Aston Villa boss Unai Emery was particularly pleased with his side’s clean sheet in our 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
After conceding eight goals in our previous two home games, it was important that Villa found the solution to shore things up at the back and build a foundation on which we could go on and win the encounter to discover some form at home.
READ MORE: Five key talking points as Villa battle to important win over Palace
While we’ve impressed on the road, it’s been a struggle at Villa Park for the most part, and this was the first clean sheet that we’ve kept at home since Emery took charge.
While it wasn’t exactly convincing, Villa prevailed in a scrappy clash with a battling performance, and it’s clear that our improved solidity at the back was one of the biggest positives for Emery, as although the Spanish tactician wasn’t entirely content with the performance as a whole, we ticked some important boxes.
“It was a very important win today,” he told VillaTV. “First of all, the clean sheet; our objective was to win through the clean sheet and we did it.
“We played better in the first half than in the second half. When they had the red card we didn’t react in our positioning, keeping possession longer and trying as well to be passionate, getting in the box and taking chances.
“At the end, the most important thing is that we did it. It’s going to help us now knowing that we are in the middle of the table and trying to get closer to the top ten teams.
“The team is trying to solve the tactical issues we have been working on, while playing with pressure and trying to dominate.
“The team is taking matches, taking minutes, taking moments and with the analysis after, we can use it to show and to learn.”
Emery spoke in detail again this week about wanting more control and game-management from his team, and after taking a relatively early lead in the game again, there was clear improvement in those aspects of the performance.
While we lacked a clinical edge and ruthlessness in the final third to make it more comfortable, we showed more composure and patience throughout the 90 minutes to prevent it from becoming a back-and-forth thriller, as we saw in the games against Leicester and Arsenal, and so that is a clear improvement and an important sign of progress.
Villa are back on the road next weekend at West Ham, and it’s hoped that we can continue to build momentum now and keep this winning streak going as we continue to push to break into the top 10 in the Premier League standings.
1 thought on “What Emery said after Villa’s crucial win over Palace”
Too many times in recent seasons we have lost pretty. It is always satisfying to win games playing free flowing attacking football. Ultimately it is the result that counts. Losing pretty is bitter. Winning ugly is sweet.