villan Gary Cahill going close before another former Villa favourite, Christian Benteke, equalised with a trademark header. The big Belgian rose above Kortney Hause to plant home his header into the opposite corner after left-back Mitchell hung his cross up for him. Just two minutes later, though, Villa were back ahead as McGinn's run into the box allowed Ollie Watkins - back from suspension - to head the ball into El Ghazi's path with the Dutchman making no mistake as he slammed home his ninth Premier League goal of the season. After the break, it was the hosts who dominated as Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha began to turn the screw. However, once again, it was Villa who had Emi Martinez to thank after the South American pulled another save out of the top drawer to tip Benteke's header onto his crossbar and away. Wilfried Zaha scores Crystal Palace's second goal against Aston Villa past Ezri Konsa. (Image: John Walton/Getty Images) Palace continued to press with their efforts rewarded on 76 minutes as Eze put in a hopeful ball down the channel to Zaha with the latter cutting inside beyond Ezri Konsa before his strike hit off Ahmed Elmohamady before going in. The Eagles weren't finished there, though, as Eze tried his luck from distance with a caressed effort which beat Martinez but not the crossbar as Villa held on momentarily. Roy Hodgson's side soon wrapped it up with young left-back Tyrick Mitchell pouncing to chest home in front of Elmohamady following Eze's half volley goalwards as Villa simply threw it away. The result leaves Villa four points off 10th-placed Leeds with Spurs next up on Wednesday evening. Here's how we rated Villa's players after a topsy-turvy display at Selhurst Park Starting formation: 4-2-3-1 Emiliano Martinez: Villa's record 16th clean sheet evaded him here as Christian Benteke's well-placed header wrong-footed the Argentinian. Martinez did well to tip away Townsend's free-kick and caught tame shots fired his way. After the break, Martinez had a tricky pass in from Ramsey to deal with as he put Zaha off while, on the hour, he pulled off a world-class save to tip Benteke's goal-bound header onto his crossbar and behind. Martinez had no chance with Zaha's effort while it was the same when Mitchell chested home from close range to win it. His save to deny Benteke a second deserved a point on its own. 7 Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez gives his defence instructions during the Premier League match at Crystal Palace. (Image: John Walton/Getty Images) Ahmed Elmohamady: The Egyptian came in for his eighth start in place of the injured Cash and Elmohamady put in an assured performance up against Zaha. The 33-year-old's crossing caught the eye throughout the afternoon as he helped to make McGinn's opener with his cross headed into his teammate's path. Elmohamady was always calm in possession and worked well with Traore ahead oh him. The right-back looked to find McGinn and Watkins as he mixed it up. However, like most in white shirts, Elmohamady struggled to contain Palace's pace and power in the second half. Elmohamady saw Zaha's effort deflect off him as it went in while, for the winner, Mitchell got ahead of him to score. A tough afternoon. 6 Aston Villa's Ahmed Elmohamady (left) sees his header saved by Crystal Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland.. (Image: Mike Hewitt/PA) Ezri Konsa: Konsa says he's learnt a lot from Mings and, without his usual partner, it was Ezri who was Villa's voice at the back as he told those in front of him to put a shift in to keep Villa on the front foot. Konsa dished out the odd rollicking as well as he looked to keep his side in check defensively. The impressive centre-back blocked well to deny the likes of Eze. However, Konsa was left raging with himself after he afforded Zaha too much room to cut in as he equalised via Elmohamady's backside with a little under 15 minutes left. Konsa rallied until the end but it was a poor defensive showing by everyone as Palace came on strong. Konsa struggled without Mings here. 5 Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (left) and Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park. (Image: Henry Browne/PA) Kortney Hause: In for his first start since December 28 and he started well and perhaps could have scored two as his headers from Traore's corner sailed just wide of Butland's post. Hause was good on the deck and fizzed in passes to the likes of Targett and El Ghazi. The centre-back was undone for Palace's equaliser, though, as Benteke timed his jump to perfection to get above Hause before his effort nestled home. Hause was pick-pocketed by Schlupp in the second half as Palace almost took advantage. A bit rusty which was to be expected. 5 Matt Targett: Started with a real spring in his step as he trapped a high ball into him before driving past Townsend. Targett was generally fine here with Palace looking to attack Villa's right-side and centrally instead. 7 John McGinn: The Scot ran the show in the first half and was back to his best here. McGinn's runs off the ball were brilliant during the opening stages and his ghosting run was behind his exquisite opener as he latched onto Gary Cahill's poor clearance to powerfully pass home into the far corner with the ball cannoning off the post. The stand-in skipper made Villa's second as well as he burst into the box with his cross taking a deflection before Watkins kept the ball alive as El Ghazi finished with aplomb. McGinn seemed to love these conditions in south London with the rain teeming down.
