Aston Villa player ratings v Watford: Defensive mistakes cost hosts

Villa Park Outside

Goals from Micah Richards and Jordan Ayew failed to prevent Remi Garde's side from falling to a 3-2 defeat at Villa Park.

Brad Guzan 7/10 – Kept Villa in the game with four big saves, while his distribution wasn’t too bad for once either. After a difficult start to the season, he seems to be finding some form again.

Alan Hutton 6/10 – Very active down the right flank but his final delivery continually let him down. Turned the ball into his own net for Watford’s second goal with 21 minutes left.

Micah Richards 7/10 – Bagged a first-half equaliser with a thumping header, while recording a match-leading 11 clearances and winning seven aerial duels. Despite shipping three goals, it was a big improvement on his performance at Everton.

Ciaran Clark 5/10 – Was completely outmuscled in the air on Troy Deeney’s header for Watford’s third and lost his marker in the lead-up to Hutton’s own goal. With Jores Okore now back to full fitness, his starting place is far from assured.

Kieran Richardson 5/10 – Played Odion Ighalo onside for the opener and was guilty of ball watching on the 85th-minute third. Wasn’t as bad as his horror show last weekend but Jordan Amavi’s absence was still all too evident.

Carlos Sanchez 5/10 – Horrendously careless in possession, as he gave the ball away several times in his own half. He’s effective when he keeps his passing simple, but for some reason, he still doesn’t want to do that.

Idrissa Gana 5/10 – Had one decent attempt on goal in the first half but was otherwise missing in action once again. His form has taken a drastic turn for the worse over recent games.

Jordan Veretout 6.5/10 – Set up Richards’ 41st-minute equaliser with a fine free-kick and showed a few other flashes of promise. Seems to be finding some confidence with a regular run of games, despite the team’s overall struggles.

Carles Gil 5.5/10 – A game-changer on his day was largely ineffective on this occasion. Taken off for Adama with 22 minutes remaining.

Scott Sinclair 6/10 – Made some good runs in the first half, while forcing an impressive save from Heurelho Gomes, but was not much of a factor in the final third after the break.

Jordan Ayew 7/10 – Grabbed a consolation strike in the 89th-minute thanks to some smart footwork in the box and worked his socks off throughout. It’s vital that Villa give him better service going forward.

SUBSTITUTES

Adama Traore (Gil 68) 6/10 – Completed more dribbles [six] than the entire Watford team combined in his substitute appearance but Garde is right about him needing to improve his teamwork. As a late-game weapon, though, his pace offers a real threat.

Rudy Gestede (Gana 82) 5/10 – Brought on in an attempt to find an equaliser but made little impact.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch