Express & Star

Unai Emery looking at bigger picture after Aston Villa's final day drubbing

Unai Emery focused on the bigger picture after Champions League-bound Villa suffered a final day thrashing at Crystal Palace.


Jean-Philippe Mateta scored a hat-trick as Palace ran out 5-0 winners at Selhurst Park, inflicting Villa’s heaviest Premier League defeat for more than four years.

But the mood among visiting supporters remained upbeat with Villa having already secured a fourth place finish last week and while understandably disappointed with the result, Emery refused to be critical of his depleted side.

Villa were missing Leon Bailey through illness, while Emi Martinez sat out with a thigh injury.

Emery said: “After we achieved our strong objective we were planning since August, it was very difficult today. It is a disappointing result. Today we didn’t feel strong in the field.

“It’s not a good result. Palace showed us their power and how they have played recently here.

“We tried to keep consistent in our way, trying to be competitive in 90 minutes. More or less in the first half we were creating chances.

“We had chances to score and equalise but in the second half we lost our energy.”

Mateta opened the scoring inside nine minutes and doubled the home team’s advantage just before half-time after Moussa Diaby had twice been denied by home goalkeeper Dean Henderson. The French striker then completed his treble in the second half, with Eberechi Eze netting twice either side.

Emery, who named his 21-year-old goalkeeper son Lander on the bench, said: “We have to accept it. We achieved our objective, but it is important to keep being consistent.

“I can’t say nothing about the players or our work. Sometimes, like when you have circumstances like today, you have to accept it.”