John McGinn celebrates with Ahmed Elmohamady after scoring Aston Villa's first goal during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
(Image: Henry Browne/Getty Images)
Douglas Luiz: The Brazilian was in again for his 32nd start from 36 league games this season. Douglas plugged gaps well this afternoon and made some important interceptions at pivotal times as Palace looked to get back into it. Douglas' passing was on the money as well with a series of crisp ones out to the likes of Elmohamady to spring attacks. After the break, Palace took advantage of second balls and began to pepper Martinez's goal with Douglas appearing flustered amid Palace's pressure. 6 Bertrand Traore: The winger got a massive "Love that, Berto" from Smith as he won a header infield as Elmohamady latched onto the second ball. Traore was menacing at times here and set up Hause twice from corners. Palace's assistant manager Ray Lewington kept shouting "Left foot!", "Left foot!" as he tried to get his men to stop Traore in his tracks. The ex-Lyon man showed grace and guile in the rain in the first half before fading once more as he was replaced by Grealish. 6 Jacob Ramsey: The teenager came in for Barkley here and started positively as he looked to get on the ball at every opportunity. He never shies away from a pass and he has confidence in his own ability on the big stage. Ramsey, who sent an effort wide just seconds in, almost gifted Palace a way back into it after the break after he fizzed in a pass to Martinez which Zaha almost capitalised. Thankfully, Martinez did enough to put the Palace man on as Ramsey breathed a sigh of relief. Ramsey struggled a little bit in the second half as Palace chased for a way back into it. The 19-year-old did a lot of running and tracked back well to stop Benteke in his tracks following a counter-attack. Put himself about but lacked that X-factor needed. 6
Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey (left) leaves Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend trailing during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park.
(Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Anwar El Ghazi: Slammed home at the back post for his ninth Premier League goal of the season. It was an instinctive finish as well as Watkins kept it alive with El Ghazi showing his ruthless streak to whack home. El Ghazi put in a series of teasing balls in for Watkins which had just too much on them while, after half-time, the Dutchman thought he morphed into Cristiano Ronaldo as he smacked a bouncing ball from all of 30 yards as it flew past Butland's post. El Ghazi tried his luck with a near-post free-kick which almost found a way in. Looked a threat at times and took his goal well. Was a passenger for large parts in the second half, though. 6
Aston Villa's Anwar El Ghazi (right) celebrates with Bertrand Traore after scoring their side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Sunday May 16, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Palace. Photo credit should read: Henry Browne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Ollie Watkins: Watkins was a breath of fresh air compared to Thursday's display against Everton with Davis struggling to run in behind. Smith labels Watkins as "the best pressing centre-forward in the Premier League" and he's not wrong as time and time again he ran off Cahill and Kouyate to stretch the play which, in turn, allowed gaps to appear for the likes of McGinn to exploit. Watkins was cute with his header as he teed up El Ghazi for his fifth assist of the season with Watkins keeping a high ball alive inside Palace's box. Watkins saw a couple of efforts saved from Butland with his performance decent enough for a side that was on the back foot in the second half. 6.5
Villa striker Ollie Watkins is fouled by Cheikhou Kouyate at Selhurst Park.
(Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Substitutes Jack Grealish on for Traore, 64 minutes: Couldn't work his magic. Keinan Davis on for Ramsey, 85 minutes: Went up top as soon as Mitchell scored. Wesley on for El Ghazi, 88 minutes: Had no time. Subs not used: Steer, Taylor, Engels, Nakamba, Barkley, Chukwuemeka. Opposition Crystal Palace: Butland; Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, Mitchell; McCarthy (Tomkins, 72), Eze, Townsend; Zaha, Benteke, Schlupp. Subs not used: Hennessy, Guaita, Dann, Ayew, Mateta, Batshuayi, Kelly, Riedewald. Goals Crystal Palace: Benteke (32), Zaha (76), Mitchell (84). Aston Villa: McGinn (17), El Ghazi (34) Referee: David Coote VAR: Paul Tierney Next up for Villa: Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday, May 19; 6pm kick-off. The commenting system on BirminghamLive has undergone an overhaul and we want to get even closer to what you're thinking by getting your comments and feedback on all of our stories, particularly where Aston Villa debates are concerned. Let us know how you rated the players by having your say in the comments section below.
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