Gerrard lavishes praise on 'little warrior' Buendia

Steven Gerrard was delighted with Emi Buendia after he was Aston Villa's match winner at Everton

Steven Gerrard was delighted with Emi Buendia after his match-winning role for Aston Villa at Everton - Credit: PA

Steven Gerrard reckons Emi Buendia is his ‘little warrior’ after Norwich City’s club record transfer sale proved the match winner in Aston Villa’s 1-0 Premier League weekend win at Everton. 

Buendia has gone from strength to strength since Gerrard arrived at Villa Park to replace Canaries’ head coach Dean Smith, and glanced home a near post header to decide Saturday lunchtime’s top flight game against the Toffees. 

The 25-year-old was recently called up again by Argentina for World Cup qualifiers, and has now notched two goals in 19 league appearances since his initial £33m move from the Canaries. 

"He's a little warrior. He's going up for headers with players that are a foot taller than him. But that's what I love about him, as he's all in,” said Gerrard. 

"He will get the headlines but I think that was our strongest performance when you think about what you have to do to get a win." 

Buendia’s header sealed Villa’s first victory since a 2-0 league win at his old club in December.  

“It’s an incredible result for us, massive three points,” he said, in his post-match media interviews. “We came into a really difficult game because they are a strong team, just in a difficult situation. 

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“They changed their manager so we knew before the game it would be tough and I think we battled very, very well over the 90 minutes. A difficult atmosphere. 

“We work on it at the training ground to try and have these chances with our set piece coach. 

“I had it against Manchester United, it was close in the last game, here it was in, so I can help the team. I’m really pleased.

"You can take a lot of confidence from winning these type of games. We want to climb the table and now we can go into this break in a better position.”