Emi Buendia selflessness in Villa victory smells like team spirit to Unai Emery
Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery praised the team spirit which saw Emi Buendia hand penalty duties to Ollie Watkins to allow the striker to score the decisive opener in a 2-0 win at Everton.
Buendia, who would later fire home the second to end their three-match losing run, had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes when Idrissa Gana Gueye brought down John McGinn.
But having picked up the ball he offered it to Watkins, whose conversion from the spot made him the first player since since Paul Rideout in January 1985 to score in five successive top-flight games.
“It was very good the decision of Buendia letting him have the ball to score and this is the spirit we want,” said Emery.
“I don’t want to select the penalty shooter each match, I prefer to speak with them, the specialists like they are, and try to share in different moments to shoot the penalty.
“Today was the day for Ollie Watkins, clear. It was a very good three points for us.”
The one cloud for Emery was the news that absent playmaker Philippe Coutinho is unlikely to play again until after the international break.
“It is a muscular injury, I think one month more or less he is going to be out,” he said.
Things were even worse for Everton, however, who with a better cutting edge up front would have had every chance of making it three successive home wins for Sean Dyche since taking over.
However, the new boss has discovered that the club’s season-long problem of goalscoring when Dominic Calvert-Lewin, out injured again, is not available is not easy to solve.
“A large part of the performance was right by the individuals, was right by the team,” said Dyche, whose side dropped back into the bottom three.
“The details in both boxes are forever the most important thing in football. You can talk about all the rest but getting the details right is something which has to continue to be a work in progress.
“It hasn’t been right here all season, that is quite obvious. We have corrected it somewhat but we have to keep working continuously on that.
“Finding those big moments is the proof in the pudding and finding the freedom in the top third is what we have to continue working on the training ground to find.”