- Villa thump Brighton 6-1
- Watkins scores hat-trick
- Striker eyeing England call-up
TELL ME MORE: Villa leapfrogged Brighton into third after routing Roberto De Zerbi’s men on Saturday afternoon. Watkins gave the hosts the lead after 14 minutes before beating goalkeeper again Jason Steele seven minutes later. Unai Emery’s side were in cruise control when Moussa Diaby’s scuffed shot deflected in off Pervis Estupinan and although half-time substitute Ansu Fati pulled one back for the visitors, the Villans responded in emphatic fashion. Watkins completed his hat-trick, his second of the campaign after scoring thrice against Hibernian in Europa Conference League qualifying, as his powerful drive went in off Adam Webster after the hour mark. Late efforts from Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz meant Villa picked up their 10th consecutive home league win – a new record for them.
THE MVP: Watkins had his best-ever scoring season last term with 16 goals in all competitions, but his first strike in the Premier League came in Villa’s 1-0 win at Chelsea last weekend. Now, the 27-year-old is firing on all cylinders and with him in this kind of form, he could be a shoo-in to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad this coming week. The former Brentford star was left out of the Three Lions’ games against Ukraine and Scotland earlier this month, but this performance will have boosted his chances of being selected this time out.
THE BIG LOSER: Estupinan is arguably one of the best left-backs in the Premier League but he had an off day at Villa Park. Not only was he overrun by Villa’s rampant attack, he scored an unfortunate own goal and was substituted at half-time. It was a day to forget for the Ecuadorian and the Seagulls.
MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS: