Report: Arsenal 3 – 2 Aston Villa (inc. goals)

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Arsenal XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Xhaka (72), Guendouzi, Ceballos (72), Pepe, Aubameyang, Saka (45).

Subs: Ozil, Martinez, Chambers (45), Torreira (72), Nelson, Willock (72), Martinelli

In a thrilling match that displayed everything amazing and terrible about the game of football, 10-men Arsenal came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in a memorable Premier League fixture.

The free-flowing nature of the match against Eintracht Frankfurt seemed to carry over to the Emirates as both sides wasted no time getting after each other’s defence. Aston Villa looked like a team that had waited all week just to get a piece of us, as they followed in the footsteps of Watford who’d managed 31 shots on Sunday.

John McGinn’s shot from outside the box on five minutes didn’t trouble Bernd Leno, but it set the mood as supporters continued to find their seats.

We started to settle down and built several decent moves but our end product was lacking. At the back, Ainsley Maitland-Niles picked up an early yellow; one that would later prove costly.

A deflected Nicolas Pepe shot that Kolasinac headed across goal found Aubameyang but the golden boot winner couldn’t shuffle it out from under his feet and it squirted out for a goal kick.

A few moments later Nicolas Pepe showed why fans have been incredibly excited about the arrival of the Ivorian, while also holding a bit of concern in the back of their mind. A quick hesitation move allowed Pepe to blow past his man but his shot was deflected and it looped over the goal. The Ivorian will be in Neil Taylor’s nightmares for a good while after what he had to endure today.

It seemed like Arsenal had all of the momentum when John McGinn slotted a curling cross past Bernd Leno in the 20th minute. His second goal in North London already in this young season so far. McGinn slips past Matteo Guendouzi and in-between David Luiz and Sokratis for a textbook finish, leaving Arsenal defenders flatfooted and stunned.

https://twitter.com/arsenalist/status/1175800160951164928

Arsenal did a decent job of responding to Villa’s goal, as Saka’s right-footed shot just skimmed over the crossbar a few moments after the 25 minute mark.

It was almost a mirror image from his goal earlier this week, as the young Hale End product continued to seamlessly dovetail into the front three as his movement, vision, and bravery continued to stand out. Taking on Premier League fullbacks with no hesitation, and not just with pace but throwing his body as well. An absolutely fearless week of football from Saka.

Granit Xhaka picked up a yellow card around midfield in what was an almost identical sort of tackle as the one he placed in Arsenal’s own box against Brighton last spring. Grabbing Jack Grealish’s shoulder as he romped through the midfield, putting the Swiss midfielder under the microscope for the remainder of the game.

At the 38 minute mark, Ainsley Maitland-Niles goes to ground for a 50/50 ball that saw the young Englishman take out Neil Taylor which would be his second yellow and would end the afternoon for our patchwork right back. Arsenal go down to 10 men.

Sokratis goes down and is holding his face a few minutes before the halftime whistle as an apparent bust up between him and Aston Villa’s Wesley Moraes turns out to be our Greek defender trying to goad the referee into giving Aston Villa a card.

A card is brandished just moments later in the 44th minute as Matteo Guendouzi picked up a needless yellow card. The first half ends with Arsenal down a man, down a goal, both defensive midfielders on yellow cards, and with the North London faithful directing an array of boos and whistles toward John Moss as he walked into the tunnel.

Saka is substituted for Calum Chambers at halftime in order to shore up the back.

Granit Xhaka is almost booked a second time just minutes into the second half as the physicality and engines of McGinn and Grealish continued to provide problems for the the Arsenal midfield that looks like they are struggling to just stay afloat.

Arsenal still had attacking moments even with a disadvantage, as the pace of Aubameyang and Pepe on the wings proved to still be a dangerous threat.

That quality and pace kept Aston Villa off balance, and in the 59th minute it allowed a bursting Matteo Guendouzi to get chopped down by Aston Villas Trezeguet. A quick VAR check confirmed what everyone already knew. Penalty to Arsenal.

Nicolas Pepe stepped up to the spot, and channeled his inner Aubameyang and placed it directly down the middle, officially opening his Arsenal scoring account.

https://twitter.com/arsenalist/status/1175814797717311489

The Arsenal goal celebrations were short lived, as John McGinn came close on the very next Villa possession, bringing Arsenal fans back down to earth. Villa set off their own celebrations on their very next possession, as Wesley poked home the go ahead goal just 90 seconds after Arsenal drew level.

https://twitter.com/arsenalist/status/1175815221866352647

Granit Xhaka wins a free kick on the edge of the box, and David Luiz curls his shot directly into the path of the goalkeeper, leaving him untested.

Matteo Guendouzi did his best to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, not only did his 69th minute shot just glance over the bar, Guendouzi kept popping up to receive the ball, driving forward with it, and making something of anything happen.

