Gerrard gets off to a winning start as Villa beats Brighton 2-0


Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard celebrates the opening goal during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham, Great Britain on Saturday 20 November 2021 (Nick Potts / PA via AP)


Steven Gerrard got off to a successful start as Aston Villa manager with a 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday in the Premier League.

Gerrard left Rangers during the international break to replace Dean Smith, who was sacked after five consecutive Premier League defeats. And the former Liverpool captain bounced Villa Park after two late goals secured the win.

Ollie Watkins broke the deadlock with a curling effort after 84 minutes before Tyrone Mings scored a second goal two minutes from time.

This made Gerrard the first Villa manager to win his first Premier League game since John Gregory in February 1998, and immediately put Villa in a four-point gap to the relegation places.

Danny Ings and Jacob Ramsey returned to the Villa squad as Gerrard made three changes, with Ezri Konsa also recalled after the suspension.

Gerrard and his team walked out of the tunnel to an enthusiastic welcome from home fans and Villa responded by creating several first chances to take the lead.

Brighton then had a few chances before the break but Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez rose to fend off Leandro Trossard’s pushing strike from an angle, then made a right hand save to prevent Tariq Lamptey.

Gerrard brought in Ashley Young as a substitute and the former Manchester United player scored the opening goal for Watkins, who cut through the inside from the left before completing a shot in the top corner of the net.

The second goal came after an intercept, Mings breaking the ball at home.

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