Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard got off to a good start with a 2-0 victory over Brighton on Saturday, thanks to late goals from Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings.
Gerrard was taking control of his first Villa match after joining the club from Scottish champions Rangers during the international break to replace Dean Smith.
Smith was fired following five consecutive league defeats, but Gerrard made an instant impact as Villa moved four points clear of the drop zone.
Gerrard is the first Villa manager since John Gregory in 1998 to win his first Premier League game in charge.
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Watkins and Mings scored in the closing six minutes to give Villa its first Premier League victory in six games.
Gerrard spent three and a half years at Rangers, where he rebuilt the club and brought an end to Celtic’s nine-year reign as champions.
For the time being, he will be content with steering Villa away from the relegation zone in his first taste of Premier League management.
One of his first notable choices was to prohibit tomato ketchup from Villa’s training facility canteen as part of his efforts to improve his players’ fitness, and they showed no indications of fatigue against Brighton.
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Gerrard immediately patrolled the technical area, yelling commands at his players, and Villa nearly answered with an early goal.
Marc Cucurella’s ball found Trossard in the Villa area, and his strike pushed Emiliano Martinez into a superb save.
Villa had few chances, although England defender Mings saw a long-range shot deflect barely wide.
Mings came even closer early in the second half when Steele pushed over his thundering header.
When Solly March’s challenge put Cash tumbling to the turf, Gerrard unsuccessfully appealed for a penalty.
Brighton were comfortable hanging on until the 83rd minute, when Watkins gained possession just inside the Brighton half, surged into the Albion area, and curled his shot into the far corner.
Five minutes later, Mings collected Adam Webster’s attempted corner clearing and shot into the roof of the net, kicking off the Gerrard era.