Emery brings on his last two subs of the night, bringing on Torreira for Ceballos and Willock for Xhaka. The burst of energy from the two young midfielders was immediately felt as they did not waste any time pressing and hurrying everything and anyone around them.

Torreira found the ball at his feet in the box in the 72nd minute but couldn’t make anything of it, as it deflected off of a defender for a corner kick.

Arsenal found themselves in another favorable position as they pinned back Aston Villa, as Willock fed Aubameyang for a shot just inside the box that was blocked by a Villa defender.

Kolasinac and McGinn come together in the 76th minute, and when something comes together with Kolasinac, there is only one winner.

Some nice combination play in the 78th minute saw Pepe attempt a bicycle kick, which fell to Chambers who’s shot deflected wide. The resulting corner fell to Sokratis’ feet which was quickly but awkwardly cleared away before Sokratis could get a foot on it.

Arsenal draw level in the 81st minute due to a beautiful back post pass from Matteo Guendouzi found Chambers who initially tries to drive the ball across goal, and then calmly flicked the rebound over the defenders into the back corner of the net.

https://twitter.com/arsenalist/status/1175819868018548742

Aubameyang wins a free kick on the edge of the box as Arsenal regain all of the momentum. That momentum turns to absolute mayhem as Aubameyang calmly curls the set piece into the top corner of the net, giving Arsenal the 3-2 lead with just under 10 minutes left to play.

https://twitter.com/arsenalist/status/1175820553535574017

Controversy seemed to surround Sokratis throughout this entire match, as a potential handball in the penalty box in the 89th minute was waived off.

Bernd Leno was given a yellow card for time wasting two minutes into stoppage time, as Arsenal manage to hold on to the lead and escape with three very important points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

186
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C.B.
C.B.

Winning with 10 men, albeit versus rubbish opposition, feels a bit better than it did after 80 minutes of the match. Will just have to try to forget most of the match and remember we are 4th in the league, two points behind Man City!

Reality check
Reality check

This win has nothing to do with Emery’s tactics or our defense. Boys showed today they can fight, Emery needs to stop hamstringing them..

Futsboller
Futsboller

Big time agree with this.

Dave
Dave

That’s such a biased load of nonsense. Which is it? Have the players downed tools or did they work in spite of the manager? Do his subs matter for nothing? The approach in the second half has nothing to do with the manager? He deserves criticism when we lose and when his decisions pay off you can’t just refuse to acknowledge his part in it or you’re just pushing an agenda.

tbgunner
tbgunner

Yes, the agenda is why not start with a more dynamic midfield right from the start,not when you are chasing games. What should be Plan A is inexplicably made into a Plan B or C when he feels desperate.

Dave M
Dave M

Yeah I have to agree here. He finally made the right adjustments at the 71min mark and we looked like a team and took down Villa with 10 men, but we got in that position because of how we were setup in midfield to start the game. Sure he can’t do much about the red card, but that clearly wasn’t the defining factor anyway, we twice came back and scored three goals a man down.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

A win has nothing to do with the coach, but a loss does, eh?

monkeyjackson
monkeyjackson

yes. today, loss would have had to do with the boss. cause the team not only had to fight villa, but also emerys lineup/tactics and generally his cautious approach

goonshow
goonshow

I must now agree with those on here who’ve been making the case that Xhaka is a handbrake on this team. There just seemed to be so much more freedom, incisiveness and energy once he’d departed.
Not to mention his usual catalogue of rash challenges on edge of the area, yellows, cumbersome caught-in-possessions, one-footedness, lazy pulling back of shirts… becoming all too familiar sadly.

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

Xhaka is a carthorse, totally unsuited to the pace of the PL. He definitely slows the momentum of the team. The cheers in the ground when he was substituted were telling. I know they say, back your players during the game but it seems a lot of fans have had enough of him. Bringing on Willock and Torreira changed the dynamic.

tbgunner
tbgunner

When he first joined I thought he was going to be developed into the deep passer like Cesc, who will control the game for us. Alas, 3 seasons later he is miles away from that. His defensive game are obviously flawed, making him an incapable defensive midfielder. He cannot dribble out of tight situation like Santi, he takes far to long to pick his passes and makes mistakes at the hint of pressure from the opponent. Arteta’s simple but effective play suddenly look world class in comparison to his. The signs was not good for him early on, people has been spotting issues since his 1st season with us.

https://breakingthelines.com/uncategorized/the-footballing-world-needs-to-give-granit-xhaka-some-leniency/
this is a piece i’ll never forget reading, its back in 2017. I’ve never despised a football article more than that in my life. “Granit Xhaka is the last of the mediocentros.” give me a bloody break.

