Aston Villa have named Craig Shakespeare as their new assistant head coach in a move that will prompt further questions about the future of John Terry.

The former Chelsea captain, who has been assistant to boss Dean Smith at Villa since October 2018, has been linked with the vacant manager job at relegated Bournemouth.

While Terry's future remains unclear, Villa have secured proven Premier League experience in Shakespeare, who was assistant to Claudio Ranieri when Leicester City won the title in 2015-16 before taking over as manager between February and October 2017.

"I was keen to add some additional Premier League know-how onto my coaching team and Craig certainly has that in abundance," Smith said via Villa's website.

"He's a vastly experienced coach who will add another dimension to our team. I've known Craig for many years since our Walsall playing days and I'm really looking forward to working with him."

Villa secured Premier League survival on the final day of 2019-20, a 1-1 draw with West Ham seeing them finish a point above 18th-place Bournemouth.

Eddie Howe left the Cherries by mutual consent shortly after the season concluded and they are yet to name a replacement.

While Terry has been linked with a move to the south coast for what would be his first manager role, recent reports suggest Howe's assistant Jason Tindall is the preferred candidate.

Liverpool dominate the nominations for the Premier League Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season and Manager of the Season awards for 2019-20.

Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year Jordan Henderson, along with team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane, are up for the league's Player of the Season prize.

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy, Southampton striker Danny Ings and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope are the other nominees.

Alexander-Arnold is also up for the inaugural Young Player of the Season, as are Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Chelsea duo Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount.

There are four Manchester United players on the shortlist: Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Dean Henderson, who is on loan at Sheffield United.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp leads the nominees for the Manager of the Season prize, with Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers and Sheffield United's Chris Wilder also selected.

Frank Lampard, who took Chelsea to a fourth-place finish and lost the FA Cup final to Arsenal, is the other nominee.

Each award will be decided through a combination of fan votes and input from a panel of experts.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was named the Player of the Season in 2018-19, while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has won the manager's accolade for the past two campaigns.

Philippe Coutinho's move to Arsenal is seemingly getting close.

The Brazil international has been on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona in 2019-20, but is expected to leave Camp Nou permanently.

A return to the Premier League has been mooted.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL DEAL FOR COUTINHO IS 'ADVANCED'

A deal sending Coutinho to Arsenal from Barcelona is "more advanced", according to Sport.

The former Liverpool star would head back to England less than three years after leaving Anfield.

Coutinho has scored nine goals in 34 games for Bayern in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- There could be good news coming for Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo reports Marc-Andre ter Stegen has agreed to extend his deal at the club for five years, but there is still no financial agreement between the parties.

- Jerome Boateng's Bayern Munich future seems uncertain. Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sell the defender, who would like to extend his contract beyond 2021.

- Takefusa Kubo looks set for another loan spell away from Real Madrid. AS reports Kubo will join Villarreal on loan for 2020-21, having spent this season at Mallorca.

- Are Liverpool looking for a back-up for Andy Robertson? The Athletic reports the Premier League champions value left-back Jamal Lewis at £10million, but Norwich City will not even enter talks for less than £20m.

- Contracted at Manchester United until 2022, Tahith Chong could be heading elsewhere to gain experience. Sport Bild says Werder Bremen are in talks with United over a loan deal for the attacker.

- After losing the Championship play-off final, Brentford may also see a star depart. The Guardian reports Crystal Palace are battling with Aston Villa to sign Ollie Watkins, who scored 26 goals in 49 Championship games in 2019-20.

Will Manchester United sign Jadon Sancho or not?

That is the question dominating headlines as United reportedly negotiate with Borussia Dortmund.

This transfer saga is one to watch.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED READY TO END SANCHO PURSUIT

Manchester United are threatening to walk away from a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to reports in England.

Sancho has been tipped to swap Dortmund for United, with Bild claiming a lucrative five-year contract has been agreed as the Bundesliga outfit insist on a €120million (£108m) fee.

But Goal, Sky Sports and The Mirror say United are ready to pursue alternatives of Dortmund do not lower their demands.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Guardian reports Leicester City are trying to sign Francisco Trincao from Barcelona. Leicester have proposed a two-season loan deal with an obligation to buy for £45m (€50m). Trincao is preparing to link up with Barca after the LaLiga giants signed the 20-year-old from Braga in January.

