Championship
Millwall2Aston Villa1

Millwall 2-1 Aston Villa: Kevin McDonald warns players after defeat at Lions

Tammy Abraham volleys ahead Villa despite the attentions of Millwall defender Jake Cooper
Tammy Abraham volleys ahead Villa despite the attentions of Millwall defender Jake Cooper - but the visitors could not hold on to their lead

Caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald warned Aston Villa's players they need to "tidy up" their performances after seeing them beaten by Millwall despite taking an early lead.

Tammy Abraham gave MacDonald the perfect start to his third spell as Villa's temporary boss, cleverly steering home Conor Hourihane's free-kick on the volley after just seven minutes.

But the first match since Steve Bruce was sacked then turned sour with Shane Ferguson and Tom Elliott earning victory for the Lions.

"I think there are lots of things the new manager will need to address," MacDonald said.

"All the players, individually, need to tidy themselves up. The team as a group need to tidy themselves up.

"There are individual mistakes from a different player each game. I'm sure it will get tidied up very quickly. If it does, this team will go up the table very quickly."

Millwall - winless in eight before Saturday - responded well to Abraham's opener and deservedly levelled when Ferguson fired home Jake Cooper's knockdown.

Elliott's second-half strike completed the turnaround to lift the Londoners out of the relegation zone and leave Villa with just one win in their past 10 Championship games.

With James Chester's suspension and Mile Jedinak's hamstring injury leaving makeshift pair Alan Hutton and Axel Tuanzebe at the centre of Villa's defence, MacDonald opted for pragmatism further forward to protect his back four.

That meant Villa's bench featured an array of attacking talent - worth more than £50m based on their most recent transfer fees.

But the defensive approach failed to pay dividends as, despite Abraham's early opener, Villa again failed to add to their solitary league clean sheet this season.

After Ferguson's leveller, Villa were relieved to get to half-time at 1-1 as Millwall's Shaun Williams had a goal-bound shot blocked by Manchester United loanee Tuanzebe and whistled another strike just over from 30 yards.

More poor defending just three minutes into the second half allowed Elliott to drill the hosts in front after Villa failed to clear Ferguson's cross.

And despite a brief Villa rally - in which James Bree nodded inches wide - Neil Harris' Lions could have won by more as a Williams header crashed back off the bar.

The victory was only Millwall's second Championship win of the season and lifted them to 20th, leaving whoever succeeds Bruce at Villa Park with much to ponder.

Millwall manager Neil Harris:

"It's a nice feeling. The players deserved that; they worked tirelessly.

"We dug in, we showed character to come from behind again. We played like a Millwall team at the Den, and that's important.

"Sometimes you have to go back to basics, remind players what they're good at, remind the team what individuals are good at.

"I've talked about individuals not being good enough, up to their own standards, but the last two games everyone who's gone on the pitch has played to the best of their ability."

Aston Villa caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald:

"In the first half we started reasonably well and having scored the goal we thought we were in control.

"But we knew we were always going to be under pressure from set-pieces at Millwall.

"They got themselves back into the game and scored a good goal to equalise and we never really started in the second half."

Line-ups

Millwall

  • 13Amos
  • 12Romeo
  • 25Wallace
  • 5Cooper
  • 3Meredith
  • 7Wallace
  • 28Leonard
  • 6Williams
  • 11FergusonSubstituted forO'Brienat 89'minutes
  • 9Gregory
  • 19ElliottBooked at 4minsSubstituted forMorisonat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Archer
  • 14Bradshaw
  • 17Webster
  • 18Tunnicliffe
  • 20Morison
  • 22O'Brien
  • 26Skalak

Aston Villa

  • 1Nyland
  • 16Bree
  • 4Tuanzebe
  • 21Hutton
  • 3Taylor
  • 27El MohamadySubstituted forKodjiaat 66'minutes
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forBolasieat 69'minutesBooked at 71mins
  • 14HourihaneSubstituted forAdomahat 87'minutes
  • 10Grealish
  • 18Abraham

Substitutes

  • 6Whelan
  • 8Lansbury
  • 9Hogan
  • 11Bolasie
  • 26Kodjia
  • 31Bunn
  • 37Adomah
Referee:
Tony Harrington
Attendance:
14,491

Match Stats

Home TeamMillwallAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home18
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Millwall 2, Aston Villa 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Millwall 2, Aston Villa 1.

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Neil Taylor.

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Neil Taylor.

Hand ball by Neil Taylor (Aston Villa).

Substitution

Substitution, Millwall. Aiden O'Brien replaces Shane Ferguson.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Albert Adomah replaces Conor Hourihane.

Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Gregory (Millwall).

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Gregory (Millwall).

Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Aston Villa).

Murray Wallace (Millwall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Neil Taylor (Aston Villa).

Lee Gregory (Millwall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Jake Cooper (Millwall) header from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Shaun Williams with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Axel Tuanzebe.

Attempt blocked. Steve Morison (Millwall) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Gregory.

Attempt missed. Ryan Leonard (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Steve Morison with a headed pass.

Foul by James Bree (Aston Villa).

Shane Ferguson (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shaun Williams (Millwall).

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Mahlon Romeo.

Substitution

Substitution, Millwall. Steve Morison replaces Tom Elliott.

Offside, Aston Villa. Yannick Bolasie tries a through ball, but Jonathan Kodjia is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Jake Cooper (Millwall) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Shaun Williams with a cross following a set piece situation.

Booking

Yannick Bolasie (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Aston Villa).

Jed Wallace (Millwall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Neil Taylor (Aston Villa).

Shaun Williams (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Yannick Bolasie replaces John McGinn.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match John McGinn (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Alan Hutton.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Jonathan Kodjia replaces Ahmed El Mohamady.

Attempt missed. Lee Gregory (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by James Meredith.

Axel Tuanzebe (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tom Elliott (Millwall).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sheff Utd128132113825
2West Brom1273231171424
3Leeds126512291323
4Middlesbrough12642146822
5Nottm Forest124711713419
6Brentford124622014618
7Derby125341513218
8Norwich125341515018
9Blackburn124621415-118
10Swansea12453129317
11Wigan125251416-217
12Bristol City114431512316
13Sheff Wed114431717016
14Stoke124441718-116
15Aston Villa123632020015
16Bolton124351015-515
17Birmingham122821312114
18QPR12426919-1014
19Rotherham12327919-1011
20Millwall122461319-610
21Reading122371520-59
22Preston122371824-69
23Ipswich121651118-79
24Hull122281019-98
View full Championship table

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