• Manager says club ‘have to be motivated’ after 1-0 victory
  • Third-placed Aston Villa two points behind leaders Liverpool

Unai Emery said Aston Villa must learn to cope with the pressure of being labelled title contenders after Mikel Arteta became the latest manager to endorse their credentials. Three days on from outclassing the reigning champions, Manchester City, Villa beat Arsenal 1-0 to earn a 15th straight home league win to move within two points of the new leaders, Liverpool, and one behind Arsenal, leading their goalscorer and captain, John McGinn, to joke he is banning the “T-word”.

Asked if his players can deal with heightened title talk surrounding Villa, Emery replied: “Yes, it is better for us. We are there because we deserve it. They are going to speak more about us. It is still going to be the same message I am sending them, sending you [the media] and to the supporters. We have to be excited, we have to be motivated. We are now in third but there are still seven teams who are bigger contenders than us to be in the top seven. If we are getting to the 30th or 32nd game of the season, in the same position, I can send another message.”

Continue reading...