Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Brighton: 8/10 for Cash and Watkins, rest score 6 or higher

Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins found the back of the net as Aston Villa secured a much-needed win against Brighton and Hove Albion.

In a game between two out of form sides, Aston Villa came out trumps, handing them a major boost in their efforts to finish in the top half of the Premier League table.

Both Graham Potter and Steven Gerrard are among the best young managers in the league and have worked wonders at their respective clubs. However, Villa and Brighton have both gone off the boil in recent weeks and have seen points harder to come by. It was Gerrard who got the last laugh as his Villa side secured a comfortable 2-0 win and moved to within three points of their rivals in the league standings.

Brighton started the game well and took the game to their opponents. However, it was Villa who broke the deadlock. Matty Cash opened the scoring for the visitors in the 17th minute, and it was a lead they would not relinquish. Ollie Watkins, who replaced Emi Buendia in the starting lineup, repaid Gerrard’s faith in him by scoring the all-important clincher in the 68th minute.

All in all, it was a fine performance by the Midlands club, who will now attempt to end their season strong. Villa have enjoyed a brilliant January transfer window and have the ammo to finish in the top half. Doing so will set them up nicely for an assault on the European spots next season. The three points on the night could prove pivotal come the end of the season.

Emiliano Martinez (6/10)

The Aston Villa goalkeeper had to be on his toes as Brighton started well. He was calm on the ball and showed real composure to keep the Seagulls’ early press at bay, not giving an inch to the likes of Neal Maupay. Martinez had to face just one shot on target and dealt with it well. Brighton faded as the game went on and did not trouble the goalkeeper as they should have.

Matty Cash (8/10)

A stellar performance by the defender who found himself under immediate pressure early in the first half. He defended superbly early on and soon made an impact with his forays down the flanks. Cash opened the scoring in the 17th minute and followed it up with a tribute to Polish international teammate Tomasz Kedziora, for which he was rather unfairly carded. It was a fantastic night for the player who excelled at both ends of the pitch and made a telling difference on the night.

Ezri Konsa (7/10)

Konsa returned to the lineup having served his two-match suspension. He did well to stand his ground against Brighton and shackle Seagulls star Neal Maupay. It was a calm and collected effort from a player who can be a rock at the back when at his best.

Tyrone Mings (7/10)

The English international looked better on the night and did well to shake off the rustiness in the initial stages. He used his physicality to great effect and assisted Watkins’ goal in the second half.

Lucas Digne (6/10)

The Frenchman was not at his best but did enough to ensure Tariq Lamptey did not receive an inch of space on the flank. Digne is certainly capable of much better, but this was not his night.

John McGinn (8/10)

The Scottish international was a real colossus on the night and helped Villa win the midfield battle. He was not shy to put in the hard yards and stuck in his leg when needed. An industrious performance by the midfielder who almost got himself on the scoresheet thanks to a late strike that had Robert Sanchez scrambling.

Douglas Luiz (6/10)

Gerrard kept faith with the Brazilian despite his loss of form in recent weeks. The midfielder looked up for the game tonight and words of advice from one of the greatest to ever play the game appear to have done the trick.

Jacob Ramsey (7/10)

The youngster continues to enhance his reputation with a performance that was steeped in ability and maturity. He performed the all-action role with merit and almost scored, only to be denied by some desperate last-second defending.

Philippe Coutinho (7/10)

The Brazilian showed off both his technical brilliance and work ethic on the night. He troubled Sanchez with an excellent freekick before crafting an opportunity or two for Cash. Coutinho’s impact waned as the game went on, but it didn’t prove to be detrimental for the Villa side, who were already leading handsomely.

Ollie Watkins (8/10)

The Englishman returned to the lineup and got the nod ahead of Emi Buendia. He caused Brighton plenty of problems and scored a well-deserved goal in the second half. He could prove to be the key as Gerrard’s side look to end the season strong.

Danny Ings (6/10)

Danny Ings showed great athleticism and was not afraid to put in the hard miles on the night. However, he failed to show off his clinical side and offered little in terms of linking up with his teammates or making a difference in the final third. Ings was one of the least impressive Villa attackers on the night.


Morgan Sanson (6/10)

He replaced Douglas Luiz in the 71st minute and put in an assured performance in the middle of the pitch. Solid but unspectacular.

Ashley Young (6/10)

The English veteran replaced Ings and steadied the ship on the right.

Tim Iroegbunam (NA)

The youngster made his debut, replacing Coutinho late on.

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