Emery clashes with Buendia: Aston Villa boss reveals words said in ‘heated’ exchange v Man Utd

There appeared to be a clash on the touchline between Aston Villa manager Unai Emery and midfielder Emi Buendia in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.
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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has revealed what he said to midfielder Emiliano Buendia during the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon. The head coach could be seen barking instructions loudly as he appeared to clash with the Argentine amid a lack of control in the first half.

Buendia was one of a host of Villa midfield men who struggled to maintain and progress possession on the day; the 26-year-old, who is normally one of the most impactful in attack, had a quiet afternoon. The likes of Casemiro, Fernandes and Christian Eriksen broke up the play effectively to halt those in claret and blue.

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The Villans’ 10-game unbeaten streak came to an end at Old Trafford with Bruno Fernandes’ 38th-minute goal the difference. United deserved to lead at the break after a dominant first 45 but there was definitely an improvement in the second half from the visitors. Nonetheless, the Red Devils dug in to hold on.

Emery was disappointed by a lack of efficiency with his playing style, with one man getting the bulk of his frustration in the beforementioned touchline exchange. “Sometimes, in different matches, [Buendia is in] the key position to try to get the ball and then get the space to do something more,” Emery explained post-match.

“He was in this situation in the first half and I was telling him to try to drop in and maybe get more wide to get the ball. After [doing that], you can connect with the players running. As well, defensively, don’t do the high pressing if we are not organised. I was telling him to try and keep our game plan and don’t let them do things inside us,” Emery continued.

Emery was merely barking instructions rather than saying anything personal to Buendia.Emery was merely barking instructions rather than saying anything personal to Buendia.
Emery was merely barking instructions rather than saying anything personal to Buendia.

Just a tactical reminder for Buendia rather than anything personal from Emery, then, as the gaffer looked to turn the momentum for his side. There definitely was a boost from then on as Buendia and his midfield counterparts gained composure and looked a bit more like their usual selves, but United stopped any clear-cut openings from breaking through.

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There isn’t long to dwindle on Sunday’s result as yet another big encounter is set to follow next weekend, with Villa heading out on the road once again to face local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. Although thrashed 6-0 by European chasers Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolves are still a good side under Julen Lopetegui - particularly at home - and cannot be underestimated.

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