June 15, 2024


A late goal from Bafode Diakite made things far closer than Emery would have liked, but it will have given Paulo Sousa and his team confidence going into the second leg in front of their home fans. Goals from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn put Unai Emery’s side in charge in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final. Next week, Aston Villa will travel to Lille with a 2-1 lead.

After battling to victory at Villa Park in their UEFA Europa Conference League first leg, Aston Villa will go to Lille next week with a 2-1 lead.
Both of Villa’s goals came from set-pieces, with Ollie Watkins scoring again with a thunderous header and captain John McGinn scoring the second with a curling drive from the edge of the box.
However, Villa did not have an easy game against Lille, an offensive team that made Emiliano Martinez make a number of outstanding saves and had a goal disallowed by VAR for a very slight offside.
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Bafode Diakite scored a goal from a corner kick to make it 2-1 on the evening and preserve the tie heading into the second leg, giving the visitors the goal that their efforts had finally earned.
After the Greek team won the first leg of the tie 3-2, they will play either Olympiacos or Fenerbahce in the semifinals.
Group standings for the Europa Conference League
Europa Conference League schedule and standings

Speaking Point: Complete Action
Lille committed a great deal of men forward and adopted an aggressively attacking strategy that caused Villa a great deal of issues; they had no intention of pulling up in Birmingham and parking the bus.
As a result, both teams had plenty of opportunities, which led to a fast-paced, occasionally chaotic game that could have produced more than just the three goals.
Although Villa leads the tie, they are aware that Lille’s offensive style will pose a significant threat in the second leg.
EMILIANO MARTINEZ, the player of the match (ASTON VILLA),
Although Villa had some excellent football play and created some wonderful opportunities of their own, Martinez, the goalkeeper, had the most impact on this encounter by stopping Lille with a series of outstanding saves.
It was amazing how frequently the visitors were able to get through Villa’s typically tough defense throughout the first half, only to have the last line of defense deny them.
If Martinez wants to keep Villa’s European run going, he may need to give it his all in the second leg against Lille, who have some very talented attackers.
Martinez 9, Konsa 6, Diego Carlos 6, Pau Torres 7, Digne 6, Tielemans 7, Douglas Luiz 8, Bailey 7, McGinn 8, Rogers 6, Watkins 8, Duran 6, Diaby 6, Zaniolo 6. Subs: Zaniolo 6, Diaby 6, Duran 6. Q.C.
Highlights of the match: David 5, Yazici 7, Gomes 6, Cabella 6, Ribeiro 6. Lille: Chevalier 8, Tiago Santos 7, Diakité 8, Yoro 7, Ismaily 7, André 7, Bentaleb 8, Zhegrova 6, Haraldsson 8, Gudmundsson 8, David 5.

Watkins meets the deep corner headed towards the back post with a powerful header that smashes into the back of the net. Lille objects, saying that Villa should have led from the start, but the goal remains in the goal. 1-0.

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