Aston Villa vs Zrinjski Mostar Player Ratings: Late drama inspires first UECL win for Villans

Aston Villa kept it really, really late to pick up a 1-0 win over Zrinjski Mostar and our Aston Villa vs Zrinjski Mostar Player Ratings reflect their relatively under-par performance.

However, a late John McGinn winner has given the Villans their first win of the UEFA Europa Conference League group stages and go tied on points with every other side in Group E.

John McGinn #7 of Aston Villa scores a goal
John McGinn wins it for Villa. (Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images) in Birmingham, United Kingdom on 10/5/2023. (Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

Aston Villa vs Zrinjski Mostar – Timeline

15′ – Martinez makes a sharp save to deny Bilbija’s close-range attempt.

25′: Ticinovic cuts in from the left but sees his shot power over the bar.

40′ – Zaniolo’s incredible overhead kick is denied by Maric.

42′ – Tielemans’ long-range effort is saved.

56′ – Aston Villa penalty decision overturned after VAR intervention.

58′ – Diego Carlos’ header is initially spilt, but then cleared away.

70′ – Tielemans’ powerful attempt is parried away by Maric.

90′- Tielemans’ shot from outside the box goes over the bar.

90+4′ (Goal) – McGinn heads in Cash’s cross past the goalkeeper.

The Big Stat 

Aston Villa have won their first match in a European competition since 2008 when they defeated Slavia Prague in the UEFA Cup (now known as UEFA Europa League).

Marko Maric HSK Zrinjski Mostar
Jhon Durán #24 of Aston Villa and Marko Maric #35 of HSK Zrinjski Mostar battle for the ball. (Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

Aston Villa vs Zrinjski Mostar player ratings – Star Man

Marko Maric – 8.5/10

He might have been on the losing side, but Mostar’s goalkeeper Marko Maric was the hero of the day. He was an absolute rock in between the goal for his side, frustrating the Villa players and fans with his heroics.

Maric made an amazing save to deny Nicolo Zaniolo’s overhead kick attempt in the first half and followed that up with many other saves in the second half. Made eight saves in the game and was cruelly beaten in the very dying minutes of the game despite a brilliant performance.

Leon Bailey of Aston Villa crosses the ball
Leon Bailey had a rare off-night. (Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

Aston Villa vs Zrinjski Mostar Player Ratings: Undying Villans keep it late for first Conference League win

Aston Villa went through a plethora of emotions in their first home game of the 2023/24 UEFA Europa Conference League campaign. They threw the proverbial kitchen sink at the Bosnian side and just as it looked like it’d be a draw, a late goal from captain John McGinn got them the much-needed three points.

Aston Villa

Emiliano Martinez 7/10 – Sharp in his goal and made a few brilliant saves to deny a surprise goal.

Diego Carlos 5.5/10 – A bit shaky during the transitions and wasted a few prominent chances from set-pieces.

Ezra Konsa 7/10 – Tactful and composed in defence with his smart work.

Clement Lenglet 7.5/10 – Held together a compact backline and was proactive with his timely challenges.

Lucas Digne 6/10 – Showed nice energy and defensively strong, but unable to create much.

Leander Dendoncker 5.5/10 – Couldn’t really stop the opposition’s attacks and had little creative threat.

Youri Tielemans 6/10 – Moved the ball around swiftly, creating a few decent chances and seeing long-distance efforts thwarted.

Leon Bailey 4.5/10 – Unable to cause chaos in the box or deliver any menacing shots on goal.

John McGinn 8/10 – Booked for simulation early on but got his revenge with a dramatic winner in added time.

Nicolo Zaniolo 5/10 – Had an amazing overhead kick attempt denied, but couldn’t really create anything major.

Jhon Duran 5/10 – Failed to impose himself and showed little goal threat before his substitution.


Matty Cash 7/10 – Made some nice runs and set up the winner with a well-picked cross.

Douglas Luiz 6/10 – Improved his side’s attacking intensity with swift passes.

Ollie Watkins 6/10 – Marked tightly after coming on, but able to set up a few decent chances.

Bertrand Traore 6.5/10- Troubled with his movement and played a part leading up to the goal.

Slobodan Jakovljevic and Marko Maric
Photo by Icon sport

Resilient Zrinjski Mostar suffer late heartbreak

The Zrinjski Mostar players put their everything on the pitch to earn something from their trip to Villa Park. They almost got it after 90 minutes of amazing defending, but a goal in added time undid all their impressive work.

Zrinjski Mostar

Marko Maric 8.5/10 – Frustrated Villa with his stubborn attitude and made an amazing eight saves!

Josip Corluka 8/10 – Extremely sharp on the right, making clutch tackles and challenges all through the game.

Slobodan Jakovlijevic 6.5/10 – Kept his cool against pressure and made eight clearances. Failed to mark McGinn for his goal.

Matej Senic 8/10 – Annoyed both Duran and Watkins with his strict marking. Read the game brilliantly to make constant key clearances.

Mario Ticinovic 7.5/10 – Smartly slipped past the defenders with his movement and created some big chances with his crosses. Kept Bailey quiet too.

Dario Canadjija 7/10 – Protected his backline and won some key duels to restrict Villa’s flow through midfield.

Stipe Radic 7.5/10 – Sat deep into his backline to act like a third centre-back and make constant clearances.

Aldin Hrvanovic 5/10 – Barely got involved, completing two passes in the first half before being taken off at the break.

Antonio Ivacic 6/10 – Couldn’t create much but defensively vigilant.

Mario Cuze 6.5/10 – Sharp with his swift movement and added more defensive sturdiness.

Nemanja Bilbija 6.5/10 – Worked hard to hassle the defenders and saw an instinctive effort saved in the first half.


Matija Malekinusic 6/10 – Disciplined with his defensive work.

Zvonimir Kozulj 6/10 – Came close to scoring before his attempt was judged offside.

Damir Klomislic – N/A

Kerim Memija – N/A

Tomislav Kis – N/A

The Final Word

While it wasn’t the prettiest win, Unai Emery will be relieved that his side was able to get points on the board. This win can be the shot-in-the-arm that Aston Villa needed to start soaring in the Europa Conference League after the loss to Legia Warsaw. They maintain their impressive winning record and can believe in their ability to win matches in Europe.

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