Dave M
Dave M

And you didn’t even mention one of his biggest weaknesses. His split second decision making that always leads to him overcomitting when he turns the ball over and just in general – he always rushes to close people down. That is such a dumb thing for a slow deep-lying midfielder. High tempo teams will just play 1-2s around him and then attack and that is what happens EVERY game against Xhaka.

goonshow
goonshow

It ain’t only Emery…

COYG1001
COYG1001

He’s a walking hadbreak!

COYG1001
COYG1001

Frack! Handbreak!

assistantref
assistantref

But that’s just silly. I think Emery has to take a lot of the blame for the hole we dug for ourselves…but it was also his double substitution that changed the game. I’m not particularly convinced by him, but you can’t really slate him for mistakes and then not give him credit when his substitutions have the necessary effect.

GunneRon

Guendouzi with another man of the match performance. The drive, the confidence, the ball carrying ability. What a great player he’s become for us.

Auba saved us yet again. His goals will be the difference between finishing top 4 and top 6.

Big up Chambers for having the determination to win the ball back and the technique to score the crucial equalizer. Defensively solid so far this season, what more does he need to do to start over AMN who’s become a liability. Infact AMN has cost us so much already, I wouldn’t want to see him anywhere near the starting 11 again.

A great comeback win. But let’s not kid ourselves, it was our attack that got Emery out of jail today. He needs to find a way to fix our porous defence fast (it’s another question whether he can), otherwise it’s gonna be another familiar story this season.

But for now let’s enjoy what has been a good week for us with the Spuds, Manu and the Chavs losing.

Mintoes
Mintoes

@Gunneron – guendouzi man of the match?!! Fuck no! Awful in the first half, culpable for their first goal. Granted, he played better in the second half but this kid is not better than Willock and should not be starting every game.

goonshow
goonshow

Maybe I imagined it but he seemed to come into his own once Xhaka was off?

goonshow
goonshow

Chambers did himself proud today – forgive him the but of rustiness but he has heart, good feet and instincts, and a quick mind.

David Hilliers Arm Cast
David Hilliers Arm Cast

I’m worried that it will overshadow the fact our midfield (other than Matteo) was so poor before Tor and Wil came on. No doubt Emery will change nothing and the problems will continue.

goonshow
goonshow

Surely Unai must have noticed the transformation in all aspects of the team once he’d pulled Xhaka? Most of all the good old-fashioned urgency and scrapper spirit!

Jijo
Jijo

So.. concede first, then get a red card.! This should be our strategy from now on!!

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Anyone remember that footie comic in back of The S*n called ‘Striker’?

That’s what every game feels like.

Mikeytaryan
Mikeytaryan

Auba: saving Emery’s job one winner at a time

Duno
Duno

Auba for captain!

Goooooooner for life
Goooooooner for life

I put this win down the desire of our players, digging in to find the goals, playing at home, and Aston Villa dropping deep to defend.
Guendouzi MOTM, that lad is fire in and out.
Xhaka needs to be benched and preferably sold and replaced. He has Theo Walcott mentality without the pace to make up for it.
Our team has no identity and has no idea on how to break down opponents. The passing is slow and predictable, and there is no sign on improvement. As excited as I was when Emery started, with his stories on watching videos and analysis the opponents to death, he should be respectfully sacked. He has no idea, and idolizes Pep Guardiola. The latter is enough reason for me.

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

Aimless. Clueless. Pathetic. The players luckily dug it out. EMERYOUT NOW!

SB Still
SB Still

As long as Emery continues to pick Xhaka and Luiz by default, we are trouble, Emery is in trouble.

For a coach who knew all about our players before joining the club seems to struggle to pick his best XI.

Maybe Emery will make a wonderful scout?

David Hilliers Arm Cast
David Hilliers Arm Cast

Spot on SB Still, many will just see the win and not the fact those two are a massive liability.

Goonerink

luiz wasnt terrible today, i thought sokratis was the worse of the two.
chambers and luiz i think is a good partnership, but then again everyone is pretty much back now, so perhaps a british back 4 (1 adopted cockney ofc)

Dave
Dave

Aimless, clueless and pathetic but fought back to win with 10 men. Managers subs played a big part and the manner of the second half showed the players have fight and believed in what they were doing but, sure, he’s a bum and deserves no credit all. United and us both had thursday Europa league fixtures and both looked like that was the case but the difference is one dug out a win and one had a manager who could react to the situation where the other lost 2-0. Get over yourselves, the manner in which people are just screaming “emery out” like a bunch of children and refusing to acknowledge even the smallest contributions is just pathetic. Like a bunch of Chelsea fans.

Ordnance Dave
Ordnance Dave

Nah I’m sorry, Emery has a long track record of conceding goals. He’s being found out to be far from the guy we need. EmeryOut.

yen
yen

Guys, I’m a bit worried Unai’s handing out USB 2.0 sticks whereas the players have USB-C inputs also.



