Aston Villa 2-2 Sheffield United Player Ratings: Impressive Lundstram

The Don draws Blades level – bbc.co.uk

Aston Villa drew 2-2 with Sheffield United as Clayton Donaldson’s first half brace undid early goals from Albert Adomah and Mile Jedinak. Here’s our Player Ratings from a game that showcased Championship football at it’s best, but also highlighted shortcomings in both sides.

Aston Villa

Sam Johnstone – it would be harsh to blame him too much for the first goal as he would have been criticized had he not narrowed the angle for Donaldson. Let the ball through his legs for the second goal, but at least did well to stop Lundstram and Duffy’s firm shots. 4

Ahmed Elmohamady – showed flashes of what he could do, linking up well with Snodgrass in the early stages and put in the odd good cross. Doesn’t have the pace to get to the byline though as one might like the modern full-back to do. 6
James Chester – for a player that is typically calm under pressure, Chester was uncharacteristically forced into a safety first mentality, especially in the first half. However, he could not be blamed for either goal. 5
Mile Jedinak – headed in the opener, but lost Donaldson for Sheffield United’s first goal and made a horrendously soft back-pass that led to their second. In fairness to the Aussie, he isn’t a centre-back. 2
Neil Taylor – looked full of confidence early on and played one or two positive forward passes that found Adomah. After that, he seemed to lose his confidence and began playing it backwards – needs to trust himself on the ball more. 4

Conor Hourihane – switched play well in the second half, when he was given a lot of space and posed a threat from set pieces. Sometimes let himself down with his reluctance to use his right foot. 6
Glenn Whelan – controlled things early on but lost some influence after that. Passed the ball too slowly in the second half, when his defensive qualities weren’t needed so much. 3

Robert Snodgrass – linked up nicely with Elmohamady early on and delivered the free-kick for the second goal. Sometimes though one felt like Villa could do with a bit of width: the ex-Hull man always looked to cut inside. 7
Jack Grealish – impressive during Villa’s controlled spells, showing good movement and energy. Guilty of holding onto the ball for too long at times but picked out some wonderful passes into wide areas. 8
Albert Adomah – looked a real threat early on with his runs down the left and stuck away the third minute penalty coolly. Might have done more in the second half but still had his moments, heading narrowly wide at the back-post and putting one or two decent crosses in. 6

Keinan Davis – not individually eye-catching, but when he plays other players look better due to his ability to hold onto the ball in good areas. Won the early penalty. 7

Ritchie De Laet (on 59) – made one or two impressive runs down the right, creating space for Elmohamady to cross. 6
Gabriel Agbonlahor (on 73) – used as a target man in the closing stages despite not having the strengths to do that role. 3
Scott Hogan (on 73) – wasn’t able to show his poaching instincts due to the limited possession Villa had in the final third after he came on. 4

Sheffield United

Simon Moore – cannot be blamed for conceding from the spot, although he might have been more commanding for the second goal from the free-kick. Was only tested once thereafter. 4

Cameron Carter-Vickers – might have got closer to Jedinak for the second goal, although after that he improved considerably and looked strong in the second half. 5
Richard Stearman – gave away the third-minute penalty and was partially at fault for the second goal. Perhaps fortunate to remain in the starting eleven at Jake Wright’s expense. 2
Jack O’Connell – not quite as many overloading runs as we usually expect from him, partly due to the nature of the contest, but he put in a solid defensive performance. 6

George Baldock – pushed forward a little too readily early on and allowed space for Adomah. Moved over to the left at one point to put in a dangerous cross for Clarke just after the hour mark, but sometimes needed to add intelligence to his undoubted energy. 4
Chris Basham – what he perhaps lacked in terms of natural pace and ability, he made up for by having the heart of a lion, epitomized by that willingness to block Whelan’s venomous drive where it hurt. Not especially liked by Holte Enders but that’s only because they recognized that this is someone who wanted to win at all costs. 7
John Lundstram – more technically refined than Basham and in some ways, it was a shame that we didn’t see it in spells when the Blades dropped deep. Played an excellent ball over the top for Donaldson’s first goal and in the absence of Coutts and Fleck, he called the shots during his side’s 30-minute spell of first half dominance. 7
Enda Stevens – struggled to handle Snodgrass and Elmohamady’s combination play early on, then had issues with De Laet at points in the last half hour. Used the ball well enough when the Blades had spells of possession but could have done with more pace at other stages. 4

Mark Duffy – grew in influence in the first half, getting into pockets of space in front of the centre-backs and threading subtle through balls to Clarke and Donaldson. Saw a long-ranger saved early in the second half, but struggled when his remit became of a counter-attacking nature. 6

Clayton Donaldson – pressurized the centre-backs throughout the first half, when he was a constant threat. The ex-Birmingham man deserved his brace, much to the annoyance of home fans, but tired a little prior to his 74th-minute exit. 8
Leon Clarke – a willing runner who pressed well, but the man who has scored 10 in his last seven was surprisingly quiet when he got on the ball in the final third. Headed a left-wing cross wide of the far post just after the hour mark. 5

Samir Carruthers (on 73) – the fact he replaced Duffy, rather than Basham or Lundstram, suggests Chris Wilder was happy with a point and the midfielder’s lack of ambition in his short time on the pitch re-enforces that. 5
Billy Sharp (on 74) – as a slightly out of form striker, he might have been given a kick by the goalscoring exploits of Donaldson. The Blade by birth gave his all but suffered from a lack of support. 4