By Peter Lynch

30th Sep, 2023 | 3:10pm

Ollie Watkins sends Gareth Southgate clear message after 5 key pass showing in Aston Villa win v Brighton

Aston Villa moved into the top four of the Premier League with a statement 6-1 win at home to high-flying Brighton.

Star striker Ollie Watkins bagged a hat-trick in the clash at Villa Park on Saturday (30 September), with Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz also scoring along with an own goal from Pervis Estupinian.

Substitute Ansu Fati scored Brighton’s only goal of the match, in what was a phenomenal display from Unai Emery’s men.

It was another great team performance, but undoubtedly stealing plenty of the headlines following the full-time whistle is Watkins. The forward took home the match ball from Villa Park, having also picked up an assist for Ramsey’s late strike.

Moreover, as per SofaScore, the striker registered five key passes, won three of his five ground duels and was successful with two of his three dribble attempts.

Watkins was also involved in some Aston Villa history with his efforts, becoming the first player to score two hat-tricks in a single season in all competitions for the club since Andy Gray in the 1976-77 campaign, as per OptaJoe, who described him as “clinical.”

It was a fantastic time to produce such a rampant display, with England manager Gareth Southgate in attendance. The Three Lions boss simply cannot overlook the Villa ace for his next squad after this performance and indeed the player’s overall form this season.

The 27-year-old could only register assists in his first five games of the new league campaign, but he now boasts four goals in his last two matches.

In other Aston Villa news, a Leicester Women ace has sent a two-word message to an Aston Villa Women star after she clinched an international record.