But also, big up for not giving up. 2 points behind City. Never in doubt. Maybe start the next game with 10 players as we’re better that way anyway?



Shout out to Guendouzi for being awesome. Aubameyang saving Emery’s butt week in week out.

yen
yen

* also –> only

Mother
Mother

I know he’s become somewhat of an easy target recently but it’s undeniable that once Xhaka was taken off we looked infinitely better in midfield. He seriously cripples us creatively AND defensively. Torreira needs to start ahead of him now.

I also sense that this result actually came down to the players who seemed to take matters into their own hands in the 2nd half. They looked exciting, strong, fast and clinical; 4 words that I wouldn’t exactly use to describe Emery’s tactics…

Either way, a much needed 3 points.

Avo84
Avo84

Guendouzi took matters into his own hands (am I suppose to say feet)

Tim
Tim

Guendouzi was awful in the first half and great in the second, after tactics went out of the window…

Avo84
Avo84

Yea. But in the second half, he was the only one trying to make something happen. Don’t also forget he brought the penalty that was scored by pepe, hit the post, made that pass to chambers for our equaliser, plus he didn’t hide…always demanding for the ball and making good use of it.

Tim
Tim

I did say he was great in the second didn’t I?

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

What even was the tactics for this game?

duke2nd
duke2nd

The only tactic I know is always pass short from keeper

Billy
Billy

True, but you have to wonder about the tactics and the partners. I’m not impressed by Ceballos, very sloppy on the ball in weird places.

Alex
Alex

Shhhhh… the Dani £15M a year Ceballos honeymoon is not finsshed.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Disagree. I thought he was driving us forward alongside Guendouzi in the second half.

If you’re going to moan about a newbie, I thought Pepe didn’t play for his team in the second half when we had a man down – was strolling about the place, letting Aubameyang do all the hard work up front.

Billy
Billy

I don’t disagree with Pepe, however his position is different. Center mid is not a position to play with the ball and concede possession, it’s usually around the 18 yard box. When Pepe loses it or fails to put pressure it’s in the opponents 18 yard box. Neither have particularly good tbf.

A fleeting glimpse
A fleeting glimpse

Emery is already strangling the life out of Pepe. Stated that after training he has been watching videos with him. He will continue to suck the life out of arsenal. Pray he is sacked soon or at very least his contract is not renewed at end of season.

Dave
Dave

lol Unai Emery has basically made Guendouzi

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

When we needed someone to step up big and lead the team, it was certainly not or Captain doing the job. It was this 20 year old French guy with funny hair, real passion from guendozi today. Loved it!
As for our Captain, he continued to make bad decisions, lose possession and make one stupid foul that could have had him sent off from two yellows as well.

Flash
Flash

Xhaka, Xhaka, Xhaka…
Come on guys!
What about AMN’s 2 yellow in 40 mins? What about David Luis a couple of weeks ago and today with their 2nd goal? What about Sokratis today and a week ago?
Picking out only one player will solve our problems as Mustafi’s absence solved our defensive issues…

goonshow
goonshow

100% mate – just posted almost the same comment up top before I read this!
And your 135+ likes (already!) shows we ain’t the only ones who saw it…

Tim
Tim

I hope this wonderful comeback will not make us forget what was obvious to everyone after yet another 45 minutes of terrible football, with the opposition outsmarting us, players occupying each other’s spaces, walking over each other’s feet… and the fact that literally anyone can score against us. Remember this was supposed to be our “reaction” PL game after the Watford disaster. It’s time, we need a change, the players need it too. Ask yourself, where would you stand if Auba hadn’t scored that free kick?

Rich
Rich

But he did… It’s not uncommon for teams to rely on their best player to come up with the goods…

ricky rick
ricky rick

How would you objectively rate Xhaka in this game Tim?

nikoniko
nikoniko

I am done with Xhaka. Emery out, he doesn’t know how to organize his team. A labored win not good for my nerves. I cant believe watching us play still futures under 1000 ways to die. In the end anyhow, a relief and a good win from 10 man. Special shout out to Chambers and Geundouzi; True gooners who play for the badge.

Jack
Jack

Loved the never give up attitude but my god I feel like Emery got it all wrong from the start today. Even 11 v 11 they were playing us off the park.

Big up Auba. Where would we be without him!

Jai
Jai

It’s nothing to do with the starting 11, although Emery usually fucks up that.

It’s to do with the structure, how we play, how compact we are..

Emery has done NOTHING, at ALL, for any of those things above. It’s actually ridiculous that we look so lost every single game. I do not know what Emery has done since he’s got here.

This win simply papers over the cracks until the next game, at Old Trafford. We all know how that game will turn out, wave after wave of attacks and we’ll fold, as usual. It’s in Emery’s nature.

Mintoes
Mintoes

@jai – yeah you must be pissed off Auba grabbed the winner, eh?

