Victory over the Foxes make it six unbeaten for the Villans

Aston Villa made it six games unbeaten in the Premier League to climb into 7th position in the Premier League, just six points adrift of third-placed Newcastle United.

To be completely honest, despite our good run of form, even the most optimistic Aston Villa supporters would rule out the minimal chance of pinching a top-four spot but many are starting to believe that Villa could return to European football one way or another next season.

Unai Emery’s men have to play those around them so it is possible but while others are optimistic, I prefer to take one game at a time and enjoy the ride.

Last time out against our East Midlands rivals, despite dominating the game, Leicester were very effective on the counter-attack and despite sacking Brandon Rodgers this week, they tried the same approach.

This time around, a win for the visitors meant that Leicester remained in the relegation zone with some paper talk that could see former Villa manager Martin O’Neill become their next manager. Wow, I know!

Report: Leicester City 1-2 Aston Villa

It was a performance that was far from perfect but Villa are finding ways to grind out results with this win being their 10th win from 16 since Emery’s appointment.

As we witnessed at Villa Park earlier this season, Villa dominated the ball in the opening proceedings but the hosts had the better chances.

The first chance on goal came from Harvey Barnes but Emi Martinez was equal to the winger’s efforts.

The Foxes came close once again when they were awarded a corner kick. Harry Souttar escaped Ezri Konsa but was denied when his headed effort hit the woodwork.

In terms of chances, Villa took the lead against the run of play. Ollie Watkins who had earlier given Villa a scare when he went down clutching his knee scored in his sixth away game in a row.

Douglas Luiz flicked Konsa’s pass to Emi Buendia who then played a beautiful ball through to Watkins. The forward had plenty to do as Timothy Castagne and Wout Faes put him under pressure but he was able to hold them off before rolling the ball past Daniel Iverson and into the bottom corner.

Leicester were under the cosh and Villa came close to doubling their lead first through Alex Moreno with a long-range effort and then Luiz could only watch on as his effort deflected over the bar.

The hosts were soon back in the game, just as they were in February in the reverse fixture.

Barnes who was giving Ashley Young the run-around controlled a Faes’ long effort and turned inside the full-back. He then raced through on goal before curling an effort in off the post to make it 1-1.

Leicester were then denied a second goal just before the break as Martinez was this time equal to Barnes’s shot saving with his legs, following a big deflection from Tyrone Mings.

The game was becoming end-to-end without a decent final ball. Moreno came close when Buendia sent a pass through the legs of Castagne, the Spaniard unleashed a shot from a tight angle but was denied by the post.

They say that when you are down the bottom, things don’t go your way. This was the case when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was sent off with 20 minutes to play following a late challenge, on Young earning a second yellow.

Villa took complete control of the game but was struggling to break down a resilient Leicester side. Jacob Ramsey could only shoot over the bar when Buendia laid him off and Young’s effort from outside the box curled just over the cross-bar.

Watkins was next to come close but was denied by Iverson with his first save of the evening. Efforts from John McGinn and Leon Bailey followed at the end Villa secured all three points from an unlikely source.

Bertrand Traore, who was shipped out on loan to Turkey and dreamed not wanted by former boss Steven Gerrard until he was recalled by Emery in January, was one of three players introduced with five minutes left on the clock.

The Burkina Faso international latched on to Wilfried Ndidi’s misplaced pass before sending a sublime effort over Iverson and into the back of the net.

Just as Villa thought they had secured all three points, the referee pointed to the spot as Leicester were handed a lifeline. The decision was soon overruled with help from VAR when it showed it was Patson Daka who made the foul on Watkins and not the other way around.


It was far from pretty and these are the kind of games in the past we would have failed to win. This a common saying under Emery but he seems to find a way of grinding out a result. They say winning while not playing well are signs of a successful team, I just hope we can continue to build on this form because I am enjoying this ride.

Up next, is Nottingham Forest at home on Saturday.


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