Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia scored to get Aston Villa’s Premier League campaign up and running with victory over Everton as Steven Gerrard got one over on his old midfield rival Frank Lampard.
The two were facing each other as managers for the first time after years of battles on the pitch in games between Liverpool and Chelsea, reports the BBC.
Both had overseen losses in their Premier League openers and it was Gerrard’s side who claimed their first win of the season with a dominant display at Villa Park.
The home side looked on it from the start and got the breakthrough midway through the first half when Ollie Watkins, making his first start of the season, found strike partner Ings inside the box and he turned sharply before firing clinically into the back of the net.
Everton, once again playing without a recognised striker, did not manage a shot on target in the first half, although they did see an Anthony Gordon effort ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside.
They showed some improvement after the break as Dwight McNeil flicked a shot just wide of the post and Demarai Gray saw a decent effort saved by Emiliano Martinez.
Villa substitute Buendia saw a deflected shot cleared off the line before adding a second when he stabbed in late on.
Lucas Digne turned a cross into his own net immediately after to give Everton a glimmer of hope but Villa held firm to take the three points.
Aston Villa 2 – 1 Everton