Aston Villa secured a 3-0 win over Everton on Saturday evening with Leon Bailey sparking us into life after coming off the bench in the second half.
The two sides traded chances in the opening hour of the encounter, with Villa showing bits of quality at times but lacked the end product in the final third to really test Asmir Begovic.
As for the visitors, they were dangerous on the counter attack in the first half and gradually began to settle into the game, and so with Matty Cash, Lucas Digne’s own goal and Bailey’s thumping effort all coming in the space of nine electric minutes at Villa Park, it absolutely turned the game.
Dean Smith will be pleased with what he saw from his players for the most part, and it’s hoped that this result now acts as the catalyst for our season to really catch fire as we try to kick on.
Villa player ratings vs Everton
Emiliano Martinez, 7 – Came back into the side despite only arriving back in England on Saturday morning. Didn’t have a great deal to do but was alert to any danger and kept things organised at the back.
Ezri Konsa, 7 – A solid performance in that back three. Beaten a couple of times and given problems by Demarai Gray, but played his part in keeping a clean sheet.
Axel Tuanzebe, 7 – Similarly to Konsa, put in a real shift defensively to keep things tight and contain Everton’s attacking threat. Will hope to keep his place in the side and build on his last two outings.
Tyrone Mings, 8 – A commanding performance from our captain as he responded brilliantly to his mistake last week at Chelsea. Made key interventions and looked a threat in the opposition box too.
Matty Cash, 8.5 – A superb strike to score his first Villa goal, capped off a top performance. He did struggle with his final ball into the box in the opening hour, and so especially if we continue with the 3-5-2 system, it’s hoped that aspect of his game improves.
John McGinn, 6 – Unfortunately had to go off with concussion after taking an early blow and then another later in the first half. Had put in his usual battling effort prior to that.
Douglas Luiz, 7.5 – A really classy display from the Brazilian as he grabbed an assist with a lovely ball to Cash, and was crucial in our ability to dictate the tempo and find holes in Everton’s defensive set up.
Jacob Ramsey, 7 – Another positive performance from the youngster, as he made threatening runs between the lines and broke forward with intent in the first half to show signs of sparking us into life. Quiet as the second half went on but another good outing.
Matt Targett, 6 – Was bothered by an injury he sustained in the first half and was eventually replaced, but put in a good shift for the team down that left flank nonetheless.
Danny Ings, 7.5 – Played a much more influential role this week after struggling at Chelsea. Looked a threat in the first half as he showed good technical quality to break forward. Produced a sublime pass to Leon Bailey for our third goal to kill the game.
Ollie Watkins, 7 – Worked tirelessly up front and showed how important he is to the team in that regard. Didn’t really come off for him in an attacking sense, but can be pleased with his contribution on a winning night.
Marvelous Nakamba, 7 – Did well after coming on. Got up to the speed of the game quickly and offered us solidity in midfield as we pushed on to try and get the win.
Leon Bailey, 9 – Sensational impact off the bench. Was electric almost immediately with his direct running, produced a brilliant delivery from the corner which led to the own goal and then capped it off with a stunning finish to wrap the game up. A superb contribution, it’s hoped his injury isn’t serious.
Ashley Young, N/A
Bertrand Traore, N/A