Unai Emery savours ‘special’ Villa Park atmosphere in rout of Brighton
Ollie Watkins’ hat-trick fired Aston Villa to a 6-1 win.
Aston Villa boss Unai Emery feels there is a special atmosphere brewing at Villa Park after his side romped to a remarkable 6-1 win against Brighton.
A hat-trick from Ollie Watkins and further strikes from Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz, as well as Pervis Estupinan’s own goal, helped Emery’s side secure a 10th successive league win at home.
Despite Brighton’s Ansu Fati briefly reducing the deficit to 3-1 at the start of the second half, Villa were at their clinical best to leapfrog the Seagulls in the table and extend their winning streak at home.
Emery said: “We have to feel something special at Villa Park and try to create a positive energy between us and the supporters and try to work on the pitch to connect with them.
“We want to compete the same at home and away, we will need time to build the team to be consistent but at home we feel strong with our supporters and the energy the supporters are transmitting to us, we need to keep being consistent at home.
“Ollie Watkins is committed to the club, he is very happy here and we are very happy with him, he works hard every day and tries to learn every day. He did very good work scoring goals and working defensively to help the team.
“We have to be very demanding and try to improve every day, each match is going to demand different things, we have to be ready and be strong in our work to be successful.”
Villa blew Brighton away with three quickfire goals in the first half as Watkins scored the opener on 14 minutes with a close-range finish before netting again on 21 minutes with a low effort past Jason Steele at his near post.
Estupinan’s own goal on 26 minutes put Villa in command before Albion responded when half-time substitute Fati scored his first goal for the club five minutes into the second half.
However, Watkins completed his hat-trick on 65 minutes with a deflected effort before Ramsey curled home on 85 minutes and Luiz rounded off the scoring seven minutes into injury time to inflict a heavy defeat on the Seagulls.
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi said: “Everything [went wrong], we played very bad.
“It’s not a problem of our physical condition, first and foremost when we lose this type of game it’s my responsibility. If you lose 6-1, the biggest responsibility is of the coach.
“We are not ready to compete and to play every three days, I’m trying to manage in different ways to keep the physical energy [up].
“The physical energy is not enough, in football you have to be ready to give your all and your best in the head in the mentality. We can’t lose every tackle, every duel and every second ball otherwise you lose the game in this way.
“But I believe in my players because I have big confidence in the people inside of my dressing room, we are suffering a lot for this defeat but this can happen sometimes if you are not ready and you have to adapt quickly.
“We have to learn. We are suffering, it’s a very bad day but maybe one of the most important days – we want to reach this level.”