sport

Lambert takes the positives

Paul Lambert took the positives from Aston Villa's second-half performance in the 2-1 defeat by Arsenal after confirming Nathan Baker suffered concussion.

Quick-fire goals from Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead at half-time before Christian Benteke's header sparked a late Villa rally.

However, Villa were unable to find an equaliser as the defeat leaves Lambert's side 11th in the Premier League table, five points above the bottom three.

"I think we were the better side in the second half and we got the goal I thought we deserved," Lambert told Sky Sports. "We hemmed them in and it's not an easy thing to do.

"In the first half, we lost Nathan at a really poor time and that rocked us a bit. The two goals, one after the other, puts you on the back foot, but the response in the second half, I can't compliment us high enough for that."

Villa defender Baker was stretchered off on 21 minutes after he was struck in the face by a shot from Arsenal teenager Serge Gnabry.

Lambert added: "He was out cold and concussed, which was a blow for us as he's been playing well. You've got to readjust and we got caught with two poor goals.

"Nathan's okay, I've spoken to him. He couldn't remember a thing and, when you get concussion, it's dangerous, so the best thing is to take him off."

Benteke's goal was his first for Villa in four months and Lambert is now hoping the Belgium international striker can hit a purple patch.

"This time last year he was on a run of scoring goal after goal after goal," said Lambert. "I hope that gives him confidence.

"It was a great ball from Matt Lowton and a great header."