Gerrard reveals aspect of Villa romp that pleased him most; names player who ‘lifts’ team-mates

Steven Gerrard, Aston Villa v Leeds February 2022

Steven Gerrard hailed the way his Aston Villa players were in total control of their victory over Southampton and picked out one man for special praise.

The Villans made it back-to-back Premier League wins with two goals in each half at Villa Park. Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz gave the West Midlanders a 2-0 half-time advantage. Philippe Coutinho and former Saints striker Dany Ings made sure of the points after the interval.

The result sees Villa in 11th spot in the table and one of four clubs on 33 points. They have now scored six unanswered goals in their past two outings.

And Gerrard felt there were more to be had despite the dominant scoreline.

“It could have been bigger, without Fraser Forster it could have been five or six,” he told BBC Sport. “We deserved a clean sheet – we had a collective unity today, we worked hard and put our bodies on the lines.”

And the former Liverpool and England midfielder explained what impressed him most about his charges’ performance.

Philippe Coutinho celebrating an Aston Villa goal

“We scored four magnificent goals, and they were all different,” he added. “What pleased me was the fact that we controlled the game. I don’t think anyone can take that away from us.

“All of the good play –  and the good teams always have that base that is tough to play against and they work hard for each other – and then your quality players do the job in the final third and I think that was the case we did today.”

Gerrard in awe of Brazilian ace

Philippe Coutinho was in inspirational form for Villa, assisting one goal and scoring another. The ex-Liverpool forward has been back to somewhere near his best after reuniting with Gerrard.

And the Villa chief revealed just what the South American brings to the club.

“We’ve got Phil back fit and in a really good place – he was back to his Liverpool form today and he was a touch above,” he continued.

“The other players have got a lift from him. It is about having players running in behind for him and Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings were untouchable at times today too.

“When Phil is in the mood he is a world class player. He probably finished my career a couple of years early, he’s the reason I’ve got screws in my knees and groins.”

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