Monday, May 20, 2024

Report: Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa (inc goals)

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Lokonga, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Leno, Holding, Cedric, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Elneny, Pepe, Odegaard, Martinelli

Arsenal bounced back from disappointment on Monday night with a superb performance and 3-1 win over Aston Villa at the Emirates this evening.

Mikel Arteta made some changes from the team which drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace on Monday evening. There was a first Premier League start for Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga came into midfield, while Alexandre Lacazette was rewarded for his late cameo as both Nicolas Pepe and Martin Odegaard dropped to the bench.

Ollie Watkins picked up a yellow card in the first minute for a kick on Gabriel, and there was an early sight of goal for both Aubameyang and Saka as the two combined to cause Villa problems. Tavares was next to have a go, firing a shot over after a great run into the box, and Auba had the ball in the back of the net but Lacazette was penalised in the build-up for what the referee deemed a foul on a defender.

It was a bright start from the Gunners, matched by a crowd who were well up for it and behind the team. Tomiyasu had a pop from distance but again the ball flew over the bar, and Thomas Partey’s first Arsenal goal almost arrived when he reacted quickly to a breaking ball from a Saka free kick but his effort came back off the post.

Tavares had another shot which deflected out for a corner, from which Partey got that goal at last, flicking a header beyond Martinez to make it 1-0.

The lead was almost doubled when a fine Arsenal break down the left hand side saw Tavares play in Saka with just the keeper to beat, but Martinez was equal to his first time effort. McGinn and Mings went into the book for fouls on Lacazette and Lokonga, and a lovely pass for the Belgian set up Tavares for another shot but with his right foot he couldn’t trouble the keeper.

Villa tried to get back into it, but were faced by an Arsenal side that worked hard to win the ball when they lost it, and which presented much more threat. Partey headed over from a Saka corner late in the half, Lokonga picked up a booking for a tug on McGinn, and just as the half-time while was coming, there was a foul on Lacazette in the box.

The ref initially played on, but VAR checked, the ref himself checked, and pointed to the spot. Martinez saved the penalty, but it rebounded out to Aubameyang who finished with his left foot to make it 2-0.

Unsurprisingly, Villa made a half-time change, putting on Leon Bailey for Tuanzebe, and there was early danger, Watkins forcing Ramsdale into a save at his near post. Saka shot over after a corner fell to him outside the box, Ben White made a tremendous block from an Ings shot, while at the other end a good run and pass sent Saka behind but Villa defended well to deny him a real sight of goal.

Despite Villa’s improvement, Arsenal went further ahead in the 55th minute. Smith Rowe started it with an interception, we broke upfield, Auba played it behind for ESR to drive towards goal, his shot took a deflection and went in off the post. 3-0.

Targett was booked for a foul on Saka, and when Villa had their best chance of the game, Ramsdale made an excellent save to deny Buendia who was soon replaced by Jacob Ramsey. Martin Odegaard came on to replace a fatigued Lacazette in the 67th minute, Auba forced Martinez into a good save, before the impressive Lokonga made way for Ainsley Maitland-Niles with just under 20 minutes to go.

Villa took off Ings which I liked because he’s a dick, and the visitors got one back through Ramsey who fired into the top corner when the ball broke to him on the edge of our box. 3-1.

It was almost 3-2 moments later, but Watkins put the ball wide from a long throw, Luiz was booked for throwing the ball down, and there was some nervousness after Villa got their goal. However, Arteta’s men dug in, worked hard, defended well and with commitment. Martinelli replaced Aubameyang in injury time and there was late danger when Bailey curled a free kick just over.

In the end though, Arsenal were more than deserving of the three points, and there was a lot to like about the performance too.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Fucking yeah!! So many great performances tonight but I’ve got to give special mention to Sambi. I’ve had some exchanges with fellow gooners on here who were excited to see an Arsenal side without Granit. I felt that Sambi was perhaps being thrown in at the deep end a little too early and we would miss the control that Xhaka offers. But tonight I was so happy to be proved wrong. I thought he was just sensational at breaking through lines and adding another dimension of athleticism to the midfield. Just over the moon with that performance and that result.… Read more »


Damn me I need that!!!

We used so much the handbrake against CP that now was loose.
We were more focused aggressive and thirsty.

Laca ESR and Gabriel MVP all of them.

I also liked the fact that MÖ and Tierney had a slow start and they were both benched. It can be fatigue but their replacements performed.

Arsenal is like my ex form high school. So many signals.

Trixie Popsicle

MVP? This is English football for goodness sake!! 🙄🙄🙄


I was try to think of a player,and Marco Van Persie doesn’t play for us!


