Aston Villa tasted their first Premier League defeat under Steven Gerrard as they slipped to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The Villans fell behind to strikes from Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva in the first-half, and while Ollie Watkins managed to pull a goal back shortly after the break, they couldn’t drum up any more pressure to seal an equaliser.
While there were a number of players who performed quite well against the Premier League champions, Matt Targett was arguably one of the very few who had a rather difficult night.
Having to come up against both Riyad Mahrez and Joao Cancelo was hardly the most easiest of tasks to begin with, but the full-back seemed to get his positioning wrong at times, either not getting quick enough out wide or getting caught high up the pitch.
As per Sofascore, he won just 50% of his duels on the night while he was also dribbled past twice, the second-most of any Villa player – an indication of how City’s right-hand side looked to take him on at every available opportunity.
It was no surprise then that he couldn’t offer much support going forward either, and he actually managed fewer touches and passes than goalkeeper Emi Martinez.
And, writing in his post-match player ratings for The Birmingham Mail, Ashley Preece gave him a a 6.5, saying: “Had both Mahrez and Cancelo to content with for large parts with that City duo doubling up on Villa’s isolated left-back. The left-back was caught high up fort City’s second as Jesus was given acres to cross for Bernardo. Overall, Targett did OK and won his fair share of tackles before having to be replaced after a head injury.”
On Twitter, Claret Villans simply posted that Targett was having a “rough outing”, and his failure to get his head on the ball for Dias’ strike rather summed it all up.
The 26-year-old could certainly have done with more help from his teammates however, and Gerrard will surely be looking to that his team’s wide players carry out their defensive duties and ensure a repeat doesn’t happen again.