Unai Emery Aston Villa 2023-24 GFXGetty

More points than Pep Guardiola after 50 games! Why Aston Villa's Unai Emery is gunning for Premier League manager of the year

Unai Emery began his post-match interview with his customary "Good evening". It was much better than that, though. Try 'great'. Or 'historic' even. Talk to any Aston Villa fan that was present for Wednesday night's victory over Manchester City and they'll tell you it was one of the finest performances they've seen from their side in the Premier League era.

The hosts didn't just beat the champions; they outplayed them. It was a 1-0 hammering; a record-breaking beating. Villa had 22 shots on goal; City were restricted to just two - both of which arrived in the 11th minute.

Think about that for a second: the treble-winners didn't trouble their opponents' goalkeeper for the remaining 80-odd minutes of the game. They didn't even apply any serious pressure, failing to force a single corner.

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When have you ever seen a Pep Guardiola side dominated in such fashion? Never, is the answer. We're talking about the worst numbers ever posted by a side coached by the Catalan across Europe's 'Big Five' leagues.

Obviously, Villa's players deserve enormous credit for the way in which they went about dismantling the champions. Their energy levels were astounding. They ran City ragged for 90 minutes, pressing them to death in the final third.

However, the mastermind behind the best performance of the Premier League season so far was Emery, the best manager of the Premier League season so far.