Season 2021/2022, Villa win two in a row, on-track so far!

Can this be the same team that just three weeks ago capitulated to an uninspiring Southampton team and looked, after five consecutive losses, beyond hope?  Even the most optimistic Villa fan could not have seen this remarkable turnaround coming without some dramatic intervention.  That we had!

Under Steven Gerrard, the team knew what it had to accomplish against two quality, well-managed Premier League teams with winning records.  In two consecutive games we nullified Brighton’s excellent possession ability and Crystal Palace’s potent scoring threat.  The goal Palace scored was at a point that our defense was counting the seconds to the final whistle and not properly focused (another lesson to add to SG’s list).

The other encouraging detail was that our two goals came straight from the training ground.  Palace were known to be weak from set plays and Ashley Young’s first corner was directed to Tyrone Mings who so distracted the defense that Kouyate crashed into Tomkins and Mings resulting with the ball going directly to Matt Targett, exactly where he needed to be for such an occurrence.

Matt had simply to control the ball and hit it low through the legs in front of him.  The result was a 1-0 lead that set the tone for the rest of the game.  Even when Mings failed to convert an equally effective corner, there was no loss of belief that Villa could control the midfield, and the set plays, and prevent any serious threat on our goal.

Three astute substitution decisions, (Luiz for Ramsey, El Ghazi for Young, and Buendia for Bailey) contributed directly to the McGinn goal that was the culmination of  a passing play that started with Luiz, then out to Targett, down the line to El Ghazi, slipped inside to Buendia who one-touched back to the winger breaking inside before putting it on a platter for the brilliant Scot to curve an immaculate left-footed shot that kissed the inside of Guaita’s right post on the way into the back of the net to make it 2-0..

Villa fans are overjoyed, not just because we won two games in a row, but in how that was accomplished.  The Gerrard era has all the makings of one to savor.

UTV.

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