Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard bemoaned our lack of creativity in the final third as we suffered a 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth on the opening weekend of the Premier League.
Goals from Jefferson Lerma and Keiffer Moore sealed the win for the hosts on their return to the top flight, while Villa struggled throughout to put any pressure on them in our bid to find a breakthrough.
As well as the goals conceded and general performance, it was the lack of creative quality and inventiveness in the final third that was a major problem for Villa in this one, as we simply didn’t look capable of finding a way through Bournemouth’s backline.
Speaking to VillaTV after the game, Gerrard highlighted that as an area of major frustration, and so he will no doubt be hard at work to find solutions this week ahead of facing Everton next weekend.
Gerrard on Villa’s defeat to Bournemouth
“A really frustrating result and a frustrating day,” Gerrard told VillaTV. “We got what we deserved over the course of the game. A lot of focus will be on two set play moments but if you look across the board and across the game we haven’t shown enough quality.
“We didn’t look like creating today, which is on me and on us and it’s a big area that we need to improve upon.
“We gave ourselves a more difficult challenge in the opening minutes from a set play, but we’ve had more than enough time to get back into the game.
“We had long periods of possession, we had a lot of control, we got to the last areas of the pitch but we were lacking from a quality point of view – certainly in the final third.
It’s not down to energy today. It’s not down to application or effort, I think the lads have given a lot to the game.
“When I watch it back I’ll see a lot of possession, a lot of control and us moving up the pitch into the right areas but that last pass, that last cross and inventive spark was miles off today.
“We threw all our attacking players at it, but it wasn’t our day in the final third. We need to improve in that department.”
Despite changes of system and personnel, Villa couldn’t find the answers at the Vitality Stadium, and so the pressure will now be on the players and Gerrard to find a response next time out to bounce back immediately after such a disappointing way to start the new campaign.