- Premier League champions Liverpool are eyeing a move for Norwich City left-back  Jamal Lewis, says The Mirror. Lewis impressed in 2019-20 as Norwich were relegated and Liverpool are looking to wrap up a £10m deal.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Tottenham right-back Serge Aurier is open to joining Serie A side Milan.

- According to Tuttomercatoweb, Juventus are lining up possible replacements for under-fire head coach Maurizio Sarri. Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini and Luciano Spalletti have all been linked.

-  Aston Villa are aiming to keep star captain and rumoured United target Jack Grealish by offering a new contract, reports The Sun.

- Linked with United , Everton and Napoli, France Bleu Nord claims Arsenal are leading the race for Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes.

- Is Federico Chiesa set for Old Trafford? La Nazione reports United have made a €55m (£49m) offer for the Fiorentina forward, who has also been linked to Inter, Juve and Chelsea .

- Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake is poised to complete his move to Manchester City. Fabrizio Romano reports there is a total agreement and a medical will take place in the next couple of days.

Manchester United should "go and get" Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish in this transfer window, according to Ryan Giggs.

The transfer window has once again reopened and United will be able to offer potential signings Champions League football next term after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side finished in the Premier League's top four last weekend.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho, who finished with 17 league goals and 16 assists in 2019-20, has been strongly linked with a return to his homeland, having enhanced his reputation in the Bundesliga over the past three seasons since leaving Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Grealish was the standout performer for a Villa side that avoided relegation on the final day last Sunday, when he scored his eighth Premier League goal of the season to go along with his six assists for his boyhood club.

Another season of Premier League football for Villa may price Solskjaer's men out of a move for Grealish, while Sancho could command a club-record fee, yet United legend Giggs feels both fit the bill.

"[They are] two good players," Wales manager Giggs told the Webby and O'Neill YouTube channel. 

"I think the thing with Grealish is he's obviously used to the Premier League and doesn't need to adapt to it so that's good.

"For me from the outside, it looks like he's got the mentality to come to this place and not bother him. Certain players can get overawed. Also, the good thing this year is he's got 10 goals [in all competitions] and got into double figures so that would be one question mark I would have had with him: does he score enough goals?

"To get to double figures with no penalties for Villa is impressive.

"Sancho is quick, direct but also an intelligent player.

"What I like about him is when he gets into those areas with the final ball, he doesn't panic. A lot of quick wide players sometimes do but he picks out the right pass.

"He's someone who can counterattack if we're going to play that but also if a team are going to sit back, he can beat players and make things happen.

"They are two signings that may be available and if we're able to get them, I would go and get them."

Aston Villa have confirmed the appointment of Johan Lange as the club's new sporting director, following Jesus Garcia Pitarch's departure.

Pitarch – known as "Suso" – joined Villa in October 2018, but he came under fire after the club only narrowly avoided relegation despite spending in excess of £140million following their promotion from the Championship last year.

Villa announced Pitarch's departure on Tuesday, and they have moved quickly to bring in his replacement.

Lange joins from Copenhagen, having served as the Danish side's technical director for the past six years.

"Aston Villa is one of the most famous clubs in European football with a rich history, but it is also a progressive club looking to the future," Lange told the club's official website.

"I am excited and honoured to be given this opportunity to contribute to the club's ambitious strategy to become a force in Premier League football again."

One of Lange's first tasks could be to replace Jack Grealish, with Villa's captain having been heavily linked with a move away.

Aston Villa have parted company with sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch after they narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League.

Pitarch has come in for criticism over Villa's transfer business, with in excess of £140million splashed out after their promotion from the Championship 14 months ago.

Dean Smith's side finished just a point above the drop zone following a 1-1 draw at West Ham on the final day of the season last weekend.

Villa on Tuesday announced that Pitarch's near two-year stay at the club is over.

"Aston Villa can confirm that Jesus Garcia Pitarch's contract as Sporting Director has ended," a club statement said.

"Mr Pitarch, who is known as Suso, joined Aston Villa in October 2018.