Same here. Feels so good to be wrong. Sambi showed serious quality today.

Brady’s bunch

I reaching here but imagine smith Rowe left Saka right feeding Mr Haaland up front 🤔 if we all rattle the piggy banks it could happen 🤫


Good of you to say it, and that we’re all able to see a life beyond Xhaka, Arteta especially. I particularly enjoyed him bringing on AMN in central midfield at the right moment to freshen things up.

For years we’ve longed after every midfielder who bore a passing resemblance to Vieira. None of Partey, Lokonga or AMN are Vieira, but there is such a thing as an “Arsenal midfield”. It’s nice to see some familiar nearly-forgotten patterns again.

Also, still a long season, and this team is still inconsistent, but very watchable.


AMN too laxadesical


That was so good. Great over 90 mins for the first time in ages. 10/10 from ESR what a guy


Tavares bombing forwards like a tank

Matt P



Yeah, serious athlete! KT needs to pull his finger oot.


Fatigue, he’s played a lot of internationals, slight injury maybe. Good to have a real fight for LB

Tomaury Bischfeld

I feel it’s a similar thing with Saka – neither has hit the levels of last season and it’s probably because they’re exhausted. They get rewarded for their good form at international level which means more games. If they get injured they get rushed back because they’ve been deemed to be so integral.


For sure man, KT is my favorite Arsenal player ever maybe. Just been out of form last little while.

Bleeding gums murphy

I’m guessing you must be about 12 if tierney is your favourite player ever maybe. 🤣


No, I’m Scottish.


What about Bonnie Prince Charlie Nicholas? Those two dixies in the 86 league cup final that ended our trophy drought

Tomaury Bischfeld

They both ended up in Sky(e) but only one wore fake tan and made a tit of himself.

Determination Cultured

He’s not 50

Bleeding gums murphy


Trixie Popsicle



It’s ok to be 12


[I’ve not seen the game yet]
I hope the new left sided tank is an upgrade on the last one!!

In all seriousness, I was torn to see Tierney absent. Feels like he needed a rest, but we can’t afford him to be injured. I’m delighted you’re all saying his cover stepped up to the plate. The opportunity to give KT rest is almost more important than giving him competition


Tavares was in beast mode bro!


Pulled Cash’s pants down a few times

Funsho Patrick

Intensity!! All 90!!!


It was fun to watch!

Funsho Patrick

Emiliano who???


I loved how Laca celebrated like him alone in front of the ball at the first goal.


And told him to get back from the penalty spot before Auba stepped to it. Emi – love those antics against any other team in the world, not against Arsenal, lad. Not at our place.

Vaibhav Pandey

But his save a good.

The Beast

He’s better than you…

The Beast

He’s better than youuuuuuuuu

The Arsenal

Messi inflated this guys head..Bellend.


Were they Tottenham in disguise?

Once, twice, three times el neny

Agreed. Danny Ings is the new Shane Long

Walter White

Much to like. Tavares is fun and Laca so technically good in the build up, while Lokonga was absolutely brillant today.
Still I find the White/Gabriel partnership to be my MOM today. Haven’t felt so secure in a back two for ages


So true, they are both so aggressive. I love how animated Gabriel gets too. Barking orders at everyone and Partey was as well. I would not want to anger Gabriel if I was in the team, but that’s only a good thing.


Great great performance. And not just for the first 15 minutes too. Loved it. ESR is amazing. Let’s hope it’s all upward now.


Tavares over Tierney? Maybe for a bit? Just saying……

The Beast

He was superb tonight. Constant threat & never runs out of energy


KT does need a rest. The cunt from Chelsea who now manages Scotland hasn’t given him a minutes rest…

Matt P

Much better. Was very impressed with Tavares.


Nice game! Good win! It’s could have even been better if kept a clean-sheet! Shout out to lacazette, congratulations to Thomas on getting his first arsenal, & what a lovely song by the fans on Ramsdale being better than Martinez.


Nuno Tavares is too good to just be a back-up.

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

That was a great game. Almost perfect except from the Worldie from Ramsey (Ramsdale is a loon😁). Our attacks were far from direct than normal. Just running into space, a few quick one-twos and the ball is already in their box.

Best performers for me were Nuno, White, Sambi and ESR. Good stuff. Can we build from it is the question?

Aussie Gooner

I think Tavares can play either flank and is more of a winger than a full back. Excellent team performance. Laca Man marking Douglas Luiz and nullifying him for 45 mins was very very good.

