Villa have become masters at catching opposing players offside since the Spaniard’s arrival, though their high line has been the source of some heart-in-mouth moments for supporters.
Son Heung-min thought he had scored a last-gasp leveller in Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat at Villa on Saturday, only to be denied by a flag. It was the 92nd time Villa had caught an opposing player offside under Emery, 27 more times than Liverpool, the next best team.
Emery, whose team have conceded just six goals in 13 matches, said: “We are taking some risks but the players are feeling comfortable. I want to achieve the excellence we need defensively.
“It's not always keeping it. We will work to try to be it. Now the team is doing very well. We have to be very focused to try to improve and be close to excellence.”
Saturday’s win kept Villa alive in the hunt for Europe as they moved level on points with Tottenham. They next travel to Liverpool this weekend.
Emery said: "It will still be very difficult. Saturday was very important to keep the chance as much as we can to get it.
“It is not in our hands. We will try to be motivated to play as much with that possibility of being there."