"The board would like to thank Suso for his hard work in restructuring the playing squad after the change of ownership in 2018, and for setting in place foundations for future success including the reorganisation of our Academy."

 

The Premier League's longest season yet concluded on Sunday with Liverpool champions for the first time.

The Reds were comfortable in ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight title, but there was drama until the closing minutes of the final day.

Manchester United and Chelsea can celebrate Champions League qualification as the division's strugglers reflect on their contrasting fortunes.

Meanwhile, with the help of Opta data, we look at some of the quirkiest numbers from the 2019-20 campaign.


5 - David Luiz conceded five penalties in the Premier League this season, the most a player has ever given away in a single season in the competition.

167 - Jack Grealish was fouled 167 times in the 2019-20 Premier League, the most fouls won by a player in a single campaign on record (since 1998-99).

24 - Scott McTominay now has the fastest Premier League yellow card on record. He was booked just 24 seconds into Manchester United's December home win against Newcastle United.

2000 - It was a season of milestones for McTominay, who scored Manchester United's 2000th Premier League goal against Norwich City in October. They became the first club to the landmark.

27 - The Norwich class of 2019-20 became the only side not to record a single point from a losing position in Premier League history. They lost all 27 matches in which they fell behind.

4 - Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard's fourth-placed finish is the highest finish for an English manager in their debut Premier League season since Frank Clark's Nottingham Forest came third in 1994-95.

2 - Lampard's season ended well, but September's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool made him just the second Chelsea boss - after Bobby Campbell in 1988 - to lose his first four home matches in all competitions.

33 - At the age of 33, Jamie Vardy became the oldest player to win the Premier League Golden Boot, scoring 23 goals in 2019-20.

5 - Virgil van Dijk became just the fifth outfield player to play every minute for a Premier League title-winning side, following Gary Pallister (1992-93), John Terry (2014-15), Wes Morgan (2015-16) and Cesar Azpilicueta (2016-17).

2013 - Anthony Martial's June hat-trick against Sheffield United was Manchester United's first in the Premier League since Robin van Persie scored three against Aston Villa in April 2013.

7 - Martial and Marcus Rashford assisted one another a combined seven times in this season's Premier League, the most of any pairing in a single edition of the competition for Manchester United.

49 - All 49 clubs to have played in the Premier League have conceded at least one hat-trick after Raheem Sterling's three-goal haul against Brighton and Hove Albion in July.

14 - Manchester United won 14 penalties in the 2019-20 season, the most a team has ever won in a single Premier League campaign.

29 - Harry Kane is the only player to face more than one club in the Premier League and score against them all, with Sheffield United the 29th he netted against.

15 - Kevin De Bruyne ended the season with a joint-record 20 assists - tied with Thierry Henry - but he became the first player to set up 15 goals in three separate Premier League campaigns.

93 - Tottenham went a record 93 games without a goalless draw before they were held 0-0 by Watford in January.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Aston Villa were the big winners on the final day of the Premier League season.

Chelsea and United will join Liverpool and Manchester City in the Champions League next season, thanks to their respective 2-0 wins over Wolves and Leicester City.

Leicester must be content with a place in the Europa League, alongside Tottenham, while seventh-placed Wolves will wait to see whether Arsenal beat Chelsea in next weekend's FA Cup final to discover their European fate.

Wolves could yet earn a Champions League spot by winning the Europa League next month.

Jack Grealish's late goal helped Villa to a survival-sealing 1-1 draw at West Ham. Bournemouth won 3-1 at Everton and Watford lost 3-2 at Arsenal. Both the Cherries and Hornets will be playing Championship football next season.

Here, we look at how Sunday's events unfolded in England's top flight.

16:01 – Five changes for champions Liverpool and they go behind inside 25 seconds as Newcastle United striker Dwight Gayle catches the reshuffled Reds napping.

16:04 – Watford make a nightmare start to their title bid as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gives Arsenal an early lead from the penalty spot. The Gabon international was fouled by Craig Dawson.

16:12 – Wonderful touch and finish from Harry Kane to put Tottenham in front at Crystal Palace and fire their top-six ambitions.

16:13 – Another big penalty in the relegation scrap as Joshua King puts Bournemouth ahead at Goodison Park.

