Aston Villa’s difficult start to the Skybet Championship season has continued this weekend as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to Bristol City at the Ashton Gate. The Claret and Blue’s led 1-0 at half time but were bulldozed in the final 30 minutes as Bristol City found the back of the net 3 times as the visitors fell to pieces.
Villa had started positively and looked to have a real bounce in their game as they took the lead through talented winger Jack Grealish. Leandro Bacuna hooked in a nice ball from the wing and Grealish was in position to knock it home and collect his 2nd goal in his last 2 matches. Villa had copious opportunities throughout the first half to add to their lead and the two best chances fell to maligned striker Jordan Ayew. The first chance he dragged wide before knocking a great goal scoring opportunity over the bar. It seemed it was only a matter of time until the home side were to get back into the game however Grealish’s goal separated the two sides at the break.
Villa maintained possession for the first portion of the second half and continued to dominate proceedings however they came unstuck when Bristol City found an equaliser through Tammy Abraham. Pierlugi Gollini was unable to hold on to Lee Tomlin’s shot and Abraham swooped in to drive home. Minutes later, Abraham set up Joe Bryan who finished in the far corner, before Tomlin slammed in an unstoppable 20 yard strike.
Villa’s heads seemed to drop after the equalising goal and it was no surprise that they conceded two more goals after that.
Manager Roberto Di Matteo was critical of his sides mentally poor effort after conceding the first goal “when they scored we lost confidence and didn’t look like a team any more. It is not the first time that has happened and we need to work on it. At some point in a game you are going to come under pressure and we have to deal with that better”.
On the contrary Bristol City were delighted with their effort and fully deserved the three points after absorbing so much pressure over the first hour. Manager Lee Johnson was very happy with his side’s effort and resilience “Full credit to them because we ended up trouncing a very good side. They are the third relegated team we have played and the first we have beaten, which shows how far we are progressing.”
Aston Villa have to go back to the drawing board once again and are still searching for their first away win since August last year. They travel back home to battle Nottingham Forest next Sunday at the lunch time kickoff.
Meanwhile Bristol City will look to build on this win and attempt to stay in the top 6 as they travel to relegation threatened Rotherham on Saturday.