John McGinn of Aston Villa celebrates following the team's victory during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal FC at Villa Park on December 09, 2023.
Aston Villa captain John McGinn.
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John McGinn bans Premier League title talk as Aston Villa upset Arsenal 

Aston Villa captain John McGinn is not entertaining talk of Aston Villa being in the Premier League title race after beating Arsenal at Villa Park on Saturday evening. 

The Scottish midfielder scored the only goal of the game after some terrific play from Leon Bailey as the Birmingham outfit held on for a massive victory.

McGinn admitted that Villa weren’t at their best against the Gunners, who were league leaders heading into the match, but praised his side’s determination to get over the line after playing four games in ten days.

“That was actually a really tough spell for us,” he told Sky Sports. “We played Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday and I think it showed in our performance tonight, it wasn’t our best but I’m certainly not complaining.

“The second half was a bit of character, a bit of grit and fair play to the substitutes who’ve come on. A couple of them haven’t played for a long time and dug right in there.

“Arsenal have made a habit of scoring late goals and it was up to us to keep concentrated. What a monumental week it has been for us.

“We had the best of the first 20 minutes up until we scored. I don’t know what happened after that but Arsenal seemed to get a foot in the game, controlled it a lot more and they’re a top quality team so their manager adjusted a few things. Did it work? Maybe, maybe not. They had a lot of the ball but not too many clear cut chances.

“Credit to us for not playing as well as we did on Wednesday night but clean sheet against the two best teams in the league in my opinion and another huge win.”

Aston Villa lie third in the Premier League table, just two points off new leaders Liverpool, after beating reigning champions Manchester City and Arsenal in the same week. But McGinn refused to drawn on whether they can challenge for top spot themselves.

“I’m banning the T-word! It’s gameweek 16 so there’s a long, long way to go. We respect everyone around us who have been in these positions for years. They’re so experienced in it, we’re newbies. Can we keep it up? Hopefully.”

Read – The fastest players to 150 Premier League goals

See Also – Five of the best Premier League games of the season so far

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