Five things learned from Aston Villa's 3-2 defeat at Leicester

Tim Sherwood's men suffered their third league defeat of the season at the King Power Stadium after letting a two-goal lead slip in the final 18 minutes.

Sherwood gets it wrong

As good a job as Tim Sherwood has done since taking over at Aston Villa, there’s no doubt that he’s cost his side several points this season with some questionable tactics.

On Sunday afternoon, it was a set of poor substitutions that ultimately saw Villa surrender a two-goal lead in the final 18 minutes to lose 3-2, as Leicester responded after Carles Gil’s 63rd-minute strike and soon found space to exploit.

The former Tottenham Hotspur boss had the chance to shore things up when he replaced Gil moments after he doubled their advantage – a questionable move in itself – but, instead of introducing Jordan Veretout or even Ciaran Clark, it was striker Jordan Ayew who entered the match.

He then had an opportunity to make amends after Ritchie De Laet pulled a goal back in the 72nd-minute but this time opted to take off Gabby Agbonlahor for Rudy Gestede, while it was already 2-2 before the struggling Leandro Bacuna was replaced by Alan Hutton.

Make no mistake, Villa are a much better side than the one that struggled through the first half of last season under Paul Lambert but the weekend’s defeat was a stark reminder that Sherwood is still an inexperienced manager with a raw squad that needs time to gel.

Gabby proves he's not done yet

Agbonlahor has been roundly criticised by Villa fans so far this term – and justifiably so.

The long-serving striker has failed to find the back of the net since March and, after flattering to deceive through the first few games of the new campaign, patience with him is starting to wear thin.

Nevertheless, while he couldn’t break his drought against Leicester, the Birmingham-native still managed to underline his worth to Tim Sherwood’s side during his 74-minute spell, setting up Carles Gil’s second-half strike with a superb run and pass, as well as creating at least three other scoring chances.

His pace on the counter-attack caused Leicester’s defence serious problems at times and his substitution for Gestede was arguably one of the reasons why things fell apart for the visitors in the final 15 minutes

Ultimately, he may not be the 15-goal-a-season England international that many thought he could become under Martin O’Neill but, at 28, he still has a lot to offer his hometown club.

Lescott shows the good and bad

After his deadline day arrival from West Bromwich Albion, boyhood Villa fan Joleon Lescott was brought straight into the side for the Foxes clash and, through the first 70 minutes, was looking like a shrewd signing – until Leicester turned the tables.

While the 33-year-old had been using his vast experience to snuff out any danger, the hosts managed to exploit his lack of pace once Claudio Ranieri tinkered with his tactics and, at that point, you couldn’t help but wonder whether it would have been wiser to keep Clark in the line-up instead.

He certainly wasn’t the only Villa player struggling towards the end and definitely impressed at times but, at this stage of his career, Sherwood might need to pick and choose his match-ups moving forward.

Questions over Guzan resurface

After a goal-costing blunder at Manchester City lost him his place to the since-departed Shay Given during last season’s run-in, you could have been forgiven for wondering whether Brad Guzan’s days at Villa were numbered.

Whether through necessarily or not, though, the American goalkeeper was ultimately granted a second chance and, after a stellar showing at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, it seemed like he had put his recent troubles behind him.

Unfortunately, Sunday’s defeat saw questions over his starting credentials resurface once again, as the US international committed another costly error when he somehow let 5ft 5in Nathan Dyer out jump him on Leicester’s late winner.

Given the overall failings of the team, it probably won’t end up costing him his place this time but, with Sherwood likely not yet finished revamping his squad, he cannot afford any more slipups before January.

Grealish proves he's got goals in him

It took him a while but, after 28 games, Jack Grealish finally opened his claret and blue account – and in spectacular fashion no less.

After missing a glaring chance to open the scoring in the 24th-minute, the 20-year-old playmaker put Villa 1-0 up six minutes before the break with a fine finish from the edge of the box, before rushing off to celebrate with an ecstatic Sherwood on the sidelines.

A prolific scorer with the Under-21s, the homegrown midfielder's ability to find the back of the net has never really been questioned by the coaching staff and, after putting his first one in, it would be no surprise if the floodgates suddenly opened.

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