Henkamp
Henkamp

Thoughts today:

— Emery still has to fuck off – even though I don’t see that happening now that Auba has saved his ass again.

— It’s sooooo easy for teams to get through to our defense. They bypass our midfield and have a free go at our clueless defence. He is not teaching the team how to defend as a whole part and that is really, really worrying. It is the major problem we are having right now, that’s why teams are having shots after shots against us.

— Going forward, the midfield pairing in front of the defence should be Torreira and any of Guendouzi/Willock. But we all know Emery’s love for Xhaka will not allow him drop the Swiss.

— Guendouzi is going to be an IMMENSE player someday; not only in ability but also in mentality. He just needs to polish a few parts of his game and that will come with experience.

Thanks to Auba today, we can smile this week.

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

I don’t think I’ve been more unhappy after a win. The warning signs are there. Does Emery need to go? I don’t know, but we needs to change our style of play

mrugunner
mrugunner

i know. yes

Cygan’sbaldspot
Cygan’sbaldspot

What style of play?

Gooner for life
Gooner for life

I put this win down the desire of our players, digging in to find the goals, playing at home, and Aston Villa dropping deep to defend.
Guendouzi MOTM, that lad is fire in and out.
Xhaka needs to be benched and preferably sold and replaced. He has Theo Walcott mentality without the pace to make up for it.
Our team has no identity and has no idea on how to break down opponents. The passing is slow and predictable, and there is no sign on improvement. As excited as I was when Emery started, with his stories on watching videos and analysis the opponents to death, he should be respectfully sacked. He has no idea, and idolizes Pep Guardiola. The latter is enough reason for me.

karl
karl

It really has to be time for Xhaka to take a break now. The team are so slow and ponderous with him and the substitutes today made it obvious.

Tim
Tim

I still think he can be useful with Torreira by his side. When has a Guendouzi Xhaka midfield ever worked?

NairoGunner89
NairoGunner89

I will not dismiss your opinion, but I would really like to know, what makes Xhaka useful according to you? I am beginning to feel as if maybe there is something some Arsenal fans, Wenger and Emery saw/see in him that is clearly not visible to others.

What about seeing Xhaka on the team sheet excites you/makes you happy/does not give you the runs/depression/anxiety?

goonshow
goonshow

Anyone got stats on Villa’s shot count before and after Xhaka went off? Could make for an interesting comparison, either way…

Mintoes
Mintoes

@tim – spot on. Stick Torreira next to Xhaka for Xhaka to be at his best.

GraeB
GraeB

He can start his paternity leave now!

Karmafrench
Karmafrench

Not sure its really xhaka fault. Remenber vs tottenham when in second period we were fast and agressive for a couples of times. He was playing.
And those moments were we up the tempo are not due To Emery. Its the players when they start to stop listening To weird tactics. They looks more free when they up the tempo like that.
And against tottenham emery was asking to down the tempo.

luka6234
luka6234

I would really like to know how can you say for sure that players have stopped listening to his tactics, and upping the tempo wasn’t his instruction? Unless you have a seat at the Emirates right behind the bench

Tony Hall
Tony Hall

Quite right, must of the comments on here by the *fuck off emery* brigade are pure speculation. Unless they have 100% proof otherwise we should assume Emery told them to up the tempo at half time and not to keep their heads down. He was also responsible for the substitutions which worked very well, players don’t choose to sub themselves …

Karmafrench
Karmafrench

Oh yeah so i guess Emery asked them To play like shit for the first 20 minutes and then to play with more speed and being more agressive. You can see when à game is going “wild” that our players looks overconfident and more free. Because as i Said vs tottenham he was asking to down the tempo. This is not is tactics. If it was we will be playing like that every time.
And dont tell me Emery made the good substitutions. A 4th division coach would have made the same.
Credit goes To the players. We scored 3 goals and only the 1st was due To the coach. The others were “lucky”.
We have a fantastic team that can clearly close the gap with liverpool and City.

Bergkamp2Wright
Bergkamp2Wright

Credit where it’s due, hell of a comeback!

That said I still don’t want to watch Emeryball anymore.

Get Allegri on the phone…..

Rich
Rich

When has Allegri ever developed a team of young players?

Xhaka Demus, no Pliers
Xhaka Demus, no Pliers

Make Guendouzi or Auba captain! The youngster drove the team and led the comeback. Emery needs to earn his crust and figure out what works best cos he seems to be relying on people coming up big to save him at the moment. Anyway a v enjoyable win despite the team tryna give us all heart attacks

Henkamp
Henkamp

One BIG consolation, though:

Chelsea, Man U and Spurs are all looking all shades of horrible too.

Maybe Emery can manage to get us top 4 this year and be gone for someone else to take this project to the next level next season.

