Aston Villa made it two wins from two Premier League matches as they brushed an in-form Southampton team to one side in a 4-0 victory at Villa Park.
Not many expected changes but Steven Gerrard was forced into two changes as Calum Chambers and Ashley Young replaced Ezri Konsa and Lucas Digne who both tested positive for Covid-19.
Once again Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins started up top together and it took just 8 minutes for the two to combine and for Villa to take the lead.
Ings picked up the ball midfield, played it to Watkins on the edge of the box who turned the Southampton defender Jack Stevens before slotting past Fraser Forster in the Saints goal.
The away side came close to a quick equaliser when Stuart Armstrong‘s curled effort went just wide of the post but it wasn’t to be Southampton’s day.
Despite the visitors having more of the ball, they created very little and the home side always looked more likely to score the next goal.
Both Jacob Ramsey and Watkins have good chances but were unable to capitalise. As the first half was coming to its end, the chances were becoming thick and fast for Gerrard’s men with Phillipe Coutinho coming close on two occasions.
The Brazilian did play a part in Villa’s second when Chambers picked him out with the outside of his foot and the little magician picked out Douglas Luiz to slot home and make it 2-0.
Despite the comfortable lead, Villa fans were a tad sceptical given the number of chances they had missed in the first half. They didn’t need to be though and the home side soon put the game well out of Southampton’s reach.
Coutinho finally got his well-deserved goal and Villa’s third when the ball fell to him after John McGinn was taken out in the area. The little Brazillian took out 2-3 Southampton defenders with one turn before slotting home to make it 3.
The rowt was finished when former Southampton striker Ings slotted home when Matty Cash cleverly cut back across to find the forward who tucked the ball into the corner of the net.
The win moved Villa up to 11th in the table following their biggest win of the season so far.
- I don’t think anyone expected Villa to run riot over Southampton given the form the Saints had been in. One defeat in ten but Gerrard’s men dominated where It mattered on the pitch – in front of goal.
- Ings & Watkins – It’s a partnership so many have written off and there is still a long way to go but the last two games give us hope. I think most Villa fans are desperate for this strike partnership to work. Both men are hard-working and capable of scoring goals.
- Narrow system – When Gerrard first arrived, Villa went to a narrow system and we looked better for it. For me, it’s no coincidence that the return to a narrow system has resulted in 6 goals, 2 wins and 2 clean sheets. Long may it continue.
- Matty Cash looks to be going from strength to strength at the moment. His weakness since arriving at Villa Park has been his final ball but he seems to have been working on that and it’s easy to see why he is being linked with Atletico Madrid.
- It’s not too often that I struggle for negatives following a game. Yes, I could say what I have previously said, we need to learn to dominate and win games but I feel it would be harsh on yesterday’s performance. Even the officials were decent (And I don’t say that too often these days)
- One criticism would be the atmosphere at Villa Park. I’m not blaming anyone in particular but I have said before that I feel the lack of new, different chants plays a big part in this. Other clubs have created groups for this kind of thing, maybe it is something we should consider?
Leeds United v Aston Villa
Thursday, 10th March
Kick-off: 19.45 (GMT)
Live Match Chat