Aston Villa’s home and away form this season have been like day and night. At Villa Park, Villa have managed maximum points but it hasn’t been as comfortable on the road. Three defeats to Newcastle, Liverpool and recently Nottingham Forest have highlighted Villa’s issues.
I can’t quite work out the difference and going by what we have witnessed so far this campaign, neither can manager Unai Emery.
Some would argue that Villa have had easier fixtures in B6 and this coming week when Champions Manchester City and Premier League runners-up Arsenal come to town that could change but our style of play away from Villa Park is a worry.
Villa headed down to the South Coast to take on Bournemouth who have recently found form following a difficult start to the season. Emery’s side knew a win could see them climb up to third in the Premier League.
Report: Bournemouth 2-2 Aston Villa
Emery made three changes as Leon Bailey and Nicolò Zaniolo were handed starts as Matty Cash and Moussa Diaby dropped to the bench. Youri Tielemans replaced the suspended Boubacar Kamara. Ollie Watkins started despite concerns about his fitness in the build-up to the game.
The game was very to and thorough as both sides had small spells of domination until the home side took the lead after ten minutes. A mistake by Diego Carlos allowed Antoine Semenyo to break through and give the hosts the lead. It’s now nine games since Villa last kept a clean sheet.
The visitors were back on level terms ten minutes later when Bailey picked the ball up on the right before cutting inside, beating two players and firing into the bottom corner.
Villa had looked to have completed the comeback just moments later when the ball was once again in the back of the Cherries net. Carlos was picked out from a free-kick from Douglas Luiz and was able to head home. Moments later a lengthy VAR check ruled out the goal as Lucas Digne was standing in an offside position in the build-up to the goal.
Five yellow cards (Bournemouth 3, Villa 2) were handed out in the first half with both Semenyo and Justin Kluivert lucky not to see red after continuous fouling throughout the half.
It took the hosts just seven minutes in the second half to regain the lead. Some fine work by full-back Milos Kerkez on the wing before he picked out Domanic Solanki in the box to make it 2-1.
Villa almost pulled the game level for the second time of the afternoon when Watkins was able to lay off substitute Jhon Durán and the Columbian smashed an effort towards goal but his effort deflected onto the woodwork.
Just as it looked like the home side had secured all three points, substitute Diaby was able to pick out Watkins who was able to head home and make the game 2-2. It was Watkins’s 13th goal of the season.
Villa got away with one on the road as they struggled yet again. Villa and Emery need to find a solution on the road otherwise it could effect their season the more it progresses.
What the managers said
Emery: “It’s a very good point. I am very happy with the performance. We have to build a team and I am trying to give everyone chances.
“They have to feel important and playing with personality and get stronger, not only the first 11 but the squad.”
Andoni Iraola: “It is a hard one to take because before the game you would take a point against Villa, but considering how the team played and the chances we had we cannot be happy.
“In the end, we could not score the third goal even though we had clear chances and we also have to congratulate their goalkeeper who made two or three spectacular saves.”
Aston Villa will welcome Champions Manchester City to Villa Park on Wednesday night.
Bournemouth with travel to the capital where they will play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.