John McGinn insists Villa will keep feet on ground after another impressive win

John McGinn scored the winner against Arsenal (Jacob King/PA)
John McGinn scored the winner against Arsenal (Jacob King/PA)

John McGinn insists Aston Villa will remain level-headed despite being touted as Premier League title contenders.

Villa captain McGinn scored the winner as Unai Emery’s side beat Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday evening to move two points off the top of the table.

The victory also extended Villa’s winning league run at home to a club-record 15 games.

The fighting victory over Arsenal came just three days after reigning champions Manchester City fell by the same scoreline at Villa Park, leading plenty of voices to install Villa firmly into the title race this season.

John McGinn
John McGinn scored Villa’s winner (Jacob King/PA)

“It’s a huge win but we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground,” McGinn told VillaTV.

“These teams are used to being up and around there and we’re not. We need to try and manage the games as best we can going into a really busy spell.”

Former Gunners boss Emery said he had to be “clinical” with his substitutions having opted to name the same Villa starting XI in both games.

The tiredness in some of his players was clear to see as Saturday’s clash progressed, but Villa held on and McGinn was keen to praise the effort of the whole squad.

“A big shout to all the boys who came on,” he added.

“It’s not easy coming into a game like that. Arsenal have scored a lot of late goals this season, so we had to be switched on and really concentrate.

“The tiredness from the past two weeks started to kick in and there were some dead bodies out there – me included – but it was an absolutely monumental effort. It wasn’t pretty at times but they’re a great side. What a week.”

Arsenal thought they had salvaged a point when Kai Havertz bundled home from close range in the last minute, only for his effort to be chalked off for handball.

It was another contentious decision that went against Mikel Arteta’s side – with the Spaniard refusing to be drawn on either that call or a strong penalty claim for a foul on Gabriel Jesus that was ultimately waved away by referee Jarred Gillett and the VAR.

Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz had a goal ruled out late on (Jacob King/PA)

The result meant Arsenal slipped off the top of the table but captain Martin Odegaard, who missed two of a number of fine chances for the visitors, said heads will not be allowed to drop following the setback.

“We have to look to the next one,” he said.

“The games are coming so quickly now so it’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to get back to working hard to improve and bounce back in the next game, and that’s what we’re going to do now.

“I think we didn’t deserve to lose this game, but at the same time, we could have done better, especially in front of the goals. We gave them an easy goal and we were a bit sloppy in front of goal as well, so it’s annoying and frustrating.”