Olof Mellberg has thrown down the gauntlet to his Aston Villa teammates after defeat at Manchester City on Sunday.

The Swedish defender said: "The good players and good teams sustain their performances and that's what we need to work on. Now we must prove everyone wrong and show that this performance was a one-off. We have a good team and I think we can do well. Hopefully, we can show that on Sunday."

Villa lacked "spark" according to Martin O'Neill and Laursen was similarly unable to fathom the mediocre display.

"I don't know why we were below par, it was a team thing," he said. "It was disappointing after a great result and performance against Chelsea. We wanted to play well again to prove that it wasn't a one-off.

"It was also disappointing because I didn't think we played that well. We created some chances and perhaps could have scored a goal or two, but overall we weren't that good."