Aston Villa ran out 4-0 winners over Southampton on Saturday with Ollie Watkins, Douglas Luiz, Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings firing us to victory.
The visitors at Villa Park enjoyed a bigger share of possession with 61% of the ball over the course of the 90 minutes, but Villa were able to restrict them to just one shot on target throughout.
In contrast, Steven Gerrard’s side created a number of great chances and while we could have had a couple more had we been a little more clinical, we produced some top finishes when it mattered to run out comfortable winners.
That’s now back-to-back wins and clean sheets for Villa which will delight Gerrard and give the players a real boost, and it’s hoped that we can maintain that level now heading into the clash with Leeds Utd in midweek.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Southampton:
Emiliano Martinez, 8 – Had very little to do given the shield that was formed in front of him by the team as a whole, but he showed his class when producing a top save to deny Che Adams. Sign of a world-class goalkeeper when they maintain their focus to produce stops like that despite having been a quiet game for them.
Matty Cash, 8.5 – Put in a really solid shift down that right side as he defended well throughout and pushed forward to provide width when possible. Provided an assist for Ings’ goal too as he is starting to show he can be decisive in attack consistently.
Calum Chambers, 8 – Credit to him having come in for Konsa and put in a top performance. Switched on defensively throughout and was strong in his challenges, while he played a beauty of a pass to find Coutinho in the lead up to our second goal.
Tyrone Mings, 8 – Great display from the captain as he looked focused and dealt with any danger with minimal fuss. When he’s on it as he was this weekend, he is an important and solid presence in the backline for us.
Ashley Young, 7.5 – Used his experience and know-how well to keep things quiet on his flank, while he produced one stand-out piece of defending in particular when clearing a dangerous ball into the box over the crossbar. Did well coming in for Digne.
John McGinn, 7.5 – Tireless and energetic as always, and his dirty work in midfield was key in shackling Southampton and preventing them from creating more dangerous openings.
Douglas Luiz, 7.5 – Simple finish for his goal but a great run to put himself in that position to score. An improvement compared to recent weeks as he offered more presence and protection in front of the defence.
Jacob Ramsey, 7 – A quiet game in terms of what he did in an attacking sense, but he had his moments where he was crucial to our build-up play and similarly to McGinn, played a big role in keeping Southampton under wraps and not allowing them to create more dangerous openings.
Philippe Coutinho, 8.5 – Magic. Will be disappointed with himself that he didn’t help himself to more goals as he had some great chances in the first half. Nevertheless, his creativity, vision and technical quality is a joy to watch, and he eventually took his goal really well as he continues to impress.
Danny Ings, 9 – His best performance in a Villa shirt. One goal and two assists, Ings was brilliant against his former club. Great centre-forward play for his goal, and it was great to see real positive signs of his partnership with Watkins as they linked up well and their respective movement allowed them to create space for one another and be a dual threat.
Ollie Watkins, 8.5 – Brilliant to see him make it two goals in two games as he continues to rediscover form. The spin and finish for his goal was absolutely top-class, and as noted above, it was good to see him and Ings start to show more promising signs that their partnership can produce.
Morgan Sanson, 7 – Did well to help us control things in midfield a little better in the latter stages to see out the win. Technical quality on the ball a useful asset in the circumstances.
Leon Bailey, 6.5 – Looked bright after coming on as he used his pace and movement to help us counter and keep Southampton quiet.
Emiliano Buendia, 6.5 – Tidy in possession, looked confident and up for it despite dropping to the bench for a second consecutive game. Hopefully will see more of him in the coming weeks as he was in fine form previously, although it’s unlikely there will be too many changes to a winning side.