Aston Villa's home woes continue under Paul Lambertby Jack Kitson / 14 January 2014, 10:35Tweet
Aston Villa’s defeat at home to Arsenal on Monday means they now have just one win to their name from their last eight games in all competitions, a dire run which has seen the stuttering Midlands club suffer six defeats, including a shock 2-1 loss at home to Sheffield United in the FA Cup.
No one associated with the club needs reminding that Villa’s form at Villa Park has been atrocious. Paul Lambert’s troops have scraped together only two wins from 11 league games in front of their home fans. During that time they have registered a pitiful eight points, which is their worst ever top-flight tally - since three points for a win - at this stage in the season.
On the face of it Villa's 11th place standing may look reasonably respectable, but on closer inspection one will find that only six points separates them from rock-bottom Crystal Palace, while they are just five above the bottom three. This season's fight for survival is set to be the most nerve-shredding in Premier League history, and if Villa's shocking form continues they will be dragged right back into the mix come the end of January.
The games don't come any easier with Villa travelling to high-flying Liverpool on Saturday. The free-scoring Reds have enjoyed a cracking season to date, especially at Anfield, where they have won nine out of 10 league games. Meanwhile crunch matches against relegation rivals West Brom, West Ham and Cardiff are on the horizon.
Further defeats will really pile the pressure on Lambert. The Scot enjoys a decent relationship with chairman Randy Lerner, but there is no hiding in the Premier League Sack Race, with Lambert now the 4/1 - cut from 9/1 - second favourite with Sky Bet behind the odds-n favourite Sam Allardyce.
If Villa can play like they did during the closing stages of their defeat to Arsenal then they will be safe. The hosts had the Gunners on the ropes towards the end of the game, however, as so often has been the case this season, their complacency earlier in the match ultimately cost them from, with Arsenal earlier finding the back of the net twice in the space of 59 seconds. One positive for Villa is that the under-performing Christian Benteke grabbed his first goal in 14 hours and 45 minutes, which supporters will be desperately hoping reinvigorates the striker, after all his goals could be their only chance of survival