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07th Dec 2023

Alex Ferguson’s comments after Aston Villa’s opening day defeat resurface

Callum Boyle

Sir Alex Ferguson

Never doubt Fergie.

It turns out that Alex Ferguson was right all along about Aston Villa.

Unai Emery’s side produced a statement win against Manchester City on Wednesday night to move up to third in the Premier League.

Leon Bailey’s second half effort extended Villa’s winning run at home to 14 games – a new record for the Birmingham club.

Their opening day 5-1 hammering to the hands of Newcastle United seems a lifetime away now and in amongst their great form, former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson’s comments about the West Midlands outfit have resurfaced.

While many were quick to write off the Villains, Ferguson tipped them to do as well as they are doing now – on the first day of the season, despite having just watched them lose by four goals.

After the game, he told NBC Sports: “To be honest with you, I watched Aston Villa and I can’t believe the scoreline. Honestly Aston Villa played fantastic football and just lost to bad goals.

“Newcastle are going to be very difficult to beat, in their own ground in particular, and their manager has done a great job there.

“It’s a surprising game, football. You can play teams off the pitch and not score – that’s what Aston Villa did.”

It seems that more are taking notice of Emery’s side too, with Pep Guardiola admitting that Villa are in the title race.

“Yes, definitely. For the way they are playing, their physicality, their speed, the bench, Unai Emery, their mid-block, set-pieces. Definitely,” he said.

Emery took over at Villa in November 2022 having built up a stacked CV at top European clubs such as Sevilla, Villareal and PSG. He won three Europa Leagues with Sevilla, another with Villareal and also won the Ligue 1 title with the Parisians.

He didn’t have as much success during his previous tenure in England, when he managed Arsenal to fifth position in the 2018/2019 season. But now, 15 matches into the season, he has Villa playing some great football, sitting pretty in third place just four points off the top after 15 games.

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