Game #5644

Premier League

Villa Park

Attendance: 41,925

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Position:

15th (-)

Villa taste victory for the first time in six in Steven Gerrard's first game in charge.

Aston Villa

2-0

Brighton & Hove Albion

Scorer(s) | Ollie Watkins | 84’ | Tyrone Mings | 89’ |

Assist(s) | Ashley Young | 84’ |

AT A GLANCE

Game #5644

Season | 2021-22 |
Matchday | #14 |
League Match | #12 |
Manager Game | #1 |
Saturday, 20 November 2021
Attendance | 41,925 |

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager | Steven Gerrard |
Kick off | 3.00pm |
Referee | Anthony Taylor |
Half Time Score | 0-0 |
Full Time Result | Won |
Full Time Score | 2-0 |
Last 5 Games | LLLLW |

TEAM STATS

Team Cost:
| £217.96m |

Starting XI Average Age:
| 26.26 |

Oldest Player:
CF Danny Ings | 29.70 |

Youngest Player:
M Jacob Ramsey | 20.50 |

TEAM NEWS

Steven Gerrard names his first Villa squad and recalls Ezri Konsa and Danny Ings following suspension and illness respectively whilst Jacob Ramsey is promoted from the bench.

Dropping out are Axel Tuanzebe, Anwar El Ghazi and Leon Bailey who all take their place on the bench alongside Morgan Sanson following his return from injury,

Jaden Philogene-Bidace, Aaron Ramsey and Cameron Archer drop out of the squad.

UNAVAILABLE

Injury | 3 |

W Trézéguet |
Ligament, 10 Apr - Unknown |

W Bertrand Traoré |
Thigh, 16 Oct -Unknown |

M Douglas Luiz |
Injury, 31 Oct - Unknown |

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On Loan | 3 |

CF Wesley |
Club Brugge KV, 26 Aug - 31 May 22 |

M Conor Hourihane |
Sheffield United, 30 Aug to 31 May 22 |

RB Frédéric Guilbert |
RC Strasbourg Alsace, 31 Aug - 30 Jun 22 |

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Not Selected | 7 |

GK Viljami Sinisalo

CB Sil Swinkels

M Hayden Lindley

M Aaron Ramsey

W Jaden Philogene-Bidace

CF Cameron Archer

CF Caleb Chukwuemeka

MATCH STATS

Possession F | 37%
Possession A | 63%
Shots F | 9
Shots A | 6
Shots on Target F | 5
Shots on Target A | 2
Corners F | 5
Corners A | 6
Fouls F | 7
Fouls A | 13

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It was nice. I try and do that every time in training and luckily it went in today. It was a nice feeling to get my first goal in front of the Holte End.

“Brighton must have had 65% possession - they are a very good team and controlled the game. It was hard for us because it was the first game back after some bad results. It was nice to see the game out after losing a 2-0 lead against Wolves the other week.

“It has been a change but it has been really good. It has been intense and the standards have gone up - that is no disrespect to Dean Smith but he’s brought in some new rules and everybody was on it.

“I’ll be here all day if I was to say the rules - there are quite a few.”

Ollie Watkins.

”It feels really good and it was the result that we dreamt of. It was the perfect start for us but now we’ve got to go and prove that we can back it up. I’m really pleased with the clean sheet and everything we asked of the players they’ve done. I thought we deserved it - Brighton had a lot of possession but in the areas that we wanted them to. It is a good start but we’ve got to back it up now.

“There is no better sight in football than a top number nine opening up like that and putting a top class finish in. The Holte End played their part today as did the rest of the ground. You can only win games if you defend your goal well and there were two top quality blocks in the first half.

“We’d lost five on the spin and you could tell the crowd were edgy and the players were at times. I thought the subs brought a lot and we looked so dangerous in the last 10 minutes of the game. We could have scored another. We know we’ve got firepower and talented players - we’ve just got to get the balance right to defend our goal.”

Steven Gerrard.