16:20 – OOOFFF! Nick Pope started the final day with Golden Glove ambitions, level on 15 clean sheets with Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson, but there is nothing the Burnley goalkeeper can do about a 25-yard screamer from Brighton and Hove Albion's Yves Bissouma.

16:24 – More Watford woe as Arsenal cut through their defence far too easily and Kieran Tierney applies a side-foot finish for his first Premier League goal.

16:33 – Training ground stuff from Aubameyang, who sets himself up for his own overhead kick from Tierney's corner – moving to within a goal of Jamie Vardy in the Golden Boot race. Stick a fork in Watford, they're done.

16:43 - Cancel that, there's hope for Watford! David Luiz brings his innate feel for light entertainment to the party by fouling Danny Welbeck in the box. Troy Deeney takes a Troy Deeney penalty and it goes in.

16:45 – Moise Kean tapped in from close range to level for Everton, but Dominic Solanke's stoppage-time header restores Bournemouth's lead at the break. They need a favour from West Ham, where the goalless scoreline will do Aston Villa just fine for the moment.

16:45 – Glorious behaviour from Kevin De Bruyne, who takes a touch outside the Norwich City penalty area and clips a sensational finish over Tim Krul into the top corner. Manchester City were already leading through Gabriel Jesus' 11th-minute goal.

16:48 – Chelsea are heading back to the Champions League! Frank Lampard's men strike not once, but twice in first-half stoppage time against Wolves. Three minutes after Mason Mount's sumptuous free-kick, Olivier Giroud perseveres to crown a sharp counter-attack.

17:10 – Chris Wood levelled for Burnley before half-time but Aaron Connolly restores Brighton's advantage at Turf Moor.

17:11 – Jeffrey Schlupp sends a finish soaring into the roof of the net for Palace. Opponents Spurs remain in sixth as it stands, but they are only ahead of Wolves on goal difference.

17:18 – Big moment at the King Power Stadium as Vardy flicks a header on to the top of the crossbar. Chelsea's strong showing against Wolves means it looks like Leicester must win and Manchester United must not lose as they duke it out for top-four honours.

17:18 – After Virgil van Dijk's equaliser, Divock Origi scores Liverpool's second set-piece goal of the day at Newcastle to move them towards 99 points – the second highest total in Premier League history.

17:27 – Penalty to Manchester United! Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan converge on Anthony Martial after Hamza Chowdhury gets caught in possession. VAR upholds Martin Atkinson's decision.

17:27 – Another buzz of defiance from the Hornets as Danny Welbeck scores against his old club from close range.

17:29 – Bruno Fernandes scores! Cool as you like from Manchester United's season-changing signing, who sends Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way from the spot. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men are on their way back to the Champions League.

17:29 – Danny Ings might be the Southampton striker who entered the final day with Golden Boot ambitions but Che Adams' second of the game puts Ralph Hasenhuttl's men 2-1 up from a goal down against Sheffield United.

17:37 – That's 100 Premier League goals for a third successive season for Manchester City. Raheem Sterling now has 20 of those and De Bruyne has set up 20 of them, matching Thierry Henry's single-season assist record.

17:41 – Ings converts from the spot as Southampton go 3-1 up. Like Aubameyang, he's poised to finish on 22 goals – one behind Vardy.

17:43 – David Silva is embraced by his Manchester City team-mates as he is substituted on his final Premier League appearance. Riyad Mahrez has just made it 4-0.

17:44 – Huge, gigantic, massive goal for Aston Villa! And it had to be Grealish. Lukasz Fabianski should have done better but Villa will not care at all.

17:45 – BUT WAIT! West Ham are level after Andriy Yarmolenko's shot is deflected in off… that's right, Grealish. How are your nerves?

17:48 – Two of the season's outstanding players sign off in style. De Bruyne wraps up a 5-0 City win – a result that means the Golden Glove for Ederson - with his second of the afternoon, while Sadio Mane completes a 3-1 comeback win for Liverpool at Newcastle.

17:56 – Deep, deep into stoppage time at Leicester, Jesse Lingard rubber-stamps third place for Manchester United. What on earth was Schmeichel doing?

