Aston Villa managed to secure a much-needed victory in the Premier League with their 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion after failing to win any of their three previous league games.
Steven Gerrard’s side opened the scoring in the first half through an unlikely figure as right-back Matty Cash struck a sweet strike to put his team ahead before Ollie Watkins doubled the lead in the second half.
Aside from the two goalscorers and the defensive players that managed to keep a clean sheet for the Midlands club, one figure, in particular, that proved to be an important performer on the day was midfielder John McGinn.
With more minutes under his belt than any other midfielder or attacker at the club the season, it was no surprise to see the Scottish international start and play the full 90 minutes this afternoon.
In those 90 minutes, McGinn managed to have a total of 51 touches of the ball and complete 25 of the 28 passes he attempted with one of them being a key pass and three accurate long balls.
He also managed to have one shot on target with two blocked as well as completing one successful dribble.
Off the ball, the 27-year-old showed just how useful he is for the Villans in a defensive sense by making three tackles, two interceptions and two clearances as well as winning 66% of the duels he was involved in.
This latest display ultimately earned the midfield maestro, who has been described as being “overlooked” in the past by the club’s previous manager Dean Smith, an overall match rating of 7.1/10 from SofaScore.
Birmingham Live also picked up on his industrious performance by saying that it was “a real defensive shift from McGinn who hustled well in the middle of the park to break down Brighton attacks.”
Having been labelled as Villa’s “driving force” in the past by Smith, the midfielder very much embodied that against the Seagulls today.
Moving forward, if Gerrard’s side can use this performance as a springboard to put their poor run of form behind them and get some consistency under their belts in terms of results and displays, this could put the Villans in a good space to end the season on a high note.