Aston Villa were very lucky to avoid relegation on their return to the top flight, with survival not certain until the final minute of the season. Crucial to staying up was a controversial 0:0 home draw vs Sheffield United in round 28, with a point gifted to Villa by a VAR-blunder. Despite spending over £100 million on transfers last summer, Villa struggled throughout the campaign and only thanks to decisive home wins vs Crystal Palace and Arsenal in rounds 35 and 37 was survival secured.
The team’s home form was their main strength with 7 of their 9 league wins achieved in Birmingham. Playmaker and star Grealish dragged the entire squad forward at times, with his dedication for the cause admirable and inspiring his teammates.
Defensively Villa were poor on the road and they failed to keep a clean sheet away from home all season! This combined with the season-ending injuries for main goalkeeper Heaton and star striker Wesley (both out since New Year’s Day) were main reasons for their gigantic struggle.
Grealish was the heart and soul of the team, but it’s also worth signalling out Trezeguet whose 3 goals in the final 4 rounds were priceless for their survival. Mings was not good enough in defence though and he was prone to errors all campaign and directly at fault for 9 conceded goals.
With Grealish almost certain to leave the club, Villa must find a replacement fast. They will also have to look at improving their away form if they are to avoid a relegation struggle again in 2020/21.