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Aston Villa: John McGinn let Gerrard down against Palace

Aston Villa were defeated by Crystal Palace this afternoon as Steven Gerrard’s side once again displayed their Jekyll and Hyde personality.

Having lost their opening Premier League match against Bournemouth, a solid 2-1 win over Everton looked to have finally sparked some life into Villa, and they were aiming to back up that result with another victory today at Selhurst Park.

It didn’t exactly work out like that, despite Ollie Watkins – who has been linked with a move away from the Midlands – scoring the opener. Wilfried Zaha soon equalised for the home side, who soon thought they were ahead through Jeffrey Schlupp, but the goal was disallowed as Odsonne Edouard had drifted offside.

VAR once again reared its head, but in a positive manner for Palace as they were awarded a penalty, which Zaha duly converted from the rebound to give the home side the lead. The three points were wrapped up by substitute Jean-Philippe Mateta to ensure a 3-1 victory.

McGinn was Villa’s weak link

This was a good chance for Villa to make it back-to-back wins, but there were too many poor performers during the encounter, perhaps none more so than McGinn.

The Scot received a SofaScore rating of 6.3, the joint-lowest in the Villa side alongside Jacob Ramsey and he lacked any sort of influence on his team throughout the contest.

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He only had 39 touches during the whole match, ten fewer than Emiliano Martinez, and in a game that Gerrard would have wanted the Villa captain to take by the scruff of the neck, he largely disappointed.

McGinn won just four out of his nine duels, lost possession 13 times and made only 19 passes, failing to bring others into the match. To top it all off, he was booked in the first half after fouling Eze and he was living on the edge thereafter, making a few fouls which could have seen him sent off.

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It was a poor performance overall from Villa, and Gerrard will be wondering what he has to do to string back-to-back victories together. The 42-year-old has had a solid transfer window, bringing in quality players such as Boubacar Kamara and making Philippe Coutinho’s loan deal permanent, but things clearly haven’t clicked just yet.

If they don’t improve, and sharpish, they could face a battle at the bottom end of the Premier League table. They will need more from the likes of McGinn than what he showed today, as the skipper let his manager down with a largely anonymous performance.