Express & Star

Unai Emery: Aston Villa remain in contract talks with match-winner Ollie Watkins

Unai Emery confirmed Villa remain in talks with Ollie Watkins over a new contract after the striker’s first Premier League goal of the season earned victory at Chelsea.


Watkins struck the only goal in the 73rd minute at Stamford Bridge to see Emery’s men past the 10-man hosts and into the top six.

The 27-year-old, who has finished as Villa’s top scorer for the last three seasons, has been in discussions over a new deal for several months and the head coach is keen to get it over the line.

“I am working about it. We are in touch,” he said.

Watkins’ goal decided a tight game and came after Chelsea defender Malo Gusto had been dismissed for a studs up challenge on Lucas Digne.

Referee Jarred Gillett initially showed a yellow card before upgrading to a red after consulting the pitchside monitor.

“I didn’t watch it,” said Emery. “I try with the referees, with VAR, to be respectful. When they decided offside, not offside, red card, not red card, then I try to understand.”

The Villa boss continued: "We were very concerned about the importance of today, keeping a clean sheet through a clean sheet. To be strong defensively too."