17:59 – Full-time at Emirates Stadium and Arsenal have edged it, so Watford are down. Welbeck and Deeney had chances to equalise for Watford, but the result means Villa's players are now celebrating across London. Junior Stanislas completed a fine Bournemouth showing at Everton but the Cherries are also doomed.

Manchester United and Chelsea claimed the final two Champions League qualification spots on the Premier League's final day, while Watford and Bournemouth were relegated to the Championship. 

Frank Lampard's side beat Wolves 2-0 while United grabbed the other Champions League berth thanks to a 2-0 victory over Leicester City, who missed out on a top-four finish despite spending most of the campaign in the table's upper reaches.

A 1-1 draw at West Ham saw Aston Villa retain their top-flight status, with Bournemouth's 3-1 victory over Everton not enough to prevent them and Watford - beaten 3-2 by Arsenal - joining Norwich City in being demoted.

 

FOXES MISS OUT ON CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RETURN

Brendan Rodgers' men were 14 points clear of United as recently as January but Bruno Fernandes' 71st-minute penalty and substitute Jesse Lingard's stoppage-time strike meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side finished above Leicester after 38 games.

A draw would have been enough for Leicester to finish fourth had Chelsea been beaten by Wolves, but first-half goals from Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud ruled out that possibility early on.

Jamie Vardy, who won the golden boot with 23 goals, headed against the crossbar in the second period before Fernandes converted United's record 14th penalty of the campaign and Lingard added another to ensure a return to Europe's premier club competition, with Leicester's misery compounded by Jonny Evans' late dismissal.

 

VILLA SURVIVE DESPITE LATE DRAMA

Villa captain Jack Grealish's 84th-minute strike looked to have been enough to preserve their Premier League status - and, though Andriy Yarmolenko's deflected effort brought West Ham back level moments later - Dean Smith's team held on to avoid going straight back down at the first attempt.

Instead it was Bournemouth - a Premier League club since 2015 - who went down despite their win at Goodison Park.

Watford, who were promoted five years ago too, were also relegated having fallen 3-0 down to Arsenal inside 33 minutes, with goals from Troy Deeney and Danny Welbeck not enough to save them.

 

SPURS SEAL EUROPA LEAGUE SPOT

A 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace ensured Tottenham sealed a top-six finish and the final qualification place for next season's Europa League, as Wolves dropped down to seventh on goal difference.

As well as scoring twice, Kevin De Bruyne also equalled Thierry Henry's Premier League assist record with his 20th of the season as Manchester City thrashed Norwich 5-0 to reach 102 goals for the season.

Champions Liverpool came from behind to beat Newcastle United 3-1, Brighton and Hove Albion won 2-1 at Burnley and Southampton defeated Sheffield United 3-1.

Mikel Arteta called for Arsenal fans to calm their criticism of owner Stan Kroenke as he insisted he has the full backing of the club's board.

Arteta has led the Gunners to the FA Cup final after arriving mid-season from Manchester City, but his side can finish no higher than eighth in the Premier League after losing at Aston Villa on Tuesday.

Ahead of the game, a banner flown over Villa Park – seemingly from an Arsenal fan – read: "Back Arteta, Kroenke out."

Yet the head coach was adamant post-match he already had been backed as he professed his support for the unpopular Kroenke.

"No, no, no," Arteta told Sky Sports. "The Kroenkes and the board and the sporting director, I feel full backing with them.

"What we don't know is a lot of things, we need to wait a little bit of time to be there. But backing and support, 100 per cent, I believe that.

"Absolutely [stick with the club]. The fans have to believe what I'm saying. If not, I would not say that."

Arsenal had beaten both Liverpool and City last week before their momentum stalled against struggling Villa.

However, Arteta had no issue with the attitude of his players on Tuesday, accepting it will take time for the Gunners to return to a consistently high level of performance.

"I'm not disappointed about the attitude at all. It's where we are," he said. "I know where we are in certain moments and certain areas of the pitch where we need to improve more.

"We will get that, but we need a bit more time."

Explaining why such a flat performance – in which Arsenal failed to register a shot on target – could have followed two stunning wins, Arteta said: "It could be fatigue.

