Five big talking points as Villa overcome Leicester through Konsa brace

Aston Villa saw off Leicester City in a 2-1 win on Sunday as we moved into the top half of the Premier League table.

Villa fell behind in the first half after Harvey Barnes opened the scoring for the visitors, but a double from Ezri Konsa turned things around and ensured we picked up all three points.

READ MORE: Villa player ratings vs Leicester: Konsa decisive, Nakamba shines in win

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Steven Gerrard will be delighted with what he saw in the second half after a disappointing opening 45 minutes, but he’ll know there is plenty of improvements still to be made as we look to build on what has been a good start since he took charge.

Villa need to find solution for slow starts

It was a similar story in midweek against Manchester City as Villa weren’t at the races in the first half and required a Gerrard half-time team-talk to stir us into action after the break.

While it’s a positive in a way that we can make in-game adjustments to improve, it’s going to cost us in the long run as we can’t continue to rely on a big reaction in the second half.

Gerrard will be desperate to get his players to buy into his strategy and philosophy as soon as possible to get a complete, 90-minute performance out of them on a consistent basis.

Another big impact from Gerrard at half-time

As touched on above, it’s also a real positive that the Villa boss is able to tweak things tactically and get his messages across to the players to improve things, and importantly they listen and act upon those instructions to respond.

We saw it against City as we arguably should have got something from that game, and after hanging on a bit in the first half against Leicester, we were able to come away with all three points after getting on top in the second half.

Gerrard’s in-game management in terms of his decision-making and substitutions is impressing thus far, and it’s hoped that he can continue to make the right decisions moving forward whether we’re trailing or ahead in the game.

Nakamba a different player under Gerrard

One of the players who has seemingly benefitted the most from Gerrard’s arrival has been Marvelous Nakamba.

He looks like he has taken his game to the next level in recent weeks, snapping into tackles and sweeping up in front of the defence to provide them with good protection, while also moving the ball quickly into the feet of our more creative players to get us on the attack.

Hopefully we still haven’t seen the best of him yet, but he’s playing a pivotal role in the side already.

Martinez decisive

While the plaudits will largely go to Konsa for his goalscoring exploits and some of the other attacking players, it’s important that Martinez gets his praise too.

It can be difficult for a goalkeeper if you’re not really involved in a game for large periods but must then spring into action when necessary, but that’s exactly what we saw from ‘Dibu’.

The Argentine No.1 produced a world-class save in the latter stages to deny Barnes a second, tipping his header over with the ball seemingly behind him and heading into the back of the net. A top save from a top ‘keeper.

Solid foundation built, time for Villa to kick on

That’s now nine points from a possible 12 for Gerrard since he replaced Dean Smith, and given Villa have now moved into the top half of the table and started to build a foundation, it’s been a positive few weeks for the club.

While we face a difficult challenge away at Liverpool next, the squad has rebuilt some confidence and belief with our recent run of form and it’s now time to kick on and start to really compete and get on the front foot.

Our performances in the second half against both Man City and Leicester have shown we can reach another level, so it’s about producing a complete, 90-minute performance which will help us continue to gain positive results but in a more convincing fashion.