Public Elneny

Home games against shit teams like Villa and Spurs, we could play Tavares RB and Tierney LB maybe? Really put the pressure on. We have the athleticism in midfield and centre back now that we should be able to cover for them

Is he actually ambidextrous? He seems to dribble with his left, but maybe that’s just to keep himself between opponent/ball. His long range passing and shooting with his right is fantastic. Having a full back who is comfortable with both feet really helps open up the angles to prevent the horseshoe of death


Seems like we’ve got two remarkably ambidextrous fullbacks actually, Tomiyasu good with his left as well.


Tomiyasu is the same.


A wonderful Joie de Vivre about the team and the Emirates tonight


Nice game! Good win! It’s could have even been better if kept a clean-sheet! Shout out to lacazette, congratulations to Thomas on getting his first arsenal goal, & what a lovely song by the fans on Ramsdale being better than Martinez.

Heavy Gunner

What a nice way to start the weekend- I had a 3 double whiskey with every goal, including the Villa one- just to take the edge off any beginning anxiety.. Now I need one more just to… hic. G’night everyone, sweet dreams.


Best performance of the season.

We were up for it right from the start and never let up. Excellent from back to front. The team was the man of the match not ESR, although he was great too.

If we play like this against Leeds we’ll smash them.

Let’s keep this up!!


There you go! You CAN be positive!


That’s obviously not Fatgooner. This impostor had the real Fats abducted and hog-tied in an abandoned warehouse somewhere.

Tomaury Bischfeld

I don’t mind saying it again – Smith-Rowe is some player. I like the french version of his name too “Smiss-Eurgho”


If he stays injury free his gonna be a legend.
He is such an intelligent guy

Prefer the Brazilian version, Smithynho.


We need more of that please, much better than Monday’s game for sure!


That’s more like it, boys! Much better. Protect Lacazette, a true leader on the pitch. Emile, Nuno, Ramsdale all put in a shift today.

The Beast

I love Laca when he’s in this sort of mood. Apart from his link up and hold up play, love the way he winds up the opposition & hypes up the crowd


Sambi too was excellent. If he can play like that consistently he can add a lot to your midfield.



VAR will solve all the problems

I thought Laca played in the number 10 mostly…behind Auba. Just change of personnel. Emile is much better on the left than centrally. So Pepe needs to drop out to play Saka on the left. Good competition for places after a long long time.


Our defence just keeps getting better, they are understanding each other and I can see the glue starting to set. If Ramsdale keeps this up, he may be our new captain after Auba.


He’ll be wanting to kill someone for not keeping a clean sheet today.


He went apeshit with his defence when Villa’s goal went in.

Crazy Jens, eat your heart out…!! 🤣


Mate, that’s an awesome shout.

Why should Dave Beasant get all the glory?


The weekend is starting off right. Happy with the win. COYG


Arteta out. Kroenke out. Oh wait six without a loss. Maybe things are that bad. Boys are growing. Future looks pretty good.

Public Elneny

This 4-4-2 could work you know. I though it would marginalise Saka and ESR, but actually them being a bit deeper helped them receive the ball in some space with options around them for once. Might also serve to get Martinelli more game time rotating in and out for Laca. Hard to see where Odegaard fits into it though, though I still have faith he’ll be a fantastic player for us We’ve got to keep starting Partey and Lokonga together, develop a partnership. Partey has had some dodgy moments and Lokonga has some basics to work on, but they’re easily… Read more »


Odegaard can play second striker tho. Like Bergkamp used to


I was actually thinking we kind of set up like peak Wenger years formation. I like that setup a lot. Also wonder how Pepe would do as a forward in a 442. I think that might be his best position.


I think every method has limitations and advantages. We should adapt on occasion and surprise our opponents

Public Elneny

Agreed. The opposition will always develop game plans to counteract any tactic we use more than 2 or 3 times

It’s so important to have at least 2 viable ways to set up to keep the opposition guessing. The 4-1-4-1 just isn’t viable though


We should always play ESR on the left and Saka on the right. 4-4-2 may be our best lineup yet. Hope injuries on auba and laca are not serious.

Brady’s bunch

Yes and Pepe on the bench for impact


When everybody put in a shift like tonight were a good team. Ramsdale is outstanding and our defenders were rock solid. Aggressive in ball recovery in midfield also. Should I point to some negative it would be that we are in general a little bit sloppy on the ball, both recieving and passes. Ødegaard played well after his cameo, not outstanding, but you see his technichal skills are a notch above the rest, ESR and Saka included.
Great atmosphere tonight at Emirates , guess half of the crowd started the game at five o
clock at a pub….?


