Villa’s Emery rues loss vs Man Utd after ‘brilliant’ season so far

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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery said his side lost an “amazing opportunity” to seize all three points against Manchester United after the Midlands club surrendered a two-goal lead in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Villa suffered their first defeat in 11 games in all competitions as sixth-placed United came back from behind to win 3-2 at Old Trafford.

Villa, third after picking 39 points from 19 games, missed a chance to move even on points with league-leaders Liverpool.

“It’s the first half of the season and it’s been brilliant the way we did. We lost an amazing opportunity tonight to be with three points more after the first 60 minutes we played,” Emery said.

Emery, who has transformed Villa in a little more than a year since replacing England great Steven Gerrard, said they want to quickly put the disappointing result behind them when they host promoted Burnley, sitting 19th, at Villa Park on Saturday.

“The players were disappointed but our reaction can be against Burnley on Saturday, this is our next challenge we have to face after the result we had tonight,” he said.

“It’s very important to be strong with our form, with our supporters like we were being. It’s important to recover the mentality and the physicality of the players for Saturday.

“After the result we had tonight that’s a bit more difficult, but we have a lot of positive things in our way to be optimistic.”