Puppet master Philippe Coutinho had the game on strings against Southampton, producing a fine Man-of-the-Match display.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa produced a display worthy of three points at Villa Park this evening, coming out as deserved victors in a 4-0 win. Goals from Ollie Watkins, Douglas Luiz, Danny Ings and Philippe Coutinho seperated the two sides – but how did the side perform as a whole?
Aston Villa player ratings against Southampton
Emiliano Martinez – 8
The Argentinian stopper was rarely tested across the full 90 minutes in this game – but did produce a stellar save to deny Che Adams from close range. Clean sheet secured.
Matty Cash – 8
Matty Cash was excellent once again as an attacking outlet down the right, and strong defensively too. There were times early on where he looked like he may struggle as Southampton spread the ball out wide, but Cash persisted. Picked up an assist as Danny Ings fired against his former club.
Calum Chambers – 7
There’s a small sample size, but this was probably Chambers’ best game in a Villa shirt so far. He looked nervy and was dragged out of position on a few occasions, but provided an incredible lofted ball through to Coutinho to set up Douglas Luiz’ goal. Conceded a dangerous free-kick with a challenge on Broja.
Tyrone Mings – 7
Tyrone didn’t really step a foot wrong. He controlled the defence well, and was dragged out of position to support Ashley Young down the left on a few occasions, but there were no glaring issues in the play of Villa’s captain.
Ashley Young – 7
Young was a good outlet down the left, and while he looked a little less defensively sound than Digne has in recent weeks, produced some excellent blocks and clearances when the momentum was against Aston Villa.
Douglas Luiz – 8
Douglas Luiz produced a strong performance – and while it’s clear that he’s not a natural number 6 – looked more comfortable in that position today. The Brazilian was weak in the tackle once or twice, but his passing was much better and he rounded out his performance with a deserved goal just before the end of the first half.
Jacob Ramsey – 6.5
A quieter game for young Jacob Ramsey today, which saw him subbed off and replaced for Leon Bailey (6) in the second half. Linked up well with Philippe Coutinho, and was very tactically aware, but struggled to have a major impact.
John McGinn – 6.5
McGinn, after producing a good performance against Brighton, stepped back a little this afternoon. He was his tenacious self and was always willing, but his passing lacked on occasion and things just didn’t seem to stick with the Scot.
Philippe Coutinho – 10 (Under A Gaslit Lamp Man-of-the-Match)
Philippe Coutinho was a wizard on the pitch. He had the entire Southampton defence on strings on multiple occasions, produced a fine assist for Luiz’ goal and scored himself after sitting half of the Saints defence down with a faux shot. A constant outlet in the midfield, with pin-point passing and a touch of the unexpected at every turn. Subbed for Emiliano Buendia (6).
Danny Ings – 8.5
Danny Ings produced one of his best games in an Aston Villa shirt this afternoon, and will probably feel aggrieved at the fact that he was taken off. The striker set up the first goal for Ollie Watkins, before assisting Philippe Coutinho in the second half, and rounding out the performance with a goal of his own just two minutes later. As always, a willing runner and defended from the front well. A fine display under pressure from the away crowd. Subbed for Morgan Sanson (6).
Ollie Watkins – 8
Watkins opened the scoring within the opening ten minutes with an excellent turn and shot that beat Fraser Forster. He could have picked up a second in the same half, but was denied by the frame of the ‘keeper. Struggled to hold up the ball at times, but was a consistent target for Ings and Coutinho, and his pressing throughout the game deserves plaudits.
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