An organized Aston Villa side secured an important 1-0 victory over Southampton at Villa Park on Friday evening.
Jacob Ramsey scored the only goal in what was admittedly an uneventful contest under the lights in Birmingham. Villa managed 1.31 expected goals (xG) in the contest while limiting the Saints to 0.28 xG.
The win sees Villa move up to 15th place with seven points through seven games, level with Southampton.
Manager Steven Gerrard said of the win: “It feels nice. You can win football matches in different ways.
“We’ve lost football matches since I’ve been here by playing well and that feels really terrible, so to win today in the way we did wasn’t stylish or pretty but it was full of guts, full of fight and full of togetherness.
“It was a really strong performance out of possession and the boys deserve credit for that.”
Ugly but effective
The injured Matty Cash made way for veteran Ashley Young at right back, and that forced change dictated a change in philosophy for Gerrard’s Villa.
A much less adventurous Young provided additional support for central defenders Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings as the side was content with building out from a strong defensive shape.
Gerrard said “we managed the game really well and to limit them to no chances on your goal always gives you a chance. I’m pleased with the clean sheet just as much as the win because it gives us something to build on.”
Though Villa lacked quality going forward, the last two performances–which have yielded one goal against and four points–have shown considerable defensive improvements for a team that conceded two goals to Bournemouth in Gameweek 1.
The front three of Philippe Coutinho, Ollie Watkins, and Leon Bailey left a lot to be desired going forward, but three points are three points. As the side continues to build confidence goals are sure to come thick and fast. The quality is there.
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