Aston Villa player ratings v Southampton: Ayew impresses again, but Gestede struggles

Aston Villa

Joleon Lescott's first-half opener proved enough to earn Remi Garde's men a 1-1 draw from their trip to the south coast.

Brad Guzan 6.5/10 – Came up with three nice saves and was an imposing presence in the air, aside from one misjudged punch in the first half which went unpunished. Starting to look a bit more like the pre-2015 Guzan again.

Alan Hutton 7/10 – Didn’t offer much going forward but was excellent at the back. Denied former Villa midfielder Steven Davis a certain goal in the second half with a last-gasp block.

Jores Okore 6.5/10 – Making his first senior appearance since the FA Cup final, the Danish defender recovered from a testing opening 30 minutes to prove rock solid over the remaining hour. When on top form, he just might be Villa’s best centre-back.

Joleon Lescott 7/10 – Back in the line-up with Ciaran Clark suspended and Micah Richards out injured, the stand-in skipper proceeded to open the scoring just before half-time with a simple tap-in from Veretout’s corner, while also recording a match-leading eight clearances over the course of the game.

Leandro Bacuna 6/10 – The Dutch utility man looked unsurprisingly shaky in an unfamiliar left-back role but he just about managed to get through the afternoon without hurting his side.

Carlos Sanchez 6.5/10 – Sloppy in possession again at times but was very impressive on the defensive side of the ball. Does need to take some blame for Oriol Romeu’s 72nd-minute equaliser, however, after losing his man at the far post.

Idrissa Gana 7/10 – The Senegal international looked back on form after a recent poor run of performances, as he put in a huge shift in the centre of the park to help stifle Southampton’s midfield.

Jordan Veretout 7/10 – Definitely finding his feet now. Offered plenty of bright moments and served up the corner for Lescott’s opener.

Scott Sinclair 6/10 – Worked hard but was a bit of a passenger when it came to events in the final third. Offers more protection for his full-back than either Carles Gil or Adama Traore, though.

Jordan Ayew 7.5/10 – No goal this time but his work rate was outstanding once again, while he looked a constant threat with the ball. Should be the first name on the team sheet at the moment.

Rudy Gestede 5/10 – Undoubtedly Villa’s most disappointing player on the day. Simply wasn’t the presence up top he needed to be, and while he produced a heroic goalmouth block in the first half, a poor miss soon after undid the good work.

SUBSTITUTES

Ashley Westwood (Gestede 75) 6/10 – Fluffed a golden chance to bag the winner in the closing stages.

Kieran Richardson (Bacuna 78) 6/10 – While it’s debatable whether he’s a defensive upgrade over Bacuna, there were no major hiccups on this occasion.

Gabby Agbonlahor (Sanchez 94) N/A – A late replacement for the injured Sanchez.

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