John McGinn’s early goal led surging Aston Villa to a club-record 15th consecutive home Premier League victory on Saturday, a breathless 1-0 win over Arsenal that prevented Mikel Arteta’s Gunners from reclaiming top spot in the table.
Unai Emery’s Villa who shocked champions Manchester City in a dominant 1-0 win on Wednesday as part of what McGinn called a “monumental week,” are now third on 35 points.
“I’m banning the T-word,” a laughing McGinn told Sky Sports, when asked if Villa were title contenders. “It’s game week 16, so there’s a long, long way to go, and we respect everyone in front of us who have been in this position for years. We’re newbies. Can we keep it up? Hopefully.”
Emery also cautioned that the season was young.
“I will speak when we are in (week) 30, 32, and if we are in the same position then as we are now, I can speak about (the title race),” he said.
Villa Park was rocking in the seventh minute after Leon Bailey sprinted down the right wing before cutting back the ball and picking out McGinn. Villa’s captain took one touch, turned sharply and fired past keeper David Raya.
Arsenal thought they had equalised in added time before VAR determined Kai Havertz had handled the ball while firing it past keeper Emi Martinez from a goalmouth scramble.
Emery said he had never before achieved 15 straight home wins in his managerial career.
“I think I will not again achieve (it) in the future; it’s amazing, it’s brilliant,” said the former Arsenal manager.
“I thought we were the better team and didn’t deserve to lose the game but this is football,” Arteta said.
“We have to put the ball in the net, and that’s the only thing that we missed today because we generated some big, big chances, but we still lost the game.”