Pooner
Pooner

Why take the risk? We look so bad, I don’t see us maintaining a good enough run to make top 4 with Emery in charge. Just think of the physical toll of chasing every game for 90 mins, playing end-to-end, covering far too much ground due to the chaos created by the manager’s inept tactics game in game out. Get rid and get someone in who can organise a coherent midfield and dominate lesser teams.

Henkamp
Henkamp

I would as well have him gone by tomorrow. But it is NOT going to happen, knowing Arsenal.

So I’d just back him and hope he can at least take advantage of the fact that some other contenders are shit.

Pooner
Pooner

Let’s hope we can do that! I think they will get rid of him if we continue to play like this and drop enough points though.

Tristian Beale
Tristian Beale

I do agree but that was also true last season.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

How’d that work out for us last season? They were all shyte then too and we still failed dismally.

PEA14
PEA14

If Saka scored a goal and then started the next match
Then the same should be given to Chambers too
Time to start him.
It’s not because Chambers deserved it….
It’s because he EARNED IT

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

He’ll have to play – AMN will be suspended (and looked pretty crocked in any case).

yen
yen

Which is a shame because he surely deserves a proper chance at CB.

I feel for the guy – it seems to me that he has to do so much more to get a chance compared to some players. Last pre-season, he played as our best CB – only to be shipped out to Fulham. Player of the season for them.

Newcastle away, has a good game – is dropped the second Luiz joins the club. Would start him alongside Luiz. Sokratis gotta fight for his place again.

Mintoes
Mintoes

True – chambers at CB or even DM would make most sense. Deserves a run in the team.

Mark
Mark

A great comeback, but never should have been in that place to begin with. Why does it take us being down a goal and down a man to play like that? That’s how I want them to play all the time, with that kind of intensity, investment, aggressiveness, etc..

Another goal conceded by a turnover in our half right after a goal kick (actually was a nice ball played by Luiz, but Chambers turned it over inside of midfield that directly let to their goal), we have to figure out how to stop that.

Final though we now have four great free kick takers (at least) in Aubameyang, Xhaka, Pepe and Luiz, two from each side. Going to be interesting watching them decide who will take each one.

Naija gooner
Naija gooner

Yoh forgot laca

Alex
Alex

And Özil. Oh sorry…

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Pepe?

Avo84
Avo84

Guendouzi for Captain. I don’t care what anybody say about him being at fault for the second goal. If his performance after Villa second goal is not a true mark of a leader then… I don’t know what is.

Bill Quiah
Bill Quiah

Guendouzi is still premature for captain now. He is a young player, captain one day come his way, but not now.
He is invoid with many mistakes most of the time. I strongly believe EMERY likes him if not favor.

goonshow
goonshow

The lad is only 20 you muppet! Let Freddy groom him now and turn him into the next Paddy V, rather than tossing him into a pit of vipers to deal with all the positional/tactical crap we have going atm… it could break him.

goonshow
goonshow

I use the term ‘muppet’ with the greatest affection, natch.

assistantref
assistantref

Ridiculous game that shows the best and worst of our squad and manager. Conceding the second the way we did was farcical and reflects badly on the manager for not calming things down, but to his credit the substitutions saved the game.

I don’t know where it really leaves us. The only thing I think you can really take from the game is the players are still playing for the manager, whether or not they have any clue what he wants them to do.

Vonnie
Vonnie

The players are playing for the badge, for the fans and for their own pride, I don’t think the manager has anything to do with it. If the stupid team selections and idiotic tactics annoy us then I’m sure it annoys them too, and two hours of video analysis every day plus homework.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Apart from the 3 points, there is nothing to be happy about. Our 4th place position right now is a lie.

GraeB
GraeB

So was our unbeaten run last year – always looked fragile.

Longbow
Longbow

It seemed to me that the players took the match into their own hands in the second half rather than anything to do with Emery. Especially Geundouzi, after that shit first half was inspiring to watch in the second.

Duno
Duno

If this job scare doesn’t make Emery sit up nothing will. He can clearly see his lover affair with Xhaka is not good for us, or him for that matter.

Swifty
Swifty

Jeeeeesus.

Trigg27
Trigg27

Fantastic that we showed the spirit to come back and win with 10 men, but we should never be getting into that situation in the first place. So many players at fault for the Villa goals

Kunlewoye
Kunlewoye

Team too reactive for this not to be a coaching issue

djourou's nutmeg
djourou's nutmeg

when the team decided to discard tactics and actually go forward trying to win we played infinitely better

Carozil
Carozil

Fuck Emery.
Fuck Xhaka.
Fuck Sokratis.
Fuck Luis.
Fuck Emery once more.
And if you’re down with any of the above fuckers, fuck you too!

Duno
Duno

Sokratis can work with Holding, a calmer presence. Luiz is the player I don’t want to see except for cup games if at all.

swing
swing

sokratis is our absolute worst defender, he has cost us 3 goals in 3 games.

