Aston Villa secured a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, with goals from Matt Targett and John McGinn sealing the three points.
Villa produced an excellent first-half display as we controlled possession with some slick, sharp and accurate passing, while our pressing off the ball as a unit caused the hosts problems.
We were rewarded with the opener through Targett, and doubled our lead in the second half with McGinn scoring a superb curling effort from the edge of the box.
That’s two wins in two for Steven Gerrard as Villa boss, and he’ll be hoping that this is just the start as we look to build momentum and form.
Villa player ratings vs Crystal Palace:
Emi Martinez, 7 – Wasn’t called into action as much as we’ve come to expect, with his defensive line offering good protection. Did produce some good saves when needed, but was lucky to get away with an uncharacteristic drop in the second half.
Matty Cash, 7.5 – Put in a top shift defensively against a dangerous Palace attack out wide. He never shied away from a challenge and pushed forward when possible to offer us width.
Ezri Konsa, 7 – Another impressive outing as he stood up well to Benteke’s physicality. Between him and Mings though, will be disappointed with the manner of the late goal that cost us a clean sheet.
Tyrone Mings, 7.5 – Excellent performance again from the Villa skipper. Strong in the tackle both on the ground and in the air, and led from the back in a solid display.
Matt Targett, 8 – On the scoresheet with a lovely finish to break the deadlock, and put in a great shift defensively too as he helped keep things tight at the back.
John McGinn, 8.5 – A superb performance from the Scottish international capped off with a stunning goal that proved to be the winner. Accurate with his passing, tenacious with his tackling, an all-round top effort.
Marvelous Nakamba, 8.5 – Similarly to McGinn, was excellent in midfield. Stamped his mark all over the game particularly in the first half, snapping into tackles and pushing the ball forward quickly to get us moving. Did well in the second half as he played conservatively having been booked.
Jacob Ramsey, 7.5 – Excellent in the first half, brought energy and tenacity to the midfield battle. Influence dropped off in second half but another positive and promising performance as he continues to impress.
Leon Bailey, 6 – Showed his creativity and flair at times but couldn’t make that decisive dent in the Palace defence. Did surrender possession a few times, but that comes with trying to make something happen in the final third as he looks to make a bigger impact for us.
Ollie Watkins, 7 – Tireless with his press from the front, looks much more comfortable and effective when leading the line for us. Slightly off with his hold up play and ability to link things up, and was frustrated after two penalty claims didn’t go his way.
Ashley Young, 8 – Rewarded by Gerrard for his work in training, the stalwart didn’t disappoint. Added another assist with his delivery for the corner which found Targett, and while he wasn’t exactly in the thick of our build up play, he was always tidy and not wasteful at all.
Douglas Luiz, 6 – Rightly saw the initial decision to send him off overturned by VAR, came on and did ok in trying to wrestle back some control and possession in midfield.
Anwar El Ghazi, 6.5 – Did his job well off the bench as he came on and laid on the assist for McGinn.
Emi Buendia, N/A