2023/24 season review: November


Ollie Watkins

Aston Villa enjoyed an impressive November as they claimed victory in four of their five matches.

The month didn’t get off to a great start, however, as the Villans saw their six-match unbeaten Premier League run ended courtesy of a 2-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest at The City Ground.

OIa Aina’s early finish put The Reds into a lead which was doubled by Orel Mangala at the start of the second half.

However, Unai Emery’s side didn’t have to wait long to bounce back as Diego Carlos and Ollie Watkins were on target four days later to help secure a 2-1 victory against AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Diego Carlos

Centre-back Carlos rose highest to head home Leon Bailey’s corner and register his first goal for the club, cancelling out Vangelis Pavlidis’ 52nd-minute opener.

Watkins, with nine minutes remaining, then nodded in his 10th of the season to cap the comeback and leave Villa level on nine points at the top of Group E with Legia Warszawa.

Speaking after the match, Emery said: “It’s always very special here at Villa Park, and we are in Europe trying to enjoy the moments we are playing here with our fans.

“Winning like today is fantastic. We have to be proud of the atmosphere we are creating here, trying to enjoy and feel something different in Europe.”

Aston Villa v Fulham

And Villa returned to winnings ways in the top flight just days later as they recorded a 13th consecutive Premier League home success via a 3-1 triumph over Fulham.

Youri Tielemans saw his cross turned in by Antonee Robinson before further goals from John McGinn and Watkins.

Raul Jiménez pulled one back for the visitors but Villa went into the international break on a high.

And they continued where they left off when domestic matters resumed, coming from behind to register a superb 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the capital.

Pau Torres

Watkins’ 12th goal of the season in all competitions just after the hour mark secured all three points from a high-tempo, end-to-end clash in north London.

Pau Torres’ header deep into first-half injury time had earlier levelled matters at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after Giovani Lo Celso’s deflected opener in the 22nd minute.

It ensured the high-flying Villans had lost just one of their last 10 matches in all competitions, winning eight, and had taken 22 points from the last 27 on offer.

Captain McGinn said: “Confidence is sky high, but it’s my job, it’s everyone at the club’s job, the manager, the staff – let’s try and keep a lid on things at the minute, show a bit of humility, respect the league.

“Of course we’re excited, there’s no getting away from that. But we need to keep going, there’s a few big games coming up in the next couple of weeks.

“And we’ll see where we are after that.”

Villa duly rounded off a successful November in style as Álex Moreno marked his return from injury with his first goal for the club – clinching a crucial 2-1 victory over Legia Warszawa.

The big three points saw Villa take control of Europa Conference League Group E, with progress to the knockout stages also secured.

Moussa Diaby had earlier curled Villa into an early lead with his fourth goal of the season, only for Ernest Muci, who bagged a brace when Legia triumphed 3-2 on matchday one, to level matters midway through the first half.

The triumph continued Villa’s impressive form, with nine wins in 11 matches in all competitions heading into a Premier League trip to AFC Bournemouth in early December.

Álex Moreno

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