Monday media watch [15.02.16]
Daily Star: Leeds are ready to offer goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell a new deal, according to reports. The Yorkshire Post claim the Championship outfit plan to offer the youngster a new deal amidst interest from the Premier League. Aston Villa and Everton are both understood to be monitoring his availability. But United rate the 19-year-old highly and are desperate to keep hold of their coveted starlet.
ClubCall: Aston Villa scouts watched five potential summer transfer targets in Athens at the weekend, according to reports in Greece. Villa had a scout present at the top-of-the-table clash between AEK Athens and Olympiakos on Saturday, with Novasports reporting that four players on show could be of interest to Rémi Garde. All four were in the Olympiakos side that lost 1-0 - although they remain 16 points clear at the top of the Super League table. Left-back Arthur Masuaku is French and will be someone Garde ought to know from his time at Valenciennes prior to his switch to Greece. The 22-year-old has been almost an ever present for the Greek champions this season and has started in 11 of their 12 Champions League matches over the past two seasons.
Birmingham Mail: Villa suffered their heaviest defeat in Premier League history after the most humiliating defensive display of the season allowed Liverpool to run riot. The home side effectively ended their slender hopes of survival with a woeful performance that was bereft of quality, especially at the back. Goals from Daniel Sturridge, James Milner, Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathanial Clyne and Kolo Toure sealed the easiest win Liverpool will ever record. It was so comfortable that even eccentric Reds boss Jürgen Klopp couldn't bring himself to celebrate half of the goals.
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde has apologised to the Villa fans for his side's heaviest home defeat in Premier League history. In an emotional post-match press conference, Garde refused to clarify his position at the club when he was asked, simply saying he would not take any more questions. Villa were battered by Liverpool and left Garde 'humiliated' at the final whistle. Around half of the 35,798 inside Villa Park departed before the end but a few thousand stayed to applaud their rock-bottom side.
The Sun: Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher branded Aston Villa the worst Premier League team ever. And that was based on their better 45 minutes - by full-time his scathing assessment seemed way too generous. Daniel Sturridge and James Milner underlined Villa's woes as they struck to put the Reds 2-0 up at the break. And Sky pundit Carragher quickly laid into the once-proud Midlanders.
The Times: For the second weekend in succession, Liverpool prompted a mass exodus from one of English football's great stadiums. Last Saturday it was Anfield, with supporters protesting at ticket prices, yesterday it was Villa Park as the home fans walked out in disgust at a 6-0 loss that Rémi Garde admitted was the worst of his managerial career.
The Times: Joleon Lescott found himself at the centre of a Twitter uproar after tweeting a picture of a luxury sports car in the immediate aftermath of Aston Villa's 6-0 loss to Liverpool, a defeat that a humiliated Remi Garde conceded was the worst of his managerial career. Although Lescott subsequently claimed the photograph gad been posted in error, the image of a Mercedes-Benz S63, a car with an on-the-road price of £125,000, prompted a furious reaction from Villa fans still reeling from their club's worst home defeat for 81 years.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side emerged successfully from a crucial mental test as they came from behind to beat 10-man Premier League leaders Leicester at Emirates Stadium. Substitute Danny Welbeck scored an injury-time winner on his first appearance since April 2015 after Jamie Vardy's disputed penalty put the Foxes ahead before Theo Walcott equalised. Now two points behind Leicester, Wenger said: "It was a serious mental test because we found ourselves 1-0 down against a team that defends so well." Wenger celebrated on the touchline at the end while the Gunners players mobbed the returning Welbeck.
Sky Sports: Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has given his players a week off to recharge their batteries ahead of the Premier League title run-in. City are top of the table, two points ahead of Tottenham, going into the last 12 games of the season. They went down 2-1 at Arsenal on Sunday, Danny Welbeck scoring a last-gasp winner at the Emirates, but that defeat followed impressive victories over Liverpool and Manchester City in their previous two matches as their fairytale bid for the title goes on.
BBC Sport: Manchester City "would be stupid to forget their history" and not fight for the title, says Vincent Kompany. City lost 2-1 at home to title rivals Tottenham and lie in fourth, six points off leaders Leicester. A contentious Harry Kane penalty gave Spurs the lead, before Kelechi Iheanacho equalised, but Christian Eriksen scored the winner late on.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.