Unai Emery identifies 'abnormal' Aston Villa concern in Chelsea defeat

Aston Villa were outplayed by Chelsea in one particular department, Unai Emery has confessed.
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Unai Emery has identified an abnormal issue Aston Villa suffered in the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday evening, costing the men in claret and blue an opportunity to enjoy a run in the Emirates FA Cup.

The Villans were outplayed for much of the game as they were dumped out of the competition at the fourth round replay stage. It was an uncharacteristically poor home performance – similar to the 3-1 loss to Newcastle United in the Premier League just a week or so earlier – as Villa failed to gain any real control in the centre of the park.

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Emery, albeit fairly happy with his team's consistency in creating chances, has identified the lack of midfield authority as his side's main weakness on the night. The head coach admitted it was costly that the likes of Douglas Luiz, Boubacar Kamara and John McGinn were dispossessed far more often than usual.

"We lost more balls than normal. In our medium block, we were not being strong and they were being a threat in behind," Emery confessed in the post-match press conference. "Of course, sometimes the performances of the players could be better. I have to try to keep balance, giving them chances to recover.

"They got in our box with some crosses and they were clinical with their goals. We have to accept and we have to try to analyse deeply the match. Chelsea have very good players and they played well tonight. To compete is not easy when they are being clinical," Emery continued.

Unai Emery has admitted Aston Villa lost far too many second balls against Chelsea.Unai Emery has admitted Aston Villa lost far too many second balls against Chelsea.
Unai Emery has admitted Aston Villa lost far too many second balls against Chelsea.

Statistics from the match would suggest it was a tight encounter but that's far from reality. Most of Villa's chances came late on in the game when it was already too late. Moussa Diaby netted in off both posts in stoppage time but it was merely a consolation.

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Positives can be taken despite the defeat, however, as Diaby's confidence will have been lifted by the goal and Villa departing another competition means more focus can go on the Premier League and UEFA Europa Conference League. Emery's men must move on quickly as they host Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

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