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Bertrand Traore recorded a goal and an assist when Aston Villa spoiled Sam Allardyce’s return to the dugout with a 3-0 win over West Brom at The Hawthorns.
The visitors took the lead in the fifth minute when Anwar El Ghazi deftly finished off a cross from Traore, before the Baggies were reduced to ten men when captain Jake Livermore was sent off within half an hour for knocking down Jack Grealish.
After the break, West Brom defended well and broke with some regularity. But they failed to forge many clear chances, while Villa also threatened that Ollie Watkins would disallow a goal for offside.
The visitors finally broke through the Baggies’ stubborn resistance, adding two late goals in the final six minutes. The first was scored by Traore, who ran the ball over the beaten Sam Johnstone, before El Ghazi converted a penalty after Grealish was fouled in the box.
Here are his player ratings for both teams …
Sam Johnstone (GK) – 7/10 – He made several good saves in the second half to keep the hosts in it.
Darnall Furlong (RB) – 5/10 – He lost El Ghazi at the back post for the goal and overall had a hard time against Grealish.
Semi Ajayi (CB) – 6/10 – He dug well in the second half, recording eight punts. He awarded a late penalty out of frustration.
Dara O’Shea (CB) – 6/10 – A solid display throughout, and more than that played a role in limiting Villa’s starts for much of the second half.
Kieran Gibbs (LB) – 6/10 – The impressive Traore kept him busy. Perhaps he could have stopped the cross that led to the goal.
Jake Livermore (DM) – 10/3 – A completely unnecessary foul left him high and dry.
Matt Phillips (RM) – 6/10 – He went out of his way to offer her side an outlet at the counter.
Roman Sawyers (CM) – 6/10 – He played his part defensively, but needed to show a little more calm on the ball at times.
Conor Gallagher (CM) – 6/10 – Extremely neat in possession, record close to 100% approval. However, he should have taken more risks.
Grady Diangana (LM) – 5/10 – He worked hard but offered little in terms of threat of attack.
Karlan Grant (ST) – June 10 – He fought bravely despite being hungry for service. I never stopped running.
Charlie Austin – May 10 – I touched it three times after it turned on.
Branislav Ivanovic – 5/10 – He did nothing remarkable.
Callum Robinson – REACH
Emiliano Martínez (GK) – 7/10 – He helped fend off the threat from the Baggies on the counter by sweeping several long balls.
Matty Cash (RB) – 7/10 – He made major coverage when West Brom threatened at halftime, and he looked dangerous overlapping Traore.
Kortney Hause (CB) – 6/10 – Somewhat fortunate to not see red for a reckless challenge at Diangana.
Tyrone Mings (CB) – 7/10 – He never threatened defensively, but he will be the first to admit that his cast was not the best.
Matt Targett (LB) – 7/10 – He did well in the air, earning countless headers. Always a threat in the future.
Douglas Luiz (CM) – 7/10 – He kept possession circulating at the base of the midfield.
John McGinn (CM) – August 10 – Tireless performance. He supported his side in attack and made four tackles.
Jack Grealish (AM) – 8/10 – Impressed again in his new free role, generating countless fouls. Incisive with his passing, Grealish seems to be getting better and better under the microscope of many.
Bertrand Traore (RW) – 9/10 – Animated everywhere. Great ball in the first goal and his shot was magnificent.
Ollie Watkins (ST) – July 10 – A great move was almost rewarded with a goal 20 minutes from time.
Anwar El Ghazi (LW) – 8/10 – His beautiful ending was the best moment of the game. After scoring the first one, he got a bit greedy.