Lambert praises second-half Arsenal showing

The Aston Villa manager commended his side's battling display after falling two goals behind in a 2-1 loss at Villa Park, while also hinted at a move for Wigan striker Grant Holt
Paul Lambert lauded Aston Villa's second-half display as they gave high-flying Arsenal a fright in Monday's 2-1 Premier League loss.

Villa proved tough to break down until a quick-fire double from Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere in the first half put Arsenal into the lead at Villa Park.

The hosts almost mounted a late comeback, however, as Christian Benteke stooped low to head home Matthew Lowton's superb cross and end an 11-game drought without a goal in the Premier League.

That goal reinvigorated the hosts, who applied plenty of pressure in the closing stages, but were unable to find the leveller.

And Lambert was thrilled with the response of his side after the break: "Second half we were excellent," he said.

"We looked great and a real threat. We were lifted by the goal, it's not easy playing Arsenal, they are title contenders but everybody can see we gave them a game.

"You have to give us credit. We came into it but we might have snuck a draw."

Lambert also hinted at a move for Grant Holt, a player he managed in his time as manager at Norwich.

"There's things going on at the minute with a few [players]," the Scot told Sky Sports. "We'll try and get things done.

"I know Grant from my Norwich days and he was brilliant for us. [It is a] couple of years later, we'll see."

Holt, 32, has scored twice in 21 appearances for Wigan this season.

The Scot went on to confirm centre-back Nathan Baker had suffered a concussion after taking a blow in the face from a Serge Gnabry strike in the first half, an incident he felt had hindered his side's progress.

He added: "Nathan Baker was concussed, he took a blow to the side of his head. That was dangerous and it rocked us a bit, we had worked all week on the system but thankfully he's a lot better.

"He throws himself into things, that's what he does."