A fiercely contested Second City derby finished goalless at St Andrew’s in front of the Sky cameras. Both teams had fantastic chances to win the game but none were converted leaving both sides with a share of the spoils. Here are my player ratings from the game.
Kuszczak – 7
Dealt with everything that Villa threw at him well. Produced one fantastic saved to deny Kodija with a header in the second half.
Colin – 8
Was solid defensively against a very tricky Albert Adomah, always looked composed and favourite to win the battle against the Villa winger everytime. Helped get Blues moving going forward too, linked up well with Jota in the first half and was always an outlet going into the second half.
Morrison – 8
The Blues skipper lead by example in a cauldron of noise at St Andrews. He won a majority of the long balls directed up to Kodija, and didn’t look shaky at any stage like he has done in previous weeks. A real captains performance.
Roberts – 8
Just like his centre back partner this was another solid performance, exactly what was required on derby day. He was fantastic in the air and his long throw in is always a very good weapon to use. If Marc Roberts can keep consistency in his performances similar to his last two at St Andrews then he is in for a very good season. Silly tackle at the end though which could have easily resulted in a second yellow.
Grounds – 9
Jonathan Grounds has been fantastic since he has come back into the Blues side under Steve Cotterill. This was no easy afternoon for him against arguably a Premier League player in Robert Snodgrass but he defended magnificently against him. Snodgrass was even taken off early in the first half due to the lack of success he was having against Grounds.
Man of the Match: Kieftenbeld – 9
Dutch Mike really is a fan’s favourite at St Andrew’s now – and this was definitely the sort of atmosphere he thrives off. He was the first player to fly in with a real ‘derby day challenge’ which really got the fans off their seats in the first half. He controlled the midfield at times and his energy really prevented Villa getting any real passages of play going.
Davis – 7
An energetic performance from David Davis, who we all know absoultely loves derby day! Couldn’t find that real moment of quality like he did against Villa at St Andrew’s last season but he kept the midfield ticking over today.
N’Doye – 8
Arguably his best performance in a Blues shirt today – he was fantastic in the middle of the park. He covered almost every blade of grass, and won basically every aerial battle he was involved in. Villa just couldn’t handle him, in the end Steve Bruce had to bring on Mile Jedinak with the sole instruction of man marking Cheikh N’Doye. Came close to opening his goalscoring account with Blues too with a header in the first half.
Jota – 8
Oh what could have been! In his first start for Blues at St Andrews Jota could really have written himself into St Andrews folklore. He pounced on a loose pass from Hourihane at the start of the second half and was through on goal… but then blazed over the cross bar with only Johnstone to beat in the Villa goal. A goal there would really have topped off what was a very promising display from the Spaniard, he had the beating of Alan Hutton every time.
Adams – 8
Che Adams linked up well with Isaac Vassell in the first half and then lead the line with a lot of gusto in the second half. He didn’t have any real clear cut chances but he helped to create a lot of space and openings for his team mates. A real hard working performance from the youngster.
Vassell – 8
Caused the Villa back two all sorts of problems before having to be taken off in stoppage time of the first half with a potentially serious knee injury. This was a real shame as even the experienced John Terry was really struggling to deal with him. Unlucky not to score a comical goal too after closing down a Sam Johnstone clearance.
Gallagher – 8
He only came on late in the first half for Issac Vassell but this was probably Sam Gallagher’s best performance in a Blues shirt. Steve Cotterill asked him to play out wide and he looked a threat on the ball and carried out a lot of chasing off the ball to try and push Blues upfield.
Boga – N/A
Too late to have any real impact on the game.
Jutkiewicz – N/A
Too late to have any real impact on the game.
Villa Fans – 5
As ever, a sold out away end of Villa fans failed to make any real noise in a big game at St Andrew’s. They were very quiet throughout the 90 minutes, and only really started to generate some noise after the game as the ground emptied whilst they were locked in.
Blues fans, on the other hand, showed their class as ever and really got up for the big game occasion as they always do. A lot has been made in the press of ‘Clappergate’ – however this was down to a poor decision by the club to supply them to the fans to aid the atmosphere, they were quite simply not needed.