UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE Unai Emery proud of Aston Villa after booking semis spot

Unai Emery was a proud man after his Aston Villa team overcame adversity to triumph against LOSC Lille and reach the Europa Conference League semi-finals.

The visitors’ first-leg lead was wiped out in the first half before they fell behind on aggregate when Benjamin André made it 2-0 on the night. Villa kept fighting and levelled the tie with three minutes left in normal time before holding their nerve in the penalty shootout to reach the last four.

“I’m very proud of our work and very happy,” he said. “Playing quarter-finals in Europe is always very difficult. This year we’ve played against Legia Warszawa, AZ Alkmaar, HSK Zrinjski and Ajax and always it was very difficult and it was a good example for today.

“We had an advantage – 2-1 – from the first leg and I knew that it was not enough, but it was important to get an advantage from home.

“Today we struggled in the first half and we didn’t play like we are more or less playing. In the second half, we were getting better and then when they scored the second goal it was a difficult moment.

“We were always trying to keep balance and have our gameplan in our minds. We scored the goal and we had the possibility to play extra-time and penalties.”

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with en.Africatopsports.com.

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