Gary Gardner stats v Derby County

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

Aston Villa drew 0-0 at the iPro Stadium on Saturday.

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

Aston Villa drew 0-0 away to Derby County on Saturday in what's shaping up to be a very stop-start Championship campaign for the Villans.

Roberto Di Matteo's side were hoping to bounce back after conceding late on to draw against Huddersfield in midweek, but they failed to pick up a second win of the season.

One man who came in for fierce criticism on Twitter after the Derby stalemate was midfielder Gary Gardner.

Gary Gardner -  Aston Villa Reserves in action against Davide Petrucci - Manchester United

On the surface the criticism seems justified, with the 24-year-old failing to failing to create a chance or play a single through ball during his 90 minutes.

But Gardner - whose 20-yard effort rifled off the post in the first half - did seem to put in a very decent defensively at the iPro Stadium, according to Opta.

  PositionTeamTotal PassAccurate PassTotal TackleWon TackleBall RecoveryInterceptionTotal Through BallBig Chance CreatedAppearancesMins Played
Gary Gardner MF Aston Villa 45 32 4 4 6 6 0 0 1 90

Gary Gardner  - Aston Villa in action

For a start, Gardner won more physical duels than any other player on the pitch (9) and managed to recover possession for his side on six occasions - only two Aston Villa men bettered him in that department.

He also won all four of his tackles, clocking 100% success rate in that aspect, and six interceptions which was the highest amount of any player on the field.

It was far from perfect from Gardner, and his contributions in an attacking sense - or lack of, in this case - were poor, but time might suggest this was a good point for Aston Villa - and he played a role in winning it.

Aston Villa's Gary Gardner (L) in action

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