Aston Villa player ratings v Stoke: Richards and Veretout among few positives

Villa Park 6

Marko Arnautovic's second-half goal condemned Tim Sherwood's men to a 1-0 defeat at Villa Park.

Brad Guzan 6/10 – Just managed to keep out a long-range Charlie Adam shot but could do little about Arnautovic’s 55th-minute strike.

Jose Angel Crespo 5/10 – At fault for Stoke’s goal after losing his marker but was otherwise solid enough. The mistake will overshadow his debut, though.

Micah Richards 7/10 – One of few positives for Villa, as the skipper came up with some crucial blocks and interceptions to keep his side in the game.

Joleon Lescott 5/10 – Solid in the air but struggled against Stoke’s pace before being withdrawn at half-time. It’s not been a great start to life at Villa so far.

Alan Hutton 5/10 – Was given licence to bomb forward from his wing-back role but couldn’t make the desired impact.

Jordan Veretout 7/10 – Was very tidy in possession and about the only player who seemed to be looking to move the ball forward. Among a group of poor performers, he proved one of the bright spots.

Ashley Westwood 5.5/10 – Neat on the ball but just not incisive enough going forward. Set-piece deliveries were awful once again, too.

Idrissa Gana 5/10 – Full of energy in the centre of the park but very sloppy in possession and killed a couple of Villa attacks with poor turnovers.

Jordan Amavi 6/10 – Didn’t seem to be quite as comfortable further up the pitch compared to his usual left-back role.

Scott Sinclair 5/10 – Incredibly isolated up top and, as such, was virtually anonymous before going off just before the hour.

Rudy Gestede 5/10 – Won a couple of decent headers but never looked like a real goalscoring threat without decent service.

SUBSTITUTES

Jack Grealish (Lescott 46) 6.5/10 – Managed to cause Stoke a few problems with his passing and movement around the area but wasn’t quite at his most influential.

Jordan Ayew (Sinclair 58) 6/10 – Came close with one shot that hit the side netting but failed to contribute much else.

Carles Gil (Westwood 74) 6/10 – Too little, too late for him to make an impact.

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