Nathan
Nathan

2pac fan in the house? 😉

Three Steps Sideways
Three Steps Sideways

I am ultimately, obviously, really happy about the end result, but I want to be furious. Watching our club as someone in their late 40’s, I must confess that I often feel like my continued health is immediately on the line.

Cygan’sbaldspot
Cygan’sbaldspot

You can be both glad we got the points and still want a new manager

Reality check
Reality check

Because quality of our players can make the difference regardless of how poorly they are managed..

Amusa
Amusa

Why does it look like a Robot wrote the match report 🙂

Sir Henry Norris' Brown Envelope
Sir Henry Norris' Brown Envelope

Server problems at Bloggs HQ

Ballz
Ballz

I’ve never been less satisfied after a comeback win with 10 men. Laca and Auba have literally been saving Emery’s job since last season. I watched Chelsea pin Pool in their half for like 30 minutes straight, while our coach’s strategy was to completely surrender possession to them and hope for a lucky counter attack.

We can’t keep relying on individuals to bail us out of shit performances. Since last season, we’ve been performing horribly. Our defense, midfield, and attack are all way better than our current performances would lead you to believe. Fire the coach!!

North London is redder
North London is redder

Why did you watch Chelsea when Arsenal were playing?

kaius
kaius

Calum Chambers is a very good player. We don’t have a very good football team *at the moment*. And yet, we are 4th.

But before I can process all this information I have to find a new set of nuts because this game completely wrecked my old pair

Dr. Obert Sifile
Dr. Obert Sifile

The team that I love, guys, don’t give us heart attacks. Remember the days of Thierry Henry. The game was beautiful. Our current players have capacity to make us enjoy the game once again. Thanks for a comeback today. We need such good play in future. Small teams lets discipline, big teams like Liverpool and Man City lets humble them.

don’t forget
don’t forget

For me, Xhaka has to lose his place. He hasn’t earned it and Willock and Torreira both fit this midfield three infinitely better. I also think it’s time to switch around some central defenders. That being said, my two takeaways:

I feel bad for AMN. He’s been absolutely run into the ground since January, we need to rotate, either with Mustafi or Chambers.

Guendouzi is absolutely vital. The way he played today impressed me so much. Yes he still makes mistakes and probably didn’t track his runner for their first goal. But the way he takes the game by the neck is what elevates him above all of our other midfielders. Absolutely immense today.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

Great comeback! Abysmal performance.
Emery lucky to still have a job.

mrugunner
mrugunner

hopefully xhaka will get emery and himself sacked soon enough

Matzi
Matzi

Xhaka literally proved how he has a negative value to the team. We won with ten men and only after him getting hauled off!

Tim
Tim

Yes we did look better when Granit came off. You know who else came off though? Ceballos. Funny nobody mentions that. Both changes improved us in that phase of the game.

fendermoss
fendermoss

Xhaka makes every player in close proximity to him look bad. Can’t run, track back causes problems for defenders. Can’t make a forward pass to save his life and if he does, it’s slow, which enables mDM from opposition close caballos down easily. Xhaka slows down or team and destroys momentum. Not even close to be good enough to wear the shirt.

David C
David C

Ceballos was pretty useless today, agreed.

Doe Eyes
Doe Eyes

Seriously considering watching Arsenal Women’s matches exclusively for the rest of the season for the sake of my heart health. But a win’s a win!

Huncho
Huncho

This match proves that you are better off playing with 10 men than having that lump of excrement called xhaka in your team.

Tim
Tim

Emery stated this yesterday about the Watford game: “In the first 45 minutes they didn’t push a lot or do a really big press against us,” he said. “We controlled the match with the ball, the possession, the buildup, easier in the first half.” Yet everyone else saw the danger signs, Cleverly even said so in an interview. How he can come out with an explanation like that is hard to understand.

Kolkata_Gooner
Kolkata_Gooner

Jon Moss is a massive c**t.

Also, the comeback had nothing to do with Emery. He should have started with Chambers and Torreira/Willock in the first place instead of AMN and Xhaka. Plus, the performance improved when the players started playing more by their attacking instinct which is otherwise simply curbed by whatever tactic (or lack thereof) Emery is employing.

Joy Boral
Joy Boral

Exactly. On the plus side, now the boys know exactly how they have to play to be effective.
We got a tiny glimpse of what we are capable of if we play this kind of football. Won’t be surprised if we are made to revert back to shitty football by Emery with Xhaka as captain next week too.

But I’m happy. I was a 100% certain we wouldn’t be able to pull this off after the red card. They done proved me wrong. 🙂

Tribe
Tribe

The players made us proud. Only a lunatic cannot see the offensive power of these players. And only a lunatic doesnt know how to use it. Instead of that Emery uses unnecesary so called tactics that pull the team back. This is indeed a reason for every manager’s sacking. If dont know how to what your players are capable of how can you coach them?

