Unai Emery highlights key to late Aston Villa winner vs Luton as Premier League top-four chances addressed

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Aston Villa cemented their place in the Premier League top-four but left it late to win at Kenilworth Road.

Unai Emery has put Aston Villa's dramatic late 3-2 win at Luton Town down to his side's mentality and spirit.

Villa left it late to snatch all three points from Kenilworth Road on Saturday, having looked to have thrown them away in a flat second-half performance. Ollie Watkins netted his 15th and 16th Premier League goals of the season to put his side 2-0 up at half-time but a seemingly simple evening went awry after the break.

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Tahith Chong pulled one back in scrappy fashion just past the hour mark and six minutes later, Carlton Morris tucked home a set-piece to turn 2-0 into 2-2 in the blink of an eye. Villa looked to have thrown away a promising result until Lucas Digne snuck in at the back post to finish Moussa Diaby's cross in the 89th minute.

"We are improving and we are trying to build a team, a structure, a mentality and today the third goal was mentality," Emery told Match of the Day. "We are accepting each moment who we are and trying to build the team with a big commitment. This is the spirit. Moussa Diaby crossing and Lucas Digne doing the header. It was fantastic.

"We are aware about how it is going our way and we are still in the same message for everybody. We are going to keep going every day. We can't think if we are going to be a contender to be in the top five or four. Tottenham is pushing as well and Manchester United are playing tomorrow. They show us, and Newcastle as well, they are very good teams and they show us they can recover the position in the table.

"I don't want to think they are not being there. Now were are going to focus on the Europa Conference League. We are very excited. We play Ajax. A historic club. To play Ajax in Europe [is a privilege]. And then we play Tottenham and for us it is a very good week."

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Victory has kept Villa in the driving seat for Champions League football, reopening the five-point gap between themselves in fourth and Tottenham Hotspur in fifth. Spurs pulled to within two points with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace and do have a game in hand. Manchester United have climbed into contention for a top-four spot but are now 11 points adrift of Villa and face Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday.

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