The Arsenal were heroes tonight; every single one of them. This evening, my family and I received some devastating news that my Mum, who has been sick in hospital with fluid on the lungs and an infection is only expected to last a few days more, if that. My two teenage daughters took the news particularly badly and so, after many tears, I said to them “Come on. Come and have a cuddle with your Dad and let’s watch the Arsenal.” (We’re all Arsenal in this house!) And so we did. And the pain was eased, if only a little.… Read more »

Brady’s bunch



Thank you. 👍🍺

Teryima Adi

Prayers are going up for your Mum and the entire tribe. Cheers🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻


Thank you 👍🍺

Bleeding gums murphy

Thinking of you Q. 🙏🏻❤️


Thank you 👍🍺


Hey Q – we disagree about a lot, and I don’t know you, but I love you man. Hang in there. Life does go on, but as you remind us on here all the time with your great stories, we never forget. We’re all thinking of you.


Thank you 👍🍺


Your family are in our thoughts. Hope your mum pulls through.


Thank you 👍🍺


Hang in there sir, Everything will be just fine.


Thank you 👍🍺


Cheers Andrew. 👍🍺

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

Stay strong Q. It will get easier.


Thanks mate 👍🍺


Grudge match, won! Keep dreaming, Villa!!!

North for Short

Great performance, good press, small mistakes. Unfortunate for Aaron to concede but you can see what it meant to him. Aston Villa played us off the park last season and rightly so. We needed to get our own back and we did. Happy for the result.

Brady’s bunch

Great team performance 🙌what a peach of a player smith Rowe is and when he figures out good he can be there’s a worldy there, great game for Tavares as well and extend Lacca pronto

Pete Plum

So THATS what a midfield looks like. Two battlers! Fantastic!


Brilliant performance. Loved the He’s better than you chant. ESR MotM. We’re joint number six.

Merlin's Panini

Fantastic performance, great result. I expected Villa to be more of a challenge than they were but I think that points towards how well we played tonight. This squad is fairly young, hence the inconsistency, but this and the Spurs performance are a hint that something is there. Gotta love ESR. It’s been said before but his game is so simple. No flash nonsense, it’s just give it and go and always head towards goal. As soon as he won that ball for the third he was off with one thing on his mind. He gave his teammates an outlet… Read more »

cereal killer

Everyone played well,
White and Gabriel ✅
Sambi and partey ✅
I think 442 is best for us


At home against lower opposition, yes. We don’t play it like we did in the Wenger era now that fullbacks are bombing ahead and the goalie is taking on players 1v1. It has less security which could be exposed with fast lobbed counter attacks by better teams like Liverpool. If it is 1 out of 3 clear systems that Arteta creates then I’m happy with it. Make this the “Home against the bottom 10 and League/FA Cup Game” formation.


Fantastic performance, we actually won second balls!!!


Hell yeah! I’m a happy gunner tonight!
Big ups to Smith Rowe, I love that kid and he deserves ever bit of happiness.

The Arsenal

I liked that Arteta benched what seem to be his faves in Tierney and Odegaard who have been poor recently. Respect to Gabriel and White. I think they have been a solid partnership but i was disappointed in them against Palace on their goals. Tonight they did not allow that to happen again. Great performance. When Laca plays well the forwards play well. He might not be the most talented of the bunch but he is the strongest, works the hardest and is the glue. Sambi showing what he is about. Again i like that he was determined to bounce… Read more »

Matt P

Just a bit more consistency please! The inconsistency is frustrating.
If we could play this well 3 out of every 5 games, rather than one every five games.


Every time Ramsdale touches the ball I hear the sound of the opening in the Arsecast. Ramsdale oooooowhhhh…I hate it, but I love it.


Finally, a system.


Agree about Tavares but Tomi was also superb bombing down the other flank. Great defending too.
Shrewd idea to sell Martinez and buy Ramsdale 😎


I was there when Partey scored!


Best Arsenal performance this season!

Matt P

Note how often the article mentions Tavares. Very, very good.


Tavares is super-fun happy time.


Decent performance tonight. And good to see Arteta finally play Laca and Auba together form the start. As I mentioned before, no idea why he hasn’t done this. Laca made all the difference. He is better protecting the ball but also an eagerness to hustle in the pocket just behind Auba. Together they created massive issues for the Villa back 3 that had to squeeze tight and ceded space for Tavares and Tomiyasu whom I thought also stood out today. Also Partey better today with Lokongo closer in a traditional midfield 2. element of luck about the goals but you… Read more »


This was the first game in forever where I couldn’t really think of any negatives (okay, I wanted Mikel to take Saka off at 3-0).

Considering we played a 4-4-2, it kind of felt like Arteta was simply letting the players show what they could do when left alone.

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