Aston Villa delivered a resounding 6-1 victory against Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday, thanks to Ollie Watkins's impressive hat-trick, making a strong case for an England call-up.
Watkins showcased his talent by netting two goals in the first half, while an own goal by Pervis Estupinan further extended Villa's lead at Villa Park.
Brighton managed to pull one back in the second half through Ansu Fati, but Watkins completed his hat-trick, reaffirming his international potential.
Despite already having seven England caps to his name, Watkins was excluded from the squad in September. With England manager Gareth Southgate in attendance, Watkins has certainly put himself in contention for a spot in the squad for the upcoming October matches against Australia and Italy.
Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz added to Villa's impressive tally with goals in the closing stages, marking Villa's most significant win of the season.
While Villa's players have expressed discomfort with the club's new shirts due to excessive sweat retention, their performance on the field was anything but sweaty. They dominated lacklustre Brighton, striking three goals in a blistering 12-minute spell in the first half at Villa Park.
Villa has started the season strong, winning five of their first seven league matches and currently occupying third place in the table as they head into the weekend's fixtures.
Under the guidance of Unai Emery, who took over from the sacked Steven Gerrard, Villa's total of 58 points this year is second only to Manchester City's 71, underscoring the significant progress they have made.
With a 10-game winning streak at home, Villa harbours genuine hopes of challenging for a top-four finish.
In contrast, Brighton, who had won five of their first six league matches, endured a challenging week, suffering a defeat in the League Cup against struggling Chelsea before their heavy loss to Villa.
Watkins proved to be a lethal force for Villa, opening the scoring just 14 minutes into the match after a pinpoint pass from John McGinn set up Matty Cash's cross for Watkins to tap in from close range.
Watkins doubled his tally in the 21st minute with a superb solo effort, cutting past two Brighton defenders before slotting a low shot past Jason Steele.
He played a crucial role in Villa's third goal, finding Moussa Diaby, whose initial shot was saved before deflecting off Estupinan and into the net.
Fati managed to reduce the deficit for Brighton in the 50th minute, and while VAR reviewed the goal for offside, it was eventually awarded.
However, Watkins extinguished any hopes of a Brighton comeback with his deflected shot in the 65th minute.
Ramsey added another fine goal for Villa in the 85th minute, while Luiz put the finishing touches on Villa's impressive performance with a late goal in the final seconds of the game.