Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was the mastermind as Aston Villa began their pre-season schedule this summer with three wins from three games. Steven Gerrard and his Villa players played their first pre-season game this summer against hosts Walsall and it ended in a big win. The gulf in class between Aston Villa and Walsall with the Premier League team running out 4-0 winners at the end of the game played on Saturday, June 9.

Steven Gerrard reunited with his Aston Villa players for the Walsall game, which is their first since the 3-2 collapse at Premier League holders Manchester City on the final day of last season’s Premier League campaign. Villa were on course to create history by putting a dent on the Premier League title aspirations of their hosts. They had led 2-0 into the final quarter of the game before City fought back to score three goals to win the game and secure another league title in the process.

For the Walsall game, Villa took the lead through Jamaican international winger Leon Bailey inside the first ten minutes off the assist from Anwar El Ghazi who’s back at Villa after his loan move to fellow Premier League team Everton last season. Young striker Cameron Archer ensured that Aston Villa went into the break with a two-goal lead as he doubled the lead for the former European champions just before the end of the first half.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard rang the changes at the end of the first half and it paid off with Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz getting the goals in the second half to make it a comprehensive win. England international Watkins scored just before the hour mark and ten minutes later, Brazil international Luiz scored directly from a corner kick to wrap up the game for his team.

In their second pre-season friendly game this summer, Danny Ings scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the second half as Aston Villa beat fellow Premier League side Leeds United 1-0. In their third and final pre-season friendly game till date this summer, Cameron Archer scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar of Australia.