Unai Emery responds to John McGinn's unexpected claim about Jhon Duran

Unai Emery (right) responded to John McGinn (left) joking about Jhon Duran.Unai Emery (right) responded to John McGinn (left) joking about Jhon Duran.
Unai Emery (right) responded to John McGinn (left) joking about Jhon Duran.
Aston Villa captain John McGinn joked about ‘nightmare’ teammate Jhon Duran after the striker netted a late brace to clinch a point against Liverpool on Monday.

An unexpected hero on the night as a 79th-minute substitute on for the injured Nicolo Zaniolo, Duran’s two goals vitally levelled the scoring at 3-3. The first strike was impressive as the Colombian powered in a reverse drive from range, while the second was a little more fortuitous as Moussa Diaby’s pass flicked off his thigh and looped over Alisson Becker.

Duran has already become rather the iconic figure at Villa Park, not only for his regular involvements off the bench but also for his distinct personality. Captain John McGinn, reacting to what was a chaotic last home game of the campaign, couldn’t help but allude to his teammate’s abnormal character.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This place got us going when we got the second goal. It's a brilliant effort. Big Jhon is a bit nuts at times. He’s a nightmare sometimes to have in your team, but he’s got moments of quality,” McGinn told Sky Sports.

“Okay, the second goal [an accidental chip over Alisson] was not about quality, but the first one was a top finish. We will need to try to keep his feet on the ground the next couple of days,” McGinn said.

Emery, perhaps in anticipation of a humorous reaction, was told about his skipper’s comments in the post-match press conference. But the manager kept things serious, ignoring the funny side and instead focusing on Duran’s footballing ability.

Duran was the hero for Villa against Liverpool.Duran was the hero for Villa against Liverpool.
Duran was the hero for Villa against Liverpool.

“He’s very young, 20 years old. His potential is impossible to predict how far he is going to get. I believe in him,” Emery admitted.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s different football in Colombia, tactically the football is very different in the Premier League. We’re working with him a lot. I know he’s going to score and get chances and use his power.

“His potential is clear but we need to manage him as a young person but today I’m very happy how he helped us today because this is the consequence, we drew,” Emery continued.

Villa’s late point against Liverpool means Tottenham Hotspur must now go hell for leather against Manchester City. Spurs have to win both of their remaining fixtures - the second being away at Sheffield United - to have any chance of beating Villa to qualifying for the Champions League. It’s tantalisingly within reach.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.