The Premier League continued to play for the first time after the Queen’s passing on September 8; last weekend’s games were postponed as a gesture of honour.

Amidst the Queen’s death gloom, the Premier League returned, and Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard, who’s fighting to save his job, couldn’t afford to be distracted given that there is a lot on the line.

Gerrard’s side was one place above the relegation zone before Ramsey’s goal, but the win lifted them to 15th in the league. Punters betting in favour of Aston Villa at had their hearts set on the goal being scored and would have been delighted that they were able to get some of the best bonus codes around at the same time.

It was the first win in their last five Premier League matches for the Villains, with the club having also managed to keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 win against Southampton for the first time in 12 matches – a stretch that had dated back to last season.

Gerrard admitted the significance of the win, but also revealed that it was rather ugly and was needed.

“It’s a big victory,” said Gerrard, “But it wasn’t pretty or stylish. We knew we had to do it pragmatically where we were in the league. I’m proud of the boys’ effort. In football, you have to grind and fight.” He added, “It’s been a tough period, but I’ve wanted to step forward and protect my players. We’ve accepted a lot of criticism, and it’s about reacting, and that’s what we have done tonight.”

Gerrard brought Philippe Coutinho back into his starting line-up, and was rewarded as the South American proved to be influential on the game when given the opportunity. Whereas some players get all the credit, Philippe Coutinho was perhaps overlooked regarding this victory as his effort forced the corner that resulted in the only goal of the game from Jacob Ramsay.

Southampton has allowed their opponents to score first in six consecutive matches, and they could not break down Aston Villa. Southampton’s manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is under increasing pressure as they are currently on a rather poor run of 13 defeats in their last 19 league games.

Final Thoughts

The learning curve has been steep, but Villa is starting to gain some form after a few games. Gerrard may be able to breathe a little easier now, and the relief was evident on his face. He spoke of it afterwards and how this performance could help change the season around because they can now see that they are heading in the right direction.