Steven Gerrard’s defence-first approach is working wonders for Aston Villa

Aston Villa had lost five games in a row before Steven Gerrard was appointed manager, but already the Liverpool legend has made a huge impact after securing a second consecutive win.

Villa beat Brighton and kept a first clean sheet since September in his first game in charge last weekend, before inflicting a first home defeat of the season on Crystal Palace this weekend.

Prior to kick-off at Selhurst Park, the Eagles were the only club other than Liverpool yet to have beaten on their own patch this season. They had also lost only once in 11 Premier League games since the opening weekend of the campaign and had become hard to beat.

It would have been easy to doubt Gerrard, coming back into the Premier League with his only senior managerial experience in Scottish football, but he has nailed it so far.

The tactics were spot on against Palace, with Villa working hard to suppress the hosts’ strengths. It is almost as if Gerrard has pushed the reset button and gone back to basics to ensure that Villa are, first and foremost, difficult to beat and not conceding goals. The rest follows from there.


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