Bukayo Saka’s first half goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win for Arsenal at Villa Park this afternoon.
The England international struck the only goal of the game in the 30th minute, firing through a sea of legs beyond former teammate Emi Martinez.
It was tough going at times, and late on Bernd Leno saved a Coutinho free kick to ensure that the cleans sheet and the three points came back to North London.
Here’s how the players rated this afternoon.
Read the Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal report and see the goals here
Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal – Player Ratings
The ratings are hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Bernd Leno. Also, please give the ratings a few seconds to load.
I appreciate what Laca usually brings to the team but today when his hold up play is off and he can’t do 1-2s it highlights how much we need a different kind of striker. Then he got his shot block when he had someone in total space running to the right
10/10 Steve Mcmannaman having to watch Arsenal win. He absolutely hates us and I am still not sure why he commentates all our games on BT
Still think he’s less biased than Gary Neville though – he’s the worst on our games! 🙁
Nah i’d say Andy Townsend is the worst. It’s not even the continuous beratment of Arsenal or the bias i’m talking about. What he says sometimes on the screen are things a drunk fan in a pub would blurt out. Absolutely the worst of the lot in terms if commentary and punditry
The world feed used by NBC among others had Jim Beglin, the old Liverpool fullback, who is both insightful and unbiased. He thought the yellow on Mings was harsh; he wasn’t sure the one on Partey even merited a free kick.
Yeah, I had him on the box today and I liked him. Don’t recall listening to him previously. Had some good perspectives on things and I agree that he was insightful and unbiased.
I am still not sure why he commentates.
Jim Beglin was almost, not quite, sort off praising Arsenal briefly while secretly hoping for an Ings header to go in.
Ian Wright was happy so that’s the main thing.
It seems that only Scousers are employed as co-commentators these days, maybe it’s because of their even-handedness and whining nasal accents. I usually turn the sound down.
Whenever I hear a scouser speak I always think: whose still using a fax machine these days?
If you believe in karma Steve McManaman will be reincarnated as… Steve McManaman
Laca seems slow to almost every 50/50 ball. He must lead the league in shots that are blocked since January.
is the answer saka and esr on the wings with martinelli in the middle this year or do you hold off risking the mojo created by our current form?
Or ESR in the middle and Martinelli on the left. I’d love to see us play Martinelli, ESR, Saka and Odegaard without a designated striker.
Never go full Pep amirite? Seriously though, ESR at CF is an option, Arteta talked it up recently.
Could work. He has that drive and single mindedness a striker needs. He’s an excellent finisher too. I was looking at his conversion rate last week and it’s astonishing compared to any of the other top goalscorers in the league.
Martinelli on the left doesn’t provide the same defensive solidity as having ESR on the left in front of Tierney.
Watching that chance again where he could have played it on to Odegaard, I thought the really smart play would have been to reverse it to Smith Rowe. If you watch the defenders movement you can see Konsa or whoever is going over to Odegaard anticipating that pass, leaving Smith Rowe (and I think Saka) free. Odegaard would also most likely have had to take it on his right foot, and I wouldn’t really back Odegaard to be less likely to have his shot blocked than Laca. Basically I can see why Laca shot, but I think he should have… Read more »
It could have bee put on plate on Odegaard’s left foot for a curler to the far post.
Mings had already read the pass to Odegaard, it wasn’t on. OP is right, ESR was the pass if he’d seen it.
this team is going to explode when we get a big technical striker that Arteta really wants. If Laca leaves I’d love Toney as a backup/option
I actually thought Laca was instrumental in the first half, the amount interceptions/tackles he made to start off attacks was pretty impressive, seems everyone here missed all that.
I think we all know what the next evolution of this team is in order for us to push on and be better next season. Its going to boil down to strategic investment in the right areas of the playing squad where we need personnel upgrades. It will be a real test of the ownership and their sense of ambition, because if we make top 4, they have to go out and get two or three top class players just to help sustain us. As I think this current group will not be enough to repeat that achievement next season.… Read more »
Partey is beyond amazing. Playing like a love child of Viera and Fabregad. My man of the match again.
