Steven Gerrard has revealed the problem with Frank Lampard’s Everton he was hoping to expose at Villa Park, while also speaking about an injury to Diego Carlos.
Aston Villa got up and running for the new Premier League campaign by beating Everton 2-1 at home on Saturday afternoon. Danny Ings gave them a first-half lead by smashing the ball past Jordan Pickford with a powerful left-footed strike.
Aston Villa went into the break 1-0 up, but had to do some defending in the second half.
Tyrone Mings, who has been stripped of the captaincy and dropped recently, did brilliantly to prevent Salomon Rondon from equalising for the visitors.
Emi Buendia came on for Philippe Coutinho in the 60th minute and ‘made the difference’ for Villa, according to BT Sport pundit Joe Cole.
He linked up with Ollie Watkins to carve Everton open and give Villa a two-goal cushion.
Everton did get a goal back a minute later as Amadou Onana burst into the box and saw his cross go in off Lucas Digne. However, Villa held on and got all three points.
During a post-match interview with BBC Sport, Gerrard said: “I’m really pleased with our level of performance, I believed that if we found that level there would be a different outcome from last week.
Aston Villa ‘deserved’ win – Steven Gerrard
“What we put in this week, the quality and the goals we scored, no-one can challenge the outcome, I thought we deserved it.”
Gerrard then spoke about wanting his Villa team to exploit Everton’s weak defence. The Toffees conceded 66 goals last season, and even though they have strengthened that area, they still don’t look completely sure of themselves at the back.
“We looked a different team today,” Gerrard added. “It was tough conditions for both sets of players, but they were excellent in terms of the game plan.
“We really wanted to make it about their back three, and both goals have come off that.”
One negative for Villa is an injury to Carlos. The centre-back went off deep into injury time, with Calum Chambers coming on in his place.
On the summer signing, Gerrard said (via Birmingham Mail): “We’ll have to wait and see what the outcome is of Diego Carlos’s injury and why he’s gone off the pitch because I’m extremely worried about that situation.
“We’re going to send him for an MRI scan but it doesn’t look good right now so that might tarnish how I feel from a personal point of view because I’m extremely happy with the win and the performance but, if we happen to lose someone who’s so important to us, that could tarnish the win.”
He went on to add: “Let’s not say it is [a massive blow] just yet but I’m worried about it. It’s around the ankle, Achilles area. He’s felt an awkward mechanism in there.
“You can see by the player and the man that he’s not the type to go off easy. He looks concerned with it and the medical staff seem concerned and that’s the reason why I’m worried about it.”