"Emotionally and physically, it's been a very demanding week. But at least I saw a team that wanted to win and fight until the end. They were trying their best."

Jack Grealish - who has been linked with Manchester United - acknowledged he is "not too sure" if he has played his final home game for Aston Villa.

Villa captain Grealish led his side to a vital 1-0 home victory over Arsenal on Tuesday, moving Dean Smith's side above Watford and out of the Premier League relegation zone. 

Regardless of his current club's top-flight status, though, the midfielder's future appears to be in some doubt. 

United have been among the clubs touted as suitors for Grealish, who could not confirm he would be back in a Villa shirt at the start of next season. 

"I'm not too sure at the moment," he told Sky Sports. "I have one aim and that's to keep this club in the Premier League. 

"This whole club, this whole stadium and fanbase knows where we belong. That's all I'm thinking about at the moment, keeping this club in the Premier League. Hopefully we can do that on Sunday." 

Trezeguet got the decisive Villa goal - his third in three matches - and Grealish still has not provided a goal or assist since the Premier League's restart. 

However, the Villa talisman felt he was back to somewhere near his best against Arsenal, including sending Keinan Davis clear for one big second-half miss. 

"It would mean everything to me [to keep Villa up]," Grealish said. "I think since we've been back, I probably haven't been as effective as I was before. 

"Truthfully, I haven't felt as fit as I did before the break, but that's no excuse. I just need to do what I know I can do. 

"I've probably done it today. I was probably unlucky not to get an assist in the end." 

Aston Villa climbed out of the Premier League's relegation zone with just one game remaining thanks to a 1-0 home win over Arsenal, ending the Gunners' slim hopes of a top-seven finish. 

Villa - who had been in the bottom three since before the season's March suspension - were faced with opponents invigorated by consecutive wins over Liverpool and Manchester City in the league and FA Cup respectively. 

But Dean Smith's men were boosted ahead of kick-off as City's comprehensive win at Watford significantly dented their fellow strugglers' goal difference. 

Victory by just a single goal would therefore take Villa above Watford at this crucial stage of the campaign - and Trezeguet's third strike in three matches - a rare unbeaten stretch - provided just that. 

Not until the 27th minute did either side enjoy a sight of goal, but the Villa winger took that first chance when it finally came. 

A corner skipped through the Arsenal box to reach the right boot of Trezeguet, who thumped a fine low finish past Emiliano Martinez.

Jack Grealish advanced from halfway to send a fierce effort just past the top-right corner shortly before half-time, while Arsenal openings remained scarce. 

Mikel Arteta's men needed three points to maintain an unlikely bid for European qualification through the league, so a response after the restart seemed inevitable. 

However, there was little improvement in the visiting ranks as Villa instead passed up a huge opportunity to double their advantage, substitute Keinan Davis wastefully lashing wide. 

Eddie Nketiah sought to punish that miss and came agonisingly close to a leveller, heading against the post before the ball dropped into Pepe Reina's arms. 

Arsenal ultimately would not muster a single shot on target, only Martinez's save denying John McGinn as Villa put their top-flight status into their own hands heading into Sunday's final day.


What does it mean? Agony to ecstasy - and vice versa 

The concession of a late equaliser to Everton's ex-Arsenal man Theo Walcott felt a mammoth blow to Villa last Thursday, but they maintained an upturn in form here and thoroughly deserved a vital win. 

Arsenal, by contrast, came back down to earth with a bump after two surprising results in their favour. The FA Cup now offers their only route into the Europa League. 

Villa's unlikely hero 

Grealish was widely expected to be the man most likely to pull Villa clear of danger when the season resumed, but he has not recorded a single goal or assist since. 

Thankfully for Villa, Trezeguet has suddenly come to the fore. The Egyptian now has as many goals in his past three Premier League games as in his previous 30. 

More set-piece woe 

Arsenal have now conceded a remarkable 21 of their 46 Premier League goals against this season from set-piece situations. They looked nervy each time Conor Hourihane stood over a corner. 

The goal was especially sloppy as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang switched off and was beaten to a near-post flick by Tyrone Mings before Trezeguet netted. 

What's next? 

Villa may yet need a result at West Ham on the final day. They will certainly hope Arsenal are much improved as the Gunners host Watford. 

