John McGinn hails ‘monumental week’ as Aston Villa claim back-to-back wins against Premier League Champions Man City and title contenders Arsenal… as the Scot hopes ‘the newbies’ can continue to challenge at the top
- John McGinn has lauded his Aston Villa team-mates after a ‘monumental week’
- Unai Emery’s side have claimed back-to-back wins against Arsenal and Man City
- It will do Arsenal no harm at all to have Arteta out of sight at Villa Park – It’s All Kicking Off
John McGinn hailed a ‘monumental week’ for Aston Villa as they defeated Manchester City and Arsenal in the space four days to announce themselves as title contenders.
Villa secured a record 15th straight home win in the Premier League and despite Unai Emery’s insistence that they are not in the race for the Premier League crown, they are now only two points off leaders Liverpool after 16 games.
Villa were not as impressive as in their 1-0 win over City last Wednesday but they showed superb resilience to win by the same scoreline thanks to McGinn’s seventh-minute strike.
‘What a monumental week it has been for us,’ said McGinn. ‘There’s a long way to go. The teams around us have been in these positions for years and are so experienced.
‘We are the newbies. Can we keep it up? I don’t know. We’ll see. Hopefully. The targets have certainly been revised.
John McGinn has lauded his Aston Villa team-mates after a ‘monumental week’ that saw the Villans extend their home record to 15 wins on the bounce
The Scotland international scored the only goal of the game to help his side claim a 1-0 victory against Arsenal
It comes as Unai Emery’s side also defeated Man City in midweek 1-0 to move them to third
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‘Arsenal have made a habit of scoring late goals and it was up to us to keep concentrated. They are a top quality team so their manager adjusted a few things. Did it work? Maybe, maybe not.
‘They had a lot of the ball but not too many clear-cut chances. We’ve kept a clean sheet against the two best teams in the league in my opinion and it’s another huge win.’
Emery’s men also saw two debatable calls go their way. Douglas Luiz was not punished for making contact with Gabriel Jesus inside the box early in the second half, while Kai Havertz’s late strike was ruled out for handball – with the decision upheld after a lengthy VAR check.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta – who was in the stands serving a touchline ban – hinted at frustration with those decisions, saying he had a ‘big opinion’ on them. Yet when asked to elaborate, Arteta added only: ‘Clear and obvious. That’s all I can say.
‘We were the better team and deserved more. We can’t demand much more from the team but we lacked accuracy in the box. I’m really pleased with the performance but disappointed as we didn’t get the result we want.’
Emery is likely to rest key players for Thursday’s trip to face Bosnian club Zrinjski Mostar in the Europa Conference League, ahead of next Sunday’s clash with Brentford.
McGinn scored in the first half, burying the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to net his fourth Premier League goal of the season
While Villa are now unbeaten in seven games, Arsenal suffered their second defeat of the season on Saturday night
Mikel Arteta had to watch the game from the stands as the Arsenal boss served a touchline ban
Tempers flared after the match with Kai Havertz and Emiliano Martinez squaring off
Midfielder Luiz and defender Lucas Digne will miss that one after both picked up their fifth bookings of the season here.
Emery said: ‘If we are still in the same position after 30 or 32 games, maybe I can speak about the title. We have played only 16 games.
‘We are in the top four and must try to stay there but it is difficult. I don’t think I’ll win so many home games in a row again but we have to enjoy it.’
Asked why he had not shaken hands with the Arsenal coaches after the game, Emery explained: ‘Arteta was not on the bench. I shook hands with some people inside the tunnel as they were at the club when I was, but it’s nothing personal. I don’t have anything negative against Arsenal.’
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