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Gerrard era off to winning start as Watkins proves hero for Aston Villa

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Steven Gerrard enjoyed a positive first Premier League game as a manager as Aston Villa beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0.

A superb run and finish from outside the box courtesy of Ollie Watkins six minutes from the end of normal time put the hosts ahead at Villa Park on Saturday.

Tyrone Mings then converted a loose ball from six yards out to secure the victory and end a run of five consecutive defeats for Villa, a sequence of results that spelled the end of Dean Smith’s time in charge.

Gerrard, who took over after a strong spell in Scotland with Rangers, became only the third Villa manager out of 13 in the Premier League era to win his first match in charge. The others were John Gregory (in February 1998) and Gerard Houllier (in September 2010).

The result put Villa four points above the relegation zone after 12 matches.

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