MATCH PROGRAMME

LEAGUE TABLE

STARTING LINE UP

GK Emiliano Martínez
LB Matt Targett
CB Ezri Konsa
CB Tyrone Mings
RB Matty Cash
M John McGinn
M Marvelous Nakamba
M Jacob Ramsey
W Emiliano Buendía
CF Danny Ings
CF Ollie Watkins

THE OPPOSITION

GK Jason Steele, RB Tariq Lamptey (CF Neal Maupay), CB Lewis Dunk, CB Adam Webster, CB Shane Duffy, M Pascal Groß (M Alexis Mac Allister), M Yves Bissouma, M Adam Lallana, M Jakub Moder, W Marc Cucurella (M Solly March), W Leandro Trossard

Manager: Graham Potter.
Team Cost: £116.91m

ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on

SUBSTITUTES

W Leon Bailey for CF Danny Ings | 66’ |
W Ashley Young for W Emiliano Buendía | 74’ |
W Anwar El Ghazi for M Jacob Ramsey | 84’ |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

GK Jed Steer
CB Kortney Hause
CB Axel Tuanzebe
M Morgan Sanson
M Carney Chukwuemeka
CF Keinan Davis

MATCH TIMELINE

HT Aston Villa 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
59’ Booking, Marvelous Nakamba
66’ Sub off, Danny Ings, Sub on, Leon Bailey
74’ Sub off, Emiliano Buendía, Sub on, Ashley Young
84’ Sub off, Jacob Ramsey, Sub on, Anwar El Ghazi
84’ Goal, 1-0, Ollie Watkins, Assist by Ashley Young
89’ Goal, 2-0, Tyrone Mings
90’+3 Booking, Ezri Konsa
90’+4 Booking, Matty Cash
FT Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

ON THIS DAY

Steven Gerrard’s Villa begin his reign with a first win in six to end a five game losing run under former boss Dean Smith.

Meanwhile, Ezri Konsa made his 80th appearance for the club since his debut in August 2019.

Marvelous Nakamba made his 60th appearance for the club since his debut in August 2019.

Ollie Watkins made his 50th appearance for the club since his debut in September 2020.

Danny Ings made his 10th appearance for the club since his debut in August 2021.

KEY MAN

Steven Gerrard celebrates as Villa win his first game in charge and record a first win in six, Saturday, 20 November 2021

MATCH REPORT

*The Guardian*
Saturday, 20 November 2021

Late goals against Brighton get Steven Gerrard off to perfect start at Aston Villa

With six minutes to play, Ollie Watkins lashed a shot into the far corner to give Aston Villa lift-off and the touchline turned into Steven Gerrard’s runway. He jubilantly jumped into the arms of the technical coach, Tom Culshaw, part of his entourage from Rangers, raced clear of his technical area and swivelled towards the Trinity Road Stand before repeatedly punching the air with both fists.

Gerrard’s last act in the Premier League had been scoring for Liverpool in a thrashing at Stoke six years ago but, for a moment, it was almost as if he had never been away.

Things got even better too, Tyrone Mings firing in from close range to seal victory and end Villa’s five-match losing streak.

Gerrard set off again following Mings’s 89th-minute strike, this time towards the Brighton technical area before, sensibly, halting his run. At that point, it was pure pandemonium in the home dugout and beyond. A synchronised Holte End made their joy known and before leaving the field Gerrard, together with his players, made a point of going over to thank them for their support.

“They are the buzzes and the highs you certainly miss as a player,” Gerrard said of the late goals. “That is why I wanted to stay in the game. That is my medicine, if you like. I love seeing the players happy and smiling.”

This victory over Brighton meant Gerrard became the first Villa manager since Gerard Houllier, his former manager at Liverpool, to win their first league game in charge. The pitchside cameras were trained on Gerrard’s every move and outside the ground, before a sellout crowd flooded through the turnstiles, his name was on the lips of supporters, his face plastered on to a sign on Trinity Road – the most explicit example of Gerrard fever. He did not take charge of his first training session until Monday and some players, such as the Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, did not return home until later in the week but, regardless, Gerrard promised his team would be aggressive.

His entrance was decidedly more low-key, striding out of the tunnel in a black trenchcoat and high-fiving a young fan before subtly applauding all corners. Then, hands in pockets, he allowed himself the briefest of moments to survey the scene after shaking hands with Graham Potter, taking charge of his 100th Brighton game. Gerrard said his stomach had been “doing somersaults” in anticipation of taking charge of his first game here and the mood among supporters was similar. Brighton did an impressive job of muting the atmosphere and Martinez saved well to deny Leandro Trossard.

