Aston Villa player ratings v Derby: Tommy Elphick impresses, Libor Kozak struggles

Aston Villa's Libor Kozak in action with Derby's Will Hughes

Roberto Di Matteo's men recorded their second clean sheet of the season as they drew 0-0 with the Rams at the iPro Stadium on Saturday evening.

Gary Gardner of Aston Villa (R) hits the post with a shot on goal

Pierluigi Gollini 6/10 – Only needed to make one save and looked largely assured when put under pressure. A second clean sheet in three games should do his confidence the world of good.

Leandro Bacuna 6.5/10 - Performed relatively well defensivelybut arguably could have offered more going forward. Remains to be seen whether he will still have a starting spot come the end of the transfer window given all the rumours linking the club with a move for a new right-back.

Tommy Elphick 7/10 – Another commanding performance from the skipper, who made eight clearances, two interceptions and seven recoveries over the course of the match to help preserve the clean sheet. He also saw a shot cleared off the line in the second half.

James Chester 7/10 – Looked just as impressive as his centre-back partner, while also completing a team-leading 97.3 percent of his 37 passes.

Aly Cissokho 6/10 – Had a few shaky moments at the back but generally coped well with the threat of Tom Ince. Like Bacuna, though, he didn’t contribute much at the other end of the pitch.

Ashley Westwood 6.5/10 – Offered plenty of energy and was typically tidy on the ball. Also came up with a vital goal-line clearance just after half time.

Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood in action with Derby's Jacob Butterfield

Gary Gardner 5.5/10 – Hit the post in the first half with a fierce shot but had a forgettable game otherwise. Struggled with his passing and looked overrun at times in the centre of the park.

Jordan Ayew 6.5/10 – Worked tremendously hard throughout but was guilty of some fairly poor decision-making in the final third. Have to question whether using him on the wing is the best option when he’s shown in the past how much more effective he can be running through the middle.

Jack Grealish 6.5/10 – A very lively first-half display but the 20-year-old’s influence noticeably waned after the break once the hosts got more into the game. His end product also left a lot to be desired.

Ross McCormack 7/10 –Showed plenty of creativity around Derby’s penalty area,recording seven key passes, and impressed with his work rate when dropping deep to retrieve the ball.

Rudy Gestede 6/10 – Only lasted 27 minutes before being forced off through injury.

Rudy Gestede of Aston Villa heads at goal

SUBSTITUTES

Libor Kozak (Gestede 27) 5/10 – Clearly struggling to find his rhyme after barely playing in over two-and-a-half years. Headed a glaring chance wide 13 minutes from the end.

Jordan Amavi (Grealish 82) N/A – Touched the ball just five times in his late cameo.

Andre Green (Kozak 82) N/A – Involved even less than Amavi.

Aston Villa's Libor Kozak in action with Derby's Will Hughes

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch