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Aston Villa problems ‘clear to see’ insists Steven Gerrard

Boss Steven Gerrard says it is “glaringly obvious” where Villa have to improve as they get back to work after Saturday’s hugely disappointing curtain-raiser to the Premier League season.

Bournemouth's Kieffer Moore scores their side's second goal in the win over Aston Villa
Bournemouth's Kieffer Moore scores their side's second goal in the win over Aston Villa

The only consolation for the head coach from the dismal 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth was that he could immediately identify what went wrong and therefore what needs to be put right for when Everton visit Villa Park on Saturday lunchtime.

Namely improving defending at set pieces and being far more creative in the final third of the pitch.

“The thing about this game it is that it is glaringly obvious where we went wrong,” said Gerrard.

“Watching it back I don’t think I am going to be surprised by anything.

“We gave ourselves a bigger challenge after the opening minutes and while our performance from box to box was okay, when we got into the right areas, we weren’t creative enough and didn’t have enough invention.

“In the last moments of play whether it was a shot, a slide pass or a cross it just wasn’t good enough, and that was glaringly obvious.

“A lot of focus will be on our set plays and I understand that because we have conceded two goals in that area but we have also had 90 minutes with a lot of possession, a lot of control and got ourselves into a lot of decent areas on the pitch.

“We just had a lack of quality so the focus should be on that as well.

“Conceding so early allowed Bournemouth to adopt a low block be really deep and they defended really well.

“The emphasis was on us to get into right areas and have enough quality to break them down to get back into the game but we just couldn’t do it.

“All in all, it was extremely disappointing and certainly not the result we wanted.

“But I don’t think we can have any complaints with the outcome of the game.

“There was enough attacking quality on the pitch and some people had more game time than others but we couldn’t find the answers in the final third.

“That’s on me – and that’s on us.”

Gerrard revealed that the half time substitution which saw Jacob Ramsey make way for Emiliano Buendia came as a result of the yellow card which put Ramsey potentially one foul away from seeing red.

Buendia and Philippe Coutinho were then able to occupy pockets of space more centrally without being able to create enough to trouble the Bournemouth defence.

“I do think we had more of a foothold in the second half and felt it was improving slightly but we conceded a sucker punch.”

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