Villa teased patches of quality – Matty Cash and Jacob Ramsey both attacked with thrust – but were too often clumsy in possession. Brighton were anything but, a delicious cross by Marc Cucurella eluding Trossard at the end of a slick move that began 70 yards away with Shane Duffy, and into two minutes of first-half stoppage time, Tariq Lamptey saw an effort blocked by Martinez. Danny Ings was guilty of failing to make the most of Villa’s best first-half opening but they finished strong. The same cannot be said for Brighton who, despite the clamour surrounding Potter, are winless in eight. “I didn’t feel we were really under any danger until they scored,” Potter said. “We gave ourselves a chance to win the game but ultimately we didn’t score.”

Brighton appeared most likely to strike late but the Villa substitutes Ashley Young, with whom Gerrard played for England, Leon Bailey and Anwar El Ghazi provided some welcome impetus after Potter’s side had subdued the hosts.

Bailey’s high cross troubled Jason Steele, the Brighton goalkeeper who unconvincingly punched clear to John McGinn but the Villa midfielder, seemingly caught in two minds, dawdled and allowed Webster to rake the ball away from danger. But six minutes from time Watkins got Gerrard’s Villa up and running, sending a rasping shot into the net and then Mings, in the right place at the right time after Adam Webster’s clearance, wrapped up victory

Off Gerrard went again, bundling down the sidelines in his brogues. “You should see me in staff games, five v five or six v six,” he smiled. “I want to win. I’m a competitor. I want to at times show emotion and I’ll always be as authentic as I can. If anyone doubted what it meant to me to be in this position, just watch me after those goals. Inside me is what was inside me as a player, that will to win, that drive and energy. I will always be authentic.”

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*BBC Sport*
Saturday, 20 November 2021

Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings scored in the final six minutes as Steven Gerrard enjoyed a memorable first match as Aston Villa manager with victory over Brighton.

Gerrard’s bow as a Premier League boss looked set to end in a goalless stalemate until his side broke from an 84th-minute Brighton corner.

Villa went the full length of the field as substitute Ashley Young sent Watkins running down the left wing, with the England forward cutting inside the box before delivering a smart finish beyond Jason Steele.

A minute from time, the hosts got their second as Adam Webster’s attempt to clear John McGinn’s cross went straight to Mings, who finished at the first attempt.

Villa might have had a third but Steele did well to deny Leon Bailey in stoppage time.

The victory ended a run of five straight defeats for Villa, with Gerrard taking applause from all sides of the ground before running down the tunnel in obvious delight.

Gerrard’s joy

After taking the applause of the home fans as he made his way to the dugout, it didn’t take Gerrard long to be claiming for every free-kick, booking or penalty that it was possible for his side to get in a first half of limited chances.

It is fairly obvious to say Villa have no-one in their squad who could come close to a favourable comparison to their new manager in his playing pomp.

They do have some useful performers though, in new Poland international Matty Cash, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and skipper Mings. But they looked limited in the final third.

Until the sensational ending, their best chances came from headers by Cash and Mings, which Premier League debutant Steele made brave saves to repel.

Villa’s club record £33m signing Emiliano Buendia was again a muted force and it was no real surprise when he was replaced by Young for the final 16 minutes.

What this club does have - and the attraction for Gerrard - is a massive fanbase and a great history. ‘Iconic’, was the word Gerrard used in his programme notes.

And by the time the final whistle went, Villa Park was a cauldron of noise as the home fans celebrated their first win since September.

Blunt Brighton

Amid the noise around Dean Smith’s exit and Gerrard’s appointment, it had almost been overlooked that Brighton’s excellent start to the season has now given way to a run of seven games without a win in all competitions, their worst run in almost a year.

Graham Potter’s side retain the confidence to keep possession and maintain their patience as they look for openings but they still find a killer touch elusive.

After Villa’s initial thrusts the Seagulls controlled long periods of the game, denying the hosts any time on the ball while they enjoyed plenty of it, albeit in areas of the field that were not of any particular danger.

Martinez, fresh from keeping the clean sheet against Brazil that secured World Cup qualification for Argentina, made the two most notable saves, beating away an angled Leandro Trossard drive before spreading himself to deny Tariq Lamptey.

Lamptey is slowly returning to form after injury but despite the promptings of Adam Lallana and Yves Bissouma from midfield, once Villa broke the deadlock, there was never any realistic hope of an equaliser.