Unai Emery has got Aston Villa fans in dreamland after ‘dominating’ Manchester City.
Christmas came early for the Villans on Wednesday evening, as they beat the Premier League reigning champions 1-0 at Villa Park.
Villa’s only goal of the game came from a deflected shot from Leon Bailey in the 74th minute. But in truth, it was clear Unai Emery‘s side were going to be victorious throughout the game.
It had been over 10 years since Villa beat Man City in the league, ending a run of 13 games without a win against them since Paul Lambert’s side’s 3-2 win in 2013.
Aston Villa have now won each of their last 14 home games in the Premier League, equalling a club record for consecutive home victories in league competition previously achieved in 1931 and 1903.
It’s no wonder Villa fans are getting excited about what the club can achieve this season…
Haaland draws a blank
Aston Villa kept Man City’s talisman Erling Haaland quiet all game, meaning the striker – who broke the Premier League scoring record for one season last term – has now gone two matches without scoring.
The visitors attempted just two shots, with both of those coming in the 11th minute through the Norwegian. It’s the fewest shots ever attempted by a Pep Guardiola team in a match within Europe’s big-five leagues, while the 22 from Aston Villa was the joint-most faced by a Guardiola side in the same period.
Unsurprisingly, talkSPORT’s resident Villa fan and former striker Gabby Agbonlahor was singing his side’s praises for shutting Haaland out.
He said on talkSPORT Breakfast: “Last night, I’m watching the game and you know when you’re watching as a fan and you’re like ‘we’re doing well, but we’re not scoring’ and ‘you know what, they’ll go down the other end and nick one and [Erling] Haaland will probably get the winner’.
“But the whole game, apart from those two quick chances from Haaland, Aston Villa were so dominant.”
Aston Villa won possession in the final third 13 times against Man City, the most ever by an opposition team against City in a Premier League game during Guardiola’s time in charge.
It’s no wonder Agbonlahor is raving about how dominant they were and how Emery has transformed Villa Park into a fortress.
“I’ve never seen a more one-sided game at Villa Park since before I started playing,” he said.
Watch out Arsenal
Despite his excitement, though, Agbonlahor is keeping his feet on the ground when it comes to wear he thinks Villa should finish this season and believes top four is more realistic. He also thinks they need to be better on the road in order to get there.
But their next challenge is league leaders Arsenal at Villa Park, and given their incredible home form, Agbonlahor believes the Gunners will be in for a surprise.
“Unai Emery, he didn’t get on well at Arsenal, so he’ll be thinking ‘do you know what, I want to beat Arsenal’,” he said. “If Villa play like they did yesterday, it’s going to be one hell of a game.
“I don’t like saying Villa will win, I always say draw, but the way they played yesterday, the energy at Villa Park, I had friends and family at the stadium, it was frightening.”
Just two years, Jack Grealish was starring for Villa week in week out as one of, if not the best, home-grown talents.
Fast forward to this season, and Grealish wasn’t in Man City’s squad for their defeat at Villa Park due to him serving his suspension for picking up five yellow cards.
But despite him not featuring in the clash, Villa fan Ryan had a message for his side’s ex-talisman.
Clearly full of confidence in his squad and no longer missing the winger, he told The Sports Bar: “I’ve got one thing to say, Jack, you’re welcome back anytime!”
Reaching for the stars
Villa fan Ryan is that convinced by his side’s potential that he also made a bold claim live on air…
When asked if his side can win the Premier League, he said: “I’ve got us at 200/1, so!”
He continued: “Don’t worry, we’ll beat Arsenal. Our midfield is hard to beat, Douglas Luiz, [Boubacar] Kamara, [Youri] Tielemans, John McGinn. John McGinn is the most underrated player in the Premier League. Do you know why? He plays for Scotland. If he played for England, he’d be in the team and everyone would be singing his praises.
“He’s run the show against the world’s best team today. I know they’re missing players don’t get me wrong, but they’ve still got Haaland. They’re missing Rodri, that’s who they’re missing.
“They could’ve played a number of players tonight. He chose to go defensive, they didn’t fancy it against Unai, Unai’s given him a masterclass.”
He continued: “We’ve got the best manager in the world, I’m not being funny, we’ve got the best keeper in the world. Emiliano Martinez is on a different planet.”
Villa can go within one point of league leaders Arsenal if the beat Mikel Arteta‘s side this Saturday, and with their supporters clearly in dreamland, it’s set to be one tasty clash.
By: Natasha Everitt
Title: Who needs Jack Grealish? Villa Park is a fortress and Unai Emery has fans in dreamland
Sourced From: talksport.com/football/1668695/jack-grealish-aston-villa-unai-emery-fans-dreamland/
Published Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2023 10:04:11 +0000