Home » Sports News » Football » In the same week, Aston Villa managed to beat Arsenal and Manchester City, confirming their unlikely status in the Premier League title race.
Aston Villa's John McGinn celebrates after scoring for his team.
Aston Villa’s John McGinn celebrates after scoring for his team.

Aston Villa have risen steadily over the past year under Spanish coach Unai Emery, albeit without attracting much attention: first avoiding relegation and then successfully advancing into the Europa League.

However, in a surprise move this season, the team confirmed their credentials as genuine Premier League title contenders with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday after defeating the always strong Manchester City.

In front of Villa Park, just seven minutes later, Villa successfully scored the first and only goal of the game. This fast start once again showed the quality of the Birmingham club.

Leon Bailey broke quickly from the touchline, forcing the Arsenal defense to open up, before passing the ball to captain John McGinn. After receiving the ball, McGinn quickly turned around and shot the ball into the goal, scoring a goal.

Arsenal missed several chances to equalize but Emi Martinez, the 2023 Yashin Cup-winning goalkeeper, held on brilliantly and the Gunners were unable to win a penalty from the referee when Gabriel ·Jesus was knocked to the ground in the penalty area. Villa had a goal disallowed for handball at the last minute, allowing them to set a club record 15th consecutive home victory.

Guardiola identified the Birmingham side as potential title contenders following Villa’s win over Manchester City on Wednesday, but Emery quickly changed his tune.

No doubt the rhetoric will only grow a week after defeating both title contenders, with McGinn joking afterwards that he was “banning the T-word.”

“We’re in Week 16 and there’s still a long way to go,” he said, according to the BBC. “We respect those who have been in this position for many years. We are new – as long as we keep at it, You will see results.”

Aston Villa are currently in third place.
Aston Villa are currently in third place.

Aston Villa’s stunning run in the Premier League has ensured they sit third, five points ahead of Manchester City, despite the defending champions having a game in hand; they are just one point behind Arsenal and just two behind leaders Liverpool.

Even so, the season is not even halfway through, and Emery is worried about the possibility of getting out of control due to high expectations.

“I plan to speak again after games 30 and 32, and if our situation has not changed, I may talk about it then.” He revealed to Sky Sports afterwards.

At first, we were not competitors, it was just the 16th game. We are in the top four and have to fight to hold on to that position. It’s not easy.

Although Villa has a long and successful history, including winning the European Cup in 1981/82, Villa has never won the Premier League title since the 1980-81 season and suffered relegation three years ago until 2019. Re-promoted to the Premier League only this year.

When Emery took over at Villa in October last year, the team was last in the league. However, the Spanish coach, who has won the Europa League four times, has successfully transformed the club and players, creating a well-drilled team with the strength to compete with the league and the best results.

As Christmas and New Year approach, the villa seems to have opened up a new world.

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