Better Month For Villans
Villans Rise To Fifth In Table As Form Picks Up
Aston Villa had a hectic month in December, but had a great month all in all. There were some stand out results including thrashing Everton twice, defeating Anderlecht by what should have been a cricket score and then also defeating Arsenal by a big 5-2
So lets start with the first game of the month and the match against Newcastle, Salomon Rondon
was controversially rested but it did not matter as Newcastle had not been at the races for several matches and Villa dominated the game throughout. The Villans did most the work in the first half when Kevin De Bruyne, who again impressed got them into the lead with a great curled effort into the bottom left hand corner.
Villa then were relentless in attack and a second goal was inevitable, and it came three minutes before half time when De Bruyne won a free kick next to the corner flag in which Sterling provided the cross for Stones to head home to make it 2-0
. The second half was treated as a training match and Villa coasted to a 2-0 victory.
Up next were Everton at Villa Park, where 51,000 crammed into the stadium knowing just how great there side were playing. Rondon was named on the bench again and Werner started this time. Manager Paul McGrath
was interviewed before the match and stated that Rondon was just being rest
. Villa started very well again and were leading inside 8 minutes with an exquisite goal by Raheem Sterling. The former Liverpool man picked the ball up in his own half, played it into Ward-Prowse, who took off skinning 3 players before passing it to Werner, who instinctively new where Sterling was as he clipped the ball over the defence for Sterling to volley home to make it 1-0
It took just seven minutes for Villa to double there lead as De Bruyne made it two in two matches for The Villans as he hit a 20 yard screaming which Everton keeper Tim Howard stood and watched in awe as hit smashed the post and went in. Ward-Prowse then made it 3-0
on the stroke of half time. De Bruyne won a free kick in which Ward-Prowse dispatched with reletive ease. After half time Everton were better but Villa were still in the ascendancy and it showed on the 72nd minute when Sterling bagged his second goal of the game to make it 4-0 and then Ryan Ledson got the consolation goal for Everton.
Aston Villa then hosted Anderlecht in a game that McGrath handed a long awaited recall to Jordan Graham in the 6-0
victory. A 3rd goal in 3 games for Kevin De Bruyne along with a brace from Salomon Rondon, recalled to the team for this match along with goals from Sterling and Gauld gave Villa one of the best wins for quite some time securing top spot in the Europa League.
De Bruyne has also been excellent this season
Villa then stepped up against Man Utd in the Premier League but this time Villa could not prevent themselves from losing. Salomon Rondon scored again but goals from Japanese superstar Nagatomo and Mata gave Manchester United a priceless victory that keeps them in the top four for now.
Villa then came up against Everton in the Capital One Cup Quarter Final in a match that Rondon will remember for years as he completed an amazing hattrick and then commited himself to Villa for a further 3 years. The Venezuelen is fast becoming one of Villa's iconic players and this will just have helped a lot more with three of the best goals you will see from a team perspective. The first was after 65 passes in which Rondon slotted home. The second was a bullet headed goal, the best was saved until last for Rondon though and epitimised the striker as he skinned 6 players on his way to skipping past Howard to complete his hattrick. Kevin De Bruyne scored in between the hattrick and gave Villa a 4-0 victory and a tie in the semi final with Chelsea.
Aston Villa then played Arsenal and for the 5th time in 6 matches Villa made it 1-0 inside ten minutes. Toby Alderweireld scored from a headed goal and Salomon Rondon then got two in the first half again to make it eight goals in just four matches
and John Stones then also scored a penalty in between Rondon's brace and so did Dele alli which meant Villa were 5-0 up at half time. Arsenal did get two goals back but Villa held on for a comfortable 5-2
Villa then finished with matches at Southampton and home to Brentford which yielded four points. Kevin De Bruyne got the only goal of the game against Southampton to give Villa a great victory but there was disappointment against Brentford as John Stones was not on the pitch Dele Alli missed a 97th minute penalty to only draw against the newly promoted side in the Premier League.
Premier League Table
Tottenham are still at the top of the table but with Chelsea playing 3 games less, they could be level this time next month. Man Utd are the closest challengers as far as the table goes so far with Man City, Liverpool and Villa up there too, as Villa have a game in hand over the top four.
Everton & Arsenal are still performing poorly but Cardiff are outside the relegation zone with Southampton, Fulham and Brentford in the drop zone as the big January Transfer Window approaches
Europa League News
Hoffenheim is next up for Villa in the Europa League
Aston Villa finished top of there group and have drawn German side Hoffenheim in the First kockout round. There were harder challenges to draw but Villa have got away with it and if they come through that match they will play either Lazio or PSV.
Player Of The Month
Rondon's form has been awesome this month
Salomon Rondon's form has been awesome this month with loads of solid performances and great goals scored by the Venezuelen striker. He is a real fans favourite and whenever he pulls on this Villan's shirt he plays for the badge not for the money. Rondon already has 93 goals for the club, he is chasing the record that Harry Hampton has held for so long of 215 goals. If he can get 93 goals in less than three full seasons then he could do it. The thing with Rondon is in three seasons he has over 30 assists too which is amazing.
Grealish could be on the way back to Villa this January
It is rumoured that Raheem Sterling, Salvatore Sirigu, Gino Peruzzi and Jordan Rhodes could be on there way out and the guy that McGrath is apparently looking at is a return to the club of Jack Grealish. Grealish, who moved to Man Utd for £24,000,000
last season has just made 14 appearances since moving from Villa and it is understood that he is keen on moving back to Villa but all depends if Sterling is sold or not. Juros is also moving to Villa too this January along with two young English prospects.
Porto central midfielder Henry Okoro is apparently on Paul McGrath's shopping list. The 19 year old
has attracted the interest of Lazio & Everton
in recent times. Okoro could be just what McGrath is looking for as he continues to try and find a defensive midfielder.
Aston Villa are also looking at Crystal Palace central defender Keith Hill. The 19 year old
. valued at around £6m by Palace is capped at English under 21 level and is being watched by Liverpool, Brentford and Newcastle but it is understood the youngster wants to move to the midlands which puts Villa favourites to land the starlet.