Aston Villa got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday with Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins on the scoresheet.
Villa were in desperate need of a morale-boosting result this weekend, following back-to-back defeats as Steven Gerrard’s men failed to score against either Newcastle Utd or Watford.
In a much-improved performance, Villa were organised and disciplined defensively to keep a deserved clean sheet, while two moments of quality in the final third ensured we return home with all three points and a result we can build on as we try to move up the Premier League table.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Brighton:
Emiliano Martinez, 6.5 – A comfortable afternoon for our No.1 as he was tested just once with Brighton’s only shot on target. Assured and composed when playing out from the back throughout.
Matty Cash, 8 – A brilliant strike to break the deadlock as he made a decisive contribution in the final third, while he defended well throughout as he was rarely caught out and gave little to Brighton down that flank.
Ezri Konsa, 7.5 – Great to have him back in the side, as his class in possession and defensive quality makes a key difference. Showed great strength, awareness and positioning at times to help keep a clean sheet and set the foundation for us to go on and win the game.
Tyrone Mings, 8 – Solid performance and didn’t put a foot wrong defensively. Provided the accurate long ball over the top for Watkins to latch on to which resulted in our second goal to see out the win.
Lucas Digne, 6.5 – Not one of his best performances as he did struggle dealing with Lamptey at times, but stuck to his task and tried to offer something in both phases throughout from the first minute to the last.
John McGinn, 7 – An all-action display as he put himself about defensively to give us a foothold in midfield, while he also broke forward and almost got on the scoresheet at one stage too. Switched role in the latter stages as he operated in the deeper-lying midfield role and battled hard to see out the win.
Douglas Luiz, 5 – Put himself about and showed more grit in this game, and so in that regard, it was an improvement. That said, he still played some awful passes that gifted possession back to Brighton and sparked some threatening counter attacks, and so it has to be questioned why Gerrard continues to persevere with him.
Jacob Ramsey, 6.5 – Showed glimpses of quality with his powerful direct running, and almost grabbed a goal but was denied by some last-ditch defending. Lacking that cutting edge to his play that he showed a few weeks ago, but still making an important contribution on and off the ball for the team.
Philippe Coutinho, 6 – Worked hard out of possession and went close with a brilliantly struck free-kick. However, his influence was rather limited as he couldn’t be that creative spark for us, and so it remains to be seen if Gerrard sticks with playing him in the No.10 role next time out or switches back to the previous system.
Danny Ings, 6 – Put in a tireless shift for the team off the ball, as he did his best to press and put pressure on the Brighton players in possession. That said, he didn’t offer much as an attacking threat for us, as he rarely touched the ball in dangerous areas and struggled to get involved for large periods.
Ollie Watkins, 7 – Wasn’t a vintage Watkins performance as his threat was nullified for the most part by the Brighton defence. However, he showed his class with a great run off the ball and then real composure to strike the ball into the back of the net. When Villa play to his strengths, like they did in the build up to his goal, then we’ll get more out of him. Play him as a target man to hold up the ball, and he’ll struggle again.
Morgan Sanson, 6 – Great to finally see him get on the pitch again and have a chance to impress. Didn’t make a huge difference but worked hard to help give us fresh impetus and energy in midfield.
Ashley Young, 6 – A steady performance to help us keep Brighton quiet in the latter stages.
Tim Iroegbunam, N/A – Not enough time to make an impact but great to see him make his senior Villa debut with Gerrard singing his praises after the game.