"He was superb" - Alan Smith praises Micah Richards despite Aston Villa defeat

Micah Richards

Sky Sports' Alan Smith has praised Micah Richards despite Aston Villa's defeat to Leicester City.

Pundit Alan Smith has told Sky Sports that he thought Aston Villa's Micah Richards was man of the match against Leicester City - before Villa's collapse.

Villa, who have won just once in the Premier League this season, took a 2-0 lead away at Leicester City on Sunday, with Jack Grealish and Carles Gil converting superb strikes from outside the box.

However, with 18 minutes left to play, Ritchie de Laet pulled a goal back for the Foxes, before Jamie Vardy stabbed the ball home from Danny Drinkwater's cross.

Then, in the dying embers of the game, Nathan Dyer - the smallest player on the park - put his body on the line to beat Brad Guzan and send the ball trickling over the line, handing Leicester a remarkable comeback to win the game 3-2.

Villa manager Tim Sherwood, their players and their fans were all heartbroken at the final whistle as Villa somehow managed to throw the game away, but Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith did highlight one positive after the game.

Defender Micah Richards, who signed for Villa from Manchester City this summer, started alongside Joleon Lescott at centre back and put in an impressive performance before Leicester mounted their stunning revival.

Smith told Sky Sports after the game that he thought Richards was 'superb', and would have been man of the match had it not been for those three Leicester goals.

"They defended really well," said Smith. "You couldn't really criticise Villa's back four. I was going to give Micah Richards man of the match because I thought he was superb, until that magnificent fightback," he added.

It's hard to blame Richards for any of the goals, though he may look back on Vardy's goal and feel he could have anticipated the cross a little better, as he reacted a fraction late to the ball coming across the box.

Usually a right back at City, Richards has been playing at centre back for Villa, and his performances so far suggest that Sherwood is getting it right in terms of where to play the former England international - and whilst he won't feel it after such a crushing defeat, Richards is having a bright start to life at Villa.

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