Unai Emery warns LOSC Lille after Paulo Fonseca berates Aston Villa

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Unai Emery and Paulo Fonseca spoke passionately in the press conference after Aston Villa 2-1 LOSC Lille.

Unai Emery has warned Aston Villa are thoroughly prepared to go the distance to advance in the UEFA Europa Conference League after narrowly beating LOSC Lille 2-1 on Thursday night.

The Villans have a slender advantage before the second leg in France but a vulnerable one as Lille impressed at Villa Park, often surpassing the press and forcing Emiliano Martinez into an array of last-ditch saves. Emery is well aware the tie could quickly turn in Les Dogues favour next Thursday, so he’s apprised the opposition well in advance about his team’s stamina and determination.

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“We are ready to play another 90 minutes, we played the first 90 minutes and didn’t control the game like we wanted and were defensively doing more work than we prepared before because we wanted to take control of the game. But with the respect we have for them, they showed it,” Emery said post-match.

“The result is tight but I think more or less it was fair for both teams. Now, another 90 minutes to enjoy playing Europe. We’re ready to play 90 minutes, or even extra time, or even a penalty shoot-out because everything in this moment is difficult. Sometimes we are working on them,” Emery continued.

Emery's side are well prepared to go the distance against Lille if required.Emery's side are well prepared to go the distance against Lille if required.
Emery's side are well prepared to go the distance against Lille if required.

While Villa’s head coach is focused on sealing the deal next week, Lille’s boss Paulo Fonseca remains frustrated by the refereeing standards. The Portuguese, unafraid to rebuke Emery’s set-piece tactics, believes one of his defenders was fouled by Morgan Rogers for Ollie Watkins’ opening goal.

“I have to say one thing, I don’t understand what’s happening at the moment, I don’t understand how it’s possible to foul in the area, the first foul was a foul on the first goal,” an infuriated Fonseca said in the Villa Park press room.

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“I understand it’s difficult for the referee but with VAR it’s incredible they miss these things. It’s not good what’s going on for football here, they must look at what’s going on at the moment. It’s not football, it’s blocking like in basketball. The first goal was a clear foul and a clear block,” Fonseca continued, berating Villa and the officials.

Tensions spilled over on Thursday night as two of Villa’s coaching staff were shown red cards at half time while several yellows were brandished to players for shirt tugs and cynical fouls. The passion is expected to continue next week as Villa visit Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

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