Gerrard hails ‘brilliant’ Villa after ‘sloppy’ start vs Leicester

Steven Gerrard has praised his Aston Villa side for overcoming their “sloppy” start to defeat Leicester 2-1 at Villa Park.

The Foxes started the match very brightly, going ahead early on thanks to a clever finish from Harvey Barnes.

Their lead didn’t last long, however, with Ezri Konsa getting the slightest touch to Emi Buendia’s goal-bound header to equalise for the hosts.

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Konsa scored what turned out to be the winner; squeezing the ball in at the front post after getting on the end of a John McGinn corner.

Sunday’s win continued the Villans‘ strong start to life under Gerrard. They have now won three of their first four games with the 41-year-old at the helm.

“You kick every ball on the sideline,” Gerrard told Sky Sports. “It was a tough game and went right to the wire.

“You saw two sides of us, first 45 we gave the ball away too much, we were too open. Second half, to a man we were brilliant.

“I thought Leicester started really well. We were too passive. When we made passes there were loads of sloppy turnovers. We gave the players some home truths at half-time. The reaction was exactly what we wanted.

“Emi Martinez was a lot busier in the first half, but as a unit we defended much better in the second. He made one good save from a good header. Against a big team like Leicester to only concede one chance is very good.

“To take nine points from 12 is a big return from the players. They deserve a load of credit. But there’s still work to do. Some of them still need to improve.”

Gerrard takes his side to Anfield next weekend to face Liverpool, for whom he made over 700 appearances during his playing days.

“No sentimental thoughts ahead of Liverpool next week. I just want to go there and win. We go there with confidence and belief, we just want to make it as difficult as we can.”

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