Kolkata_Gooner
Kolkata_Gooner

Yep, one of the good things to come out of this game is some much needed evidence that the players have still got it and the problem lies elsewhere. If you put the right team, with the right tactics, we can be so much better with this squad, especially going forward.

goonshow
goonshow

yep – the sobering question of the day:
would Chambers even have gotten a run out if not for Ainsley’s brain fart?

Backpass to Leno
Backpass to Leno

Interesting comment, given how “no tactics” Wenger was criticized for giving players the freedom to express themselves. Emery was supposed to bring tactical organization, wasn’t he? Fans!

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

You seem to have trouble grasping the concept that there is a middle ground, somewhere between the two extremes.

Yes I know, a startling revelation…

The_Kolkata_Gooner
The_Kolkata_Gooner

We’re talking about employing the right tactic here. Not “no tactic”, OR inept tactic. Emery’s tactic is clearly not working, or worse, it is not even identifiable right now, which is as bad as no tactic. When he had first arrived, he did seem to have a consistent tactic/approach, and I wouldn’t mind if we reverted to that again. Anything that is not what we seem to be doing currently.

Stikkman
Stikkman

Why Emery no starting torreira? Why o why I despair. I despair indeed.

Duno
Duno

XHAKA IS SLOW
XHAKA IS SLOW

XHAKA IS SLOW
XHAKA IS SLOW

And on top of that he’s not very good at anything else. He can’t defend, inspires the opposite of confidence. If Emery makes this man captain then I’m EmeryOut whether we make top four or not.

Jack
Jack

Apparently the guy’s strength is spraying the passes but even that you don’t see much of it anymore

swing
swing

torreira is even slower,

goonshow
goonshow

No-one, but no-one, is slower than Granny. And when Torreira loses his man, he runs like a bastard to catch up with play rather than lazily pulling his shirt and getting needlessly booked.
Granny’s repeated bookings put the entire team under pressure – suddenly your captain’s on tenterhooks… affects everything.

Dave M
Dave M

Are your eyes painted on?

Kolasinac
Kolasinac

I liked the fight and never give up attitude that we showed, but we should not be in such positions. We really need to turn the screw more from the start in the first half of matches. It tells a lot that Guendouzi of all the team is the guy that took the fight to them and took the responsibility most. Ainsley is now taking too many red cards for my liking , he definitely needs to take better control in 90 minutes. Kudos to Chambers, I would like him to be in the starting line-ups in the league preferably in CB position. That goal meant a lot and I will certainly remember it for a long time. He really looks like a nice lad and along with Holding I would really like to see both of them to make it in an Arsenal shirt. Also Auba another goal and I liked a lot how much emotions he showed after, that was amazing. I liked also Kolasinac´s display today, this has to be one of his best performances in Arsenal shirt, he fought like hell out there, keep it going mate also away from home, wherever (I am still looking forward to see what Tierney is capable of in this team) ! This team can take you through a lot. I wonder when will we finally see the consistency in performances that this club and fans deserve.

Plaza223
Plaza223

The fact that nobody mentions that AMN’s second yellow wasn’t even a foul made me rewatch his tackle again and now I’m back and even more confused. Our abysmal defending paired with absolute terrible midfield setup aside, that start was never a foul and I firmly believe that the ref should get punished for that call

Stephen
Stephen

They showed it back only once on TV. It was a perfect tackle. All ball and then gets injured and sent off. VAR could only intervene to say yes/no for a straight red (obv no) but ref on the pitch saw a fast tackle and a villa player on the ground and simply assumed a foul. I really am gobsmacked there’s not more on this.

Henrik
Henrik

Great game! Wasnt excatly top corner but what a great freekick 😀 More like one of those knuckleballs i think.

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

Oh my god, what will it take to drop Xhaka, the way he’s going we won’t be able to give him away let alone sell him

Frank
Frank

If the manager deserves all the flack for the performance at Watford he deserves at least some credit for his substitutions and the fight back when we went down to ten men. If you’re not willing to afford him that then it’s clear you’ve got an agenda. This isn’t directed at blogs, just the general reaction I’m seeing to this game.

Der32
Der32

My agenda is Arsenal’s success. And I don’t see it with Emery in charge, he’s had lots of chances to prove himself and imprint his character in the team. So yeah. I’ve just about seen enough of Emery-ball. Best case scenario he changes his tactics and makes us improve. Everyone’s happy. Otherwise he needs to go.

Oregoon

Isn’t the problem that he HAS imprinted his character on the team?

Nketibag
Nketibag

This ‘fight back’ consisted of a penalty and a free kick. Players digging him out once again if ever i’ve seen it.