Unai Emery explains two 'rogue' Aston Villa decisions in reaction to Crystal Palace rout

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Aston Villa were always expected to rotate at Crystal Palace, but two decisions from Unai Emery were rather rogue.

Calum Chambers was handed his first Premier League start of the campaign as late as possible as he made the XI on the final day, surprisingly ahead of Tim Iroegbunam. There was then an even bigger eye-opener as Emery’s son, Lander Emery, was awarded his maiden senior matchday involvement as a substitute.

“Calum always helps us and I think he deserves as well to get minutes on the field,” Emery said of Chambers during the post-match press conference. “He helped us on Monday against Liverpool. We were working with Chambers and I decided to start him.”

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There was less mentioned about his son, even though it was a momentous occasion for the 21-year-old goalkeeper. “He’s another player,” Emery told Birmingham World. “He is in the under-23 team and sometimes we need to add, helping us, one goalkeeper from there. We did today,” Emery said.

Given the fourth-placed finish and Champions League football for next season were already secured, Villa were always going to take it easy at Selhurst Park. With very little to play for, Emery rotated in accordance but the rampant Palace display that followed was arguably an embarrassment.

Unai Emery named his son, Lander Emery, on the bench at Selhurst Park.Unai Emery named his son, Lander Emery, on the bench at Selhurst Park.
Unai Emery named his son, Lander Emery, on the bench at Selhurst Park.

A hat-trick from Jean Philippe-Mateta and a brace for Eberechi Eze sealed a comfortable 5-0 win but it could’ve been even more if it wasn’t for an offside goal and several near misses.

Villa won’t lose sleep over the defeat given their success this season but Emery was disappointed by the manner in which his players were dismantled. “It’s not a good result. They showed us their power and how they have played recently here,” Emery admitted.

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“We tried to keep consistent in our way, trying to be competitive in 90 minutes. More or less the first half we were creating chances. We had chances to score and equalise but in the second half we lost our energy.

“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.

“We have to an accept it. We achieved our objective, but it is important to keep being consistent. I can’t tell nothing about the players or our work. Sometimes, like when you have circumstances like today, you have to accept it.”

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