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Sunday media watch [17.01.16]

Report: West Ham U18 2-1 Villa U18 Cissokho: I'm proud to play for Villa - and loving being back
Sunday media watch [17.01.16]

*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.

Sunday Mirror: It has taken more than half a season and may well be far too late - but at last Aston Villa have started fighting for their Premier League survival. Substitute Rudy Gestede's 75th minute shot and Mark Bunn's first half penalty save scrambled a point that stopped Shinji Okazaki taking Leicester even further clear at the top of the table. And manager Rémi Garde has now got four points in a week - as many as he had managed in his previous nine games.

Sunday Mercury: Aston Villa took a valuable point off the Premier League leaders as Rudy Gestede cancelled out Shinji Okazaki's opener. While the gap at the bottom was increased to nine points following Newcastle's win over West Ham, another positive home performance has at least kept the momentum going for the claret and blues.

Sunday Express: Rudy Gestede snatched a vital point for rock-bottom Aston Villa - to leave Leicester ace Riyah Mahrez cursing himself. Had the Algerian hotshot not missed a penalty for the second time in three games, Claudio Ranieri's Foxes would be three points clear at the top of the table. For Leicester would have been out of sight in this contest but for Mahrez's failure to convert from 12 yards. And that moment proved the turning point for Rémi Garde's strugglers, whose refusal to die without a fight was rewarded 15 minutes from time with Gestede's driven equaliser.

Star on Sunday: Rudy Gestede nicked a vital point for rock-bottom Aston Villa - to leave Leicester ace Riyad Mahrez curing himself. Had the Algeria hotshot not missed a penalty for the second time in three games, Claudio Ranieri's Foxes would be three points clear at the top of the table.

Sunday Observer: The result took Leicester to the top of the table while leaving Aston Villa with a slim chance of clambering off the bottom. But if the result was far from ideal for both sides, the home team's fightback after falling behind to a first half goal by Shinji Okazaki proved that Villa still have pride, at least. Mark Bunn saved a penalty from Riyad Mahrez before the break and Rudy Gestede equalised 15 minutes from the end. It was the least Villa deserved.


Sun on Sunday: Rudy Gestede salvaged a vital point for rock-bottom Aston Villa but admitted: "We have to win games now to stay up." Gestede cancelled out Shinji Okazaki's opener for Leicester but Villa are still nine points from safety. And he added: "We deserved more than a point. We're disappointed."

Mail on Sunday: Leicester returned to the top of the Premier League in an incident-packed match at Villa Park that saw Robert Huth lucky to escape a red card for an elbow and Jamie Vardy spark a 15-man brawl after clashing with Leandro Bacuna. Shinji Okazaki's 28th minute goal was cancelled out 15 minutes from the end by Aston Villa substitute Rudy Gestede, who appeared to handle on the way to scoring. But in between Villa were also out of luck, conceding a penalty when Aly Cissokho handled at point-blank range - Mark Bunn saved from Riyah Mahrez anyway - and seeing Hutch catch Libor Kozak in the face, which went unpunished.

Sunday Telegraph: Times have changed when a Leicester City draw is seen as a boost for Arsenal and Man City's title aspirations. This result moved Claudio Ranieri back to the top of the Premier League but it tells you everything about Leicester's remarkable campaign that it was viewed as a huge disappointment, with Riyah Mahrez likely to pay the penalty. Mahrez's second successive miss from the spot enabled Aston Villa to give themselves another sliver of hope in their attempt to secure the unlikeliest of great escapes.

Mail on Sunday: Aston Villa are hopeful of concluding a loan deal for Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy and are in talks with Bordeaux over a move for Lamine Sane.

Birmingham Mail: Arsenal and France right-back Mathieu Debuchy has admitted he has spoken to Aston Villa boss Remi Garde over the phone - but is unsure of a move to the Premier League's bottom club. Debuchy, 30, insists he's ready to leave the Gunners in search of first-team football, but is currently weighing up his next career move. Debuchy has been unfortunate with injuries since he moved to the Emirates Stadium from Newcastle in 2014, making only 12 league appearances to date.

Sky Sports: Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy is considering whether to join Aston Villa or another Premier League club on loan but has not yet decided where he will move. The Frenchman has insisted he cannot stay at Arsenal for the rest of the season, having struggled to break into the first team ahead of Hector Bellerin, but is unsure over joining Remi Garde's struggling Villans. Debuchy told French newspaper L'Equipe: "It's true that there are clubs looking to sign me and right now I'm assessing my options."

Four Four Two: Out-of-favour Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy says he needs to leave the club during the current transfer window amid interest from Aston Villa and Bayer Leverkusen. The France international has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium, having lost his place to Hector Bellerin following a long-term shoulder injury sustained last season. The former Newcastle United full-back has made just seven appearances in all competitions this term and says a move away, be it a loan or a permanent transfer, is needed ahead of the European Championship this year.

Mail on Sunday: Ashley Cole has reached an agreement with Roma to terminate his contract and is discussing a move to LA Galaxy. Cole, 35, could be joined by Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott, who has been offered a three-year deal with the MLS side.

Sun on Sunday: Aston Villa want a coach to help Rémi Garde - with Stuart Pearce among the contenders. The Premier League's bottom club are desperate to help the Frenchman's survival fight and are ready to turn to a Brit. They have tried to get ex-Manchester United No.2 Steve Round but he turned them down as he thought the role was not senior enough.

Best of the Rest

BBC Sport: West Brom midfielder James Morrison is facing up to two months out with the knee injury he picked up at Chelsea. The Scotland international, 29, was substituted in the seventh minute of Wednesday's 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge and missed Saturday's 3-0 Premier League defeat by Southampton.

Sky Sports: Roma defender Ashley Cole has accepted an offer to join LA Galaxy, Sky in Italy understands. The former Chelsea left-back has said goodbye to his team-mates at the Serie A side, having cancelled his contract with them.

BBC Sport: Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has set his team the target of reaching 79 points this season. The Premier League leaders - on 44 points - drew 1-1 at Aston Villa on Saturday, meaning Arsenal can leapfrog them with a point at Stoke on Sunday.

*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.

By @AVFCOfficial 17th January 2016
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