BRUCE: I HOPE THAT’S SHUT PEOPLE UP!
ASTON VILLA manager Steve Bruce believes he has silenced some of his critics as his side produced a dominant away performance to see off Barnsley.
Three successive draws meant the knives were out for the Villa boss, but they never looked in any danger against a toothless Barnsley side.
Bruce said: “We’ve been threatening it and haven’t been able to get the results, but you hope that it’s the lift-off.
“I’ve been saying all along that we’ve got a decent side and just patience is needed sometimes, but obviously a result like that helps the cause.
“I think that’s us unbeaten in six and three clean sheets on the spin, and there’s a crisis!
“Let’s hope that shuts people up for a little while, anyway. We’ll go into the next game and let’s hope the mass hysteria calms itself down.”
Villa were on the front foot from the moment they were gifted the opening goal, with Adam Davies bodging the routine take of a ball over the top and allowing Albert Adomah to tap into an empty net.
Barnsley’s two best chances came and went, both in the 32nd minute, and a lack of decisiveness proved costly on both occasions: Matty Pearson and Liam Lindsay both went for the same header from a corner.
Tom Bradshaw then allowed a cross to run for Harvey Barnes when he may have been better off taking it on himself.
Adomah bagged his second goal on 44 minutes, converting from the spot after Adam Jackson’s foul. The defender did get some contact on the ball in his challenge on Keinan Davis, but it was so slight that referee Simon Hooper’s decision to point to the spot was understandable.
Jonathan Kodjia managed to get the ball in the net on his return from five months out with a broken ankle, but his 48thminute run was flagged for offside well before he got his shot away.
His strike partner Davis went one better seven minutes later.
The 19-year-old rose to meet Ahmed Elmohamady’s perfect cross with a header powerful enough to beat Davies despite the Barnsley keeper getting a decent-looking hand to it – his first senior goal.
It was no less than he deserved, with Bruce saying: “He can only get better. He’s only been at the club a year, and fair play to him, he’s forced his way through and I thought he was excellent. He led the line fantastically well.”
Substitute Ike Ugbo did make a manful effort to claw back a consolation for Barnsley, who looked like they knew they were beaten from the moment the first goal went in, but his best effort three minutes from time drifted well wide of the goal. Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom said: “Some games get you angry, some games puzzle you, some games make you happy, you feel satisfied, rewarded.
“That one’s just easy to sum up: we did lots of things good, conceded poor goals, and didn’t really look a goal threat.
“We had good play right up until the final bit but Villa defended well and took their goals well.
“We don’t take any points out of this game but there’s lots of lessons and lots of things we always speak about.”
TEEN TERROR: Aston Villa’s Keinan Davis wheels away after scoring their third and, inset, Albert Adomah gets the first