May I say that it is noticeable how much better he is when playing alongside Xhaka.
or the other way round?
So, so calm on the ball, even a Utd-supporting friend told me he hates us for having such a midfielder. Lol. We are going to be so annoying to play against next season with a couple of additions. Because, not only can we blitz opponents with attacking verve, we also can dig our heels in and grind out a win. Not many teams have that these days. After many years of suffering, just looking forward to the future now gets me feeling orgasmic, for real! Credit to the hierarchy of this club, we look properly well-run at the moment. It’s… Read more »
Absolutely. A definite nine in my book. I actually gave 9,5.
Partey is absolutely crucial to the team. Almost irreplaceable.
He’s really stepped up since the Afcon, fantastic player to watch .
Agree, perhaps White should be a point higher? Our best central defensive pairing since…..2005?
That’s doing injustice to Mertescielny!
Loved these 2, but I don’t think they were that consistent, to be honest. Plus Gabi and Ben are young, and still learning.
Per was slow, and if Kos had Per’s character and composure he could’ve played for Real Madrid, had zero leadership in him.
Arguable but hasn’t reached the Kos-Mertesacker levels of amazing yet, may be next season?
This was my favorite White performance yet, he reads the game so well, total throwback to Tony Adams era with some Wenger silk already built in.
Arseblog was kind to Laca today, he worked really hard made several tackles and interceptions but attacking wise was lacking big time, he should have passed to Odegaard too instead of having a shot, hopefully he picks it up. Our defence was absolutely sensational, I love that I can say that we have a stable defence, it is something that was a sticking point for a long time, we look a lot better now. Partey is really coming into his own, he makes things look so damn easy. We cannot underestimate how big this win is, they did the double… Read more »
Just realized that it’s not possible to remove thumbs up/down? Missclicked this one… Possible to fix, blogs?
It is possible. If you click by mistake, clicking the opposite up/down thumb will cancel out your original thumb, and then you can press once more to give the corrected thumb up or down
Completely agree with this. I desperately want him to be better but cannot help but get frustrated watching him.
Mings had already read the pass to Odegaard, it wasn’t on. ESR was the pass if he’d seen it.
0/10 for the ref, yet again.
We can just make that default rating for every game, going forward.
For a league that is widely-regarded as the best in the world, it hurts to see the level of refereeing incompetence. Every week there’s at least 3 hot points of contention from across all 10 games. It’s underwhelming, to say the least.
I thought the referee was quite poor but his calls favoured us as much as Villa. I did want to see a yellow for Ashley Young’s dive. For auld lang syne.
The yellow cards to Xhaka and Partey aside I don’t see much wrong to be honest. He blew for a lot of fouls (especially Cash on ESR), and for Saka as well.
Thomas Partey’s playing at a world class level now. His quality makes it very hard for teams to handle us because we are now so stable in midfield, to complement our strong defense. It allows our attackers to play more freely. Things will only get better when we sign a goal scoring striker this summer. Partey’s a massive component to our success. Have to give kudos to Xhaka as well. He’s playing really well and he showed discipline not to stupidly get a second yellow card. Massive win today. Massive!!!!
I don’t think Xhaka has ever had a second yellow, all straight reds albeit some harsh ones, especially that dark yellow, still haven’t seen anyone getting sent off for the same foul.
Partey was Fantastic
Didn’t catch all of the second half but would have called out Cedric a bit more, some dangerous moments in the first half that he snuffed out really well. We all want Tomi back but credit where it’s due, Cedric seems to be getting more and more solid.
I think people forget he was the right fullback for Portugal’s European champions. Okay, five years on, but he was a quality player.
Exactly, when there were also Semedo, Perreira competing for that RB spot, Cedric was the first choice. Again, that was years back but there’s a quality player there somewhere.
Couldn’t agree more with the bonus rating. Nketiah is so lethargic in his off ball movement. It reminds me of the arsenal we were not too long ago, disjointed, lack of effort and disconnected to the game plan. I hope we get some money on him when he leaves in a bosman. Signing him to take up a promising players space would be a mistake imo.
