Aston Villa player ratings gallery: Three score 4/10 in shock loss to Stevenage but two earn 8
Aston Villa player ratings from the shock FA Cup upset against Stevenage, which finished 2-1 to the visitors at Villa Park.
Aston Villa are out of the Emirates FA Cup after League Two side Stevenage recorded an incredible comeback victory at Villa Park this afternoon. Morgan Sanson scored his first Villans goal to build confidence on his first start under Unai Emery, but Boro were able to fight back with two very late goals. The huge away support were treated to a day out of a lifetime.
Proceedings started slowly as Villa took their time to grow in confidence on the ball. The heavily rotated defensive line of players were fairly hesitant to play forward in the opening 15 minutes or so but there was one shot on target as Douglas Luiz let fly from 20 yards. His effort was caught well by Boro goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond
Stevenage thought they had taken an extraordinary surprise lead in the 17th minute as, out of nowhere, Jordan Roberts found Luke Norris in space down the left and Norris delivered a delightful outside-of-the-boot to Danny Rose in the six-yard box. The striker slotted the ball home, but - after a 90-second VAR check - it was chalked off for a narrow Norris offside.
The hosts broke the deadlock after some patient build-up play in possession just after the half-hour mark. It was very side-to-side and backward until a sudden quick interchange between Philippe Coutinho, Luiz, and Leon Bailey. Danny Ings fed in Sanson with a flicked pass and the Frenchman was composed to bury it in the far corner.
Villa continued to dictate the play in the second period and their patience nearly paid off again, in the 65th minute. There were plenty of calls from the Holte End for Luiz to shoot from two corners but he refused, opting to take the second short. Coutinho found Chambers at the far post with a dangerous low cross but Daniel Sweeney did enough to force the effort just wide.
There was a flurry of substitutions to follow, including two forced changes as Emery lost both of his full-backs to injury. Matty Cash left he field holding his thigh and then Ludwig Augustinsson limped off with a hurt ankle after falling awkwardly during a sliding tackle.
These really hurt the home side as Stevenage looked threatening in the closing stages. Boro’s efforts were well-rewarded in the 88th minute as Leander Dendoncker foolishly gave the ball and dragged down Dean Campbell, giving away a penalty as he was sent off. Jamie Reid converted from the spot, sending Robin Olsen the wrong way.
Two minutes later, incredibly, Villa failed to respond to a late corner and Campbell swept in a low strike from just inside the penalty area. The ball fired hard toward the near post and Olsen could not get across as it hit the back of the net, sending the away support into raptures. Stevenage were able to hold on for an amazing FA Cup upset.
Find below our Villa player ratings from the game.