It may not have been the prettiest of games to watch, but Aston Villa dug in and clinched a hard-fought point against Everton on Thursday evening in the Premier League.
Dean Smith’s side were largely thankful for the superb performance of goalkeeper Emi Martinez, with the towering Argentine coming up big with some important stops, especially in the second half.
While his back-line remained strong throughout, it was some of his attacking players who really let him down, none more so perhaps than Bertrand Traore.
The Burkina Faso international came into the game off the back of a wonderful goal against Manchester United last time out, so should have been full of confidence heading into the clash against the Toffees. Instead, he was back to his usual frustrating self, turning up in moments with some pieces of fine skill but getting a lot of the simple stuff all wrong.
As per Sofascore, he lost possession 13 times over the course of the game, which was the joint-most of any Villa player, and that carelessness on the ball either put his team in danger on the counter-attack or stopped promising moves for his own side.
In general, Traore just couldn’t get himself involved in the game, and it was no surprise that his tally of 41 touches and 19 successful passes were both fewer than Martinez (52 and 22 respectively).
Writing in his post-match player ratings for the Birmingham Mail, Ashley Preece gave him a 5.5, saying: “Not too much came off for Bertrand here apart from the odd twirl away from the opposition. Traore saw his first effort blocked while, on the whole, was largely anonymous. He was replaced by Grealish with 20 to go.”
The winger was nothing more than a passenger in the game, and given how he set Villa Park alight last weekend with that goal against Manchester United, he let Smith down with an awful performance here.