Villa claim big win after Gerrard departure

Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa celebrates with teammate Danny Ings after scoring their team's fourth goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brentford FC at Villa Park on October 23, 2022 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa made the perfect start to life after Steven Gerrard as they beat Brentford at a buoyant Villa Park to record only their third win of the season.

Ex-Liverpool captain Gerrard was sacked on Thursday following a heavy defeat at Fulham, with first team coach Aaron Danks taking charge of Sunday’s game.

And Danks enjoyed an incredible debut in the dugout as Villa found themselves 3-0 up inside 15 minutes.

Leon Bailey got the ball rolling when he swept in from Douglas Luiz’s pass following a smart corner routine in the second minute.

Danny Ings made it 2-0 five minutes later when he stabbed in from Bailey’s cross before the striker got his second of the game in the 14th minute, converting a penalty after Tyrone Mings had been fouled.

Brentford rarely looked capable of providing a response, with their best chance of the first half an Ethan Pinnock goal-bound volley that was blocked by his team-mate, summing up the Bees’ fortunes.

Instead, the visitors were reliant on David Raya preventing Villa from adding further goals before half-time as he kept out efforts from Matty Cash and Luiz.

Brentford were marginally better after the break but could not prevent ex-Bees striker Ollie Watkins adding a fourth when he finished from close range after his initial shot had been pushed on to the post.

The win moved Villa up to 14th in the Premier League, three points above the bottom three. Brentford, meanwhile, are 10th on 14 points.

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