Aston Villa can take heart from their second-half performance against Manchester United on Monday night.
That is the view of captain Ron Vlaar, who has insisted there were positives for relegation-threatened Villa to take from their 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford.
Robin van Persie fired United to the Premier League title with a first-half hat-trick, but Paul Lambert’s men played well in the second 45 minutes – a response Vlaar believes should stand them in good stead for their vital relegation clash with Sunderland next Monday.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the 28-year-old said the fact his team did not capitulate in the manner of their 8-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge earlier this season shows the team has improved.
“We all know what happened at Chelsea and it didn’t happen this time … after 10-15 minutes the game was over but we have to go on and what we showed in the second half was a lot better,” the ex-Feyenoord defender said.
Vlaar explained that Villa made life more difficult for United in the second half by retaining possession and squeezing the space the champions had to work in and called on his team-mates to play the same way for 90 minutes against Sunderland.