By Anthony Onifade

30th Sep, 2023 | 2:26pm

Ollie Watkins shines with 10/10, Nicolo Zaniolo in 2/10 stinker - Aston Villa player ratings v Brighton

Aston Villa clinched all three points at Villa Park in an impressive and rampant 6-1 Premier League win over Brighton on Saturday (30 September).

The Villans entered such a difficult test against impressive and rampant opposition off the back of a disappointing 2-1 loss to Everton on Wednesday (27 September) and looked like a side hell-bent on correcting their wrongs in midweek.

Ollie Watkins bagged his second hat-trick of the campaign in a sensational performance from the England international with Gareth Southgate watching coupled with a Pervis Estupinan own-goal, Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz strikes made it three Premier League wins in a row Emery’s men.

Brighton’s consolation came through Ansu Fati but it was not enough for Roberto De Zerbi’s men who endured a tough afternoon at Villa Park as the home team made it five wins from their first seven games.

Here, Villa News rates the Villa players out of 10 for their performances from the Brighton clash:

Emiliano Martinez –

Enjoyed a very comfortable afternoon as he commanded his box well, with the goalkeeper making one just save all afternoon. [SofaScore].

Matty Cash – 7

Cash is a superb sight when going forward and it was on full show this afternoon as he gave Pervis Estupinan a torrid afternoon on his right flank. Arguably one of the best attacking full-backs in the division when he’s this mood and his assist for Watkins’ opener was sensational.

Won 75% of his ground duels and tackles won in the first half showing why he is just as good defending his own goal.

Ezri Konsa – 7

With Gareth Southgate watching on, Konsa certainly made his mark with a strong showing at the back against the Premier League’s top scorers so far this season. Lucky not to be awarded a yellow card after grabbing Ansu Fati’s shirt in the second half but other than that, he was at his majestic best at the back, winning four of his five duels.

Pau Torres – 7

Solid showing by the Spaniard as it seemed like he’d been a Premier League defender all his life. Building an impressive partnership with Konsa, especially in Tyrone Mings’ absence and it is just what Emery needs. Only won two of his duels though but didn’t really need to as Aston Villa looked comfortable all afternoon.

Lucas Digne – 5

A poor afternoon for the French international who put in a totally opposite performance to that of his counterpart Cash on the opposite flank. Won just one of his seven ground duels and successfully completed just one cross. He’ll be looking for an instant improvement with Alex Moreno set to return to full fitness very soon.

Boubacar Kamara – 6

May not have been the most flashy performance from the former Marseille man but he did his job in the middle exceptionally alongside Luiz, winning eight of his duels, winning four fouls and successfully completing 80% of his passes.

Douglas Luiz – 7

Like his midfield partner, it wasn’t the most flashy of performances from the Brazilian but what he brings to the Aston Villa team is very clear to see. Tremendous outlet in possession, aggressive and tenacious without the ball and brings steady leadership when they have their backs to the wall. Completed over 90% of his passes, won four duels, and registered one key pass.

Grabbed an impressive and composed sixth.

Moussa Diaby – 7

What a player and what a signing he’s been already for Unai Emery. His speed, tenacity and rapidness on the counter is absolutely frightening and the Brighton defenders simply did not know what to do with him all game. Came off with an injury late on and Emery will be praying it isn’t serious.

John McGinn – 8

Came back from the international break in worrying form did McGinn but he put all those doubts about his form to bed with a picture-perfect showing against Brighton. His aggression, tenacity, energy, and midfield endeavour were all so crucial in Villa stopping Brighton from performing to their usual selves.

Won seven of his ground duels, completed all two of his long balls, grabbed an assist and also completed 100% of his dribbles.

Nicolo Zaniolo – 3

Shocking performance from the Italian summer signing. While his teammates Watkins and Diaby were wreaking havoc amongst the Brighton wall, he was nowhere to be seen in an absent and lifeless showing.

Was correctly hooked off after 10 minutes in the second half and his stats on the day tell its own story.

As per SofaScore, Zaniolo barely touched the ball for his team with 20 touches, completing just three of his passes and failing to complete any of his four dribbles, won one of his 13 ground duels, lost possession of the ball eleven times and registered zero key passes also giving away four fouls in a lifeless performance.

Ollie Watkins – 10 MOTM

Spectacular performance from Emery’s key and main man in attack. Gave Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster the runaround all afternoon, scoring three goals, holding the ball up brilliantly, effortlessly covered the channels incredibly well and looks like a man hell-bent on proving why he is amongst the best number nines in the country. Sensational.

Are you watching Gareth Southgate?


Jacob Ramsey (on for Zaniolo, 57′) – 7

Precision finish for Villa’s fifth on his return from injury. Pretty timely too. Huge boost for the club.

Jhon Duran (on for Diaby, 78′) – N/A

Youri Tielemans (on for Kamara 89′) – N/A

In other Aston Villa news, an Aston Villa Women defender has been handed a club honour following the exit of one player.