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Steven Gerrard knows there is lots to do despite second win as Aston Villa boss
Goals from Matt Targett and John McGinn earned all three points from a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.
Steven Gerrard knows Aston Villa have a lot more work to do but was delighted to watch his new team make it two wins from two since he took over following a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.
Matt Targett fired the visitors ahead after 15 minutes in south London from Ashley Young’s corner and John McGinn wrapped up the points with a wonderful curled effort in the 86th minute.
Palace centre-back Marc Guehi pulled one back for the hosts in stoppage time, but it was Gerrard who triumphed over opposite number Patrick Vieira in the managerial battle between two of the Premier League’s finest midfielders.
He said: “Both our goals today were worked extremely well. One from a set-piece and that puts Ashley as the highest assist-maker at the club so well done to him.
“Our first-half performance was excellent, I thought in a lot of departments we were top but we knew we would have to roll our sleeves up in the second half because Patrick would make changes.
“Palace improved and made it difficult for us but we still had chances to score so it was a fantastic away performance and I’m really pleased to have six points from six so far.”
Scotland international McGinn clinched the away win with his third goal of the season late on and it helped Gerrard claim a first-ever win at Palace, having failed to taste victory during his six appearances at Selhurst Park as a player.
The new Villa boss had praised the midfielder in the build-up to the game and added: “Both his performances since we’ve arrived have been outstanding.
“He came back from international duty in a real good place and he is the type of midfielder we need, someone to get into the box and score goals because we don’t want our midfield three to be the same.”
While Gerrard has enjoyed a dream start to life in the hotseat at the West Midlands club, he is well aware of the work ahead with champions Manchester City set to visit on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old admitted: “We have Man City to come so we can enjoy tonight but we will go to work as soon as we can tomorrow to prepare the team.
“We know it will be tough but we will give it our best shot. We are pleased with the start we have made but there is a lot of work still to do.”
Palace boss Vieira was frustrated to see their seven-match unbeaten run end with a below-par display.
It took until the 80th minute for the Eagles to test Emi Martinez and Targett’s early goal was the 10th they have conceded from a set-piece this season.
Viera said: “I am really disappointed with the result but more disappointed by the performance. Today we didn’t play well enough.
“We didn’t move the ball quick enough, didn’t defend well enough as a team and a consequence is not getting anything from the game. There is a lot of frustration again by the way we conceded the first goal.”