Mikel Arteta is convinced Arsenal’s squad are embracing the challenge of changing the mentality in the club but says players must motivate themselves to be successful in the long term. 

Questions over the Gunners' mental strength have often been raised and Arteta saw his side come in for heavy criticism following defeats to Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion upon the Premier League's resumption last month. 

Since then, though, the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham in the north London derby is Arsenal's only reverse in their past eight matches across all competitions. 

A 2-1 triumph over Premier League champions Liverpool was followed by a disciplined and committed 2-0 win over City in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday and when asked if there has been a change in mentality, Arteta replied: "I try to convince them that without that we cannot compete with the top teams at the moment.  

"There are other areas that we have to improve a lot but if we are willing to do that throughout the game then we are going to give ourselves a big, big chance.  

"We have big moments in every game where we have enough players to make a difference for us. The trick here is they are really enjoying doing that.  

"If they do it because we have to push them all the time to do it, for me it's not the right way and we're not going to accomplish it long time.  

"If they start to enjoy doing it together, feel proud of it, they can see the results and they can sense that unity and that togetherness then it's powerful. Hopefully we can do that. 

"That takes some time and training as well and training is not one of the things we had the most since I arrived with the schedule for December, January, February and then with the lockdown. 

"We will improve on those areas as well and be more comfortable and better, I'm sure. How far and how quickly is the question in every process but I will do my best to do it as quick as possible." 

Arsenal have at times in the past been perceived as somewhat of a soft touch but Arteta believes they are heading in the right direction to change how they are viewed from the outside.

"It's one of the basics that we have to be one of the best at doing it. That criticism is sometimes fair, sometimes it's not," he added. 

"When you win obviously everything is positive. Doing very similar performances and you lose, the perception is different. But it is about what we are feeling and how we want to do it. I think that process in that sense is going in the right direction.

"I think it's in everybody's nature. Players and managers, you look at the opposition before games and you look at all the beautiful and great things they do. 

"As a manager sometimes we look and think oh no, if they do that, we're not going to be able to control that. That worry and uncertainty, I think it's always there.

"That's why for me it's so important that at least if you know the people around you are going to be doing and you have zero doubts about how they can do that together. That gives you a lot of security before going into the game."

David Luiz was among those to receive the most vocal criticism after his performance in a 3-0 defeat to City, though he has silenced his detractors with a string of impressive performances of late, not least at Wembley on Saturday. 

But Arteta does not think this sudden upturn is to do with trying to prove people wrong. 

"I think when people criticise you they are probably fair or right to do so. It happens with me I'm sure when I make decisions or get something wrong – it's part of the game," he said.  

"Individual errors you can see them in every single game. That's going to have an opinion and now with the media that we have around us it makes it even higher. But it's about bouncing back.  

"In football what you did last week – unfortunately or fortunately – it doesn't matter, it's what's going to happen in the next game. That's the mentality you have to have.  

"You start to look too much about what happened before, you tend to look more at the negative as well and I think that's a really bad thing for yourself to do.  

"David has that character as well that he can face it, he's happy to face it, happy to tell the world when he feels that way. I'm really glad that everybody can see the other side of it."

John Terry remains committed to Aston Villa despite being linked with the vacancy at Bristol City, according to Dean Smith.

Former Chelsea and England defender Terry finished his playing career at Villa before returning to the club to take up the role as Smith's assistant in October 2018.

The duo steered Villa to the Premier League via the play-offs, beating Derby County in the final, but face a fight to avoid a quick return to the second tier, sitting inside the relegation zone with two games to play.

Terry has been talked up as a candidate to take charge at Championship side Bristol City, who parted company with Lee Johnson earlier in July, but Smith remains calm amid the speculation.

"I answered this a couple of weeks ago," the Villa boss told the media, per Sky Sports.

"I spoke to JT about the Bristol City link and he said no. He's fully focused on the job here. We've got a good working relationship – and a good relationship away from work as well.  

"He's fully focused on Aston Villa and we really enjoy working together."

Villa are 18th in the table - three points behind nearest rivals Watford - ahead of Tuesday's home game against FA Cup finalists Arsenal.

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