Seems like all he does is come on late and foul defenders
To be fair, Nketiah doesn’t really seem to be a premier league centre forward. That’s more an observation than a criticism but he’s probably suited to a lower division to make a decent career. It’s kind of strange that at 22 he’s even at arsenal any more.
He’ll join a mid-table bundesliga club in a couple of months and that will be it.
Yeah, Nketiah. It’s like nothing sticks to him. Too often a passenger.
Not sure Pepe is Saka’s ideal backup if we get CL next year. Feels like we definitely need to be in the market for a striker and midfielder but also a solid, consistent winger too.
Reece Nelson? Omari Hutchinson??
Reiss Nelson is about as solid and consistent as what I found on the kitchen floor the morning after my dog discovered and ate a bowl of Doritos.
Cedric was decent I thought. I’d easily give a 7.5
This team reminds of us of our good old @Arsenalfc soccer. We are really on the right direction just needs two to three additions in midfield and upfront.
Thought Eddie was having a laugh, strolling around and not closing down. Should have been running his socks off. Poor showing.
when he press he just gives away a lazy free..
TP5! can’t wait for a proper pairing to him in addition to Ode.
Arteta and Edu plz do some magic this transfer window
I thought xhaka was quality alongside partey today. They seem to compliment each other well.
Thomas: Granit, you sure are one handsome chap
Granit: Oh Thomas, you cheeky bastard. By the way, I love what you’ve done with your hair
Partey is so good when receiving the ball back-to-goal but it feels like one day teams will catch on to his turns and pick his pocket. He’s afforded a lot of time to turn, not sure if he only does it when he k las there’s no pressure or if it’s a bit lucky.
Thing is, he knows when to turn and when not to. Watch well, and you’d see him surveying his surrounding before deciding what to do next.
Also, I think many people are afraid to press him because he can dribble and pass really well. So teams probably like to keep their shape and make it harder for him to pick out dangerous passes.
Partey!!! What a player.
Fantastic results and man management by Arteta to see out a tough away match with tired legs.
Nketiah was awful today. Absolutely no energy. I understand he has one foot out the door but today he looked slow and disinterested at a time when the team needed someone with fresh legs to show some enthusiasm.
Totally agree. Granted the bench was thin, but would have preferred someone like a Elneny to come on instead of him. Would have run his tail off, closed down the opposition, and been a general pain in the neck to Villa.
I’ve completely lost my patience with Pepe. He’s not even trying and everything he did today was helping Aston Villa to start another attack. I’ll never understand why he doesn’t even try to get his place back.
To be honest, I would give Smith Rowe a lower rating too, since he never really got into the game.
Smith Rowe played two wonderful diagonals that almost lead to goals.
One of which I think he would have scored if laca had left it for him. Though I think that’s more down to ESR not being vocal/demanding enough rather than 100% greed on lacas part.
Yes, Pepe was very poor but ESM was excellent throughout and his defensive partnership with Tierney is probably better than Tierney’s is with Martinelli. What game were you watching? Should have gone to Specsavers
Loved how the boys celebrated with Leno in the end. And also how happy he appeared to be. Despite loosing his place, he has been a top pro. He deserves to play every week and will have my blessing when he chooses to leave next season.
I’m probably in the minority here for this but I don’t really think there’s anything between the GKs. Leno did have some shaky moments last season but our defense play in general was unsettled and he’s also had great games for us. He’ll probably want to leave in summer to play more which is fair but I get a vibe a bit like when Szczsney was dropped for Cech.
Leno is still the better shot stopper for sure. Ramsdale is capable of the spectacular but is more raw in his technique – has a tendency to lurch his bodyweight too far to one foot and be slow shifting back across as a result. Leno by comparison is always perfectly poised and positioned, and regularly makes difficult saves look quite simple. I don’t remember a single goal where he’s been wrongfooted (except by a deflection) or just stood like a statue I think Ramsdale is/will be a massive player for us, and has a higher ceiling than Leno, but he… Read more »
Spot on, couldn’t have said if better.
I’m pretty sure they did the same thing when he had that dangerous ball where he almost landed badly. Good spirit this team has.
That fall worried me a bit. If he injured himself and had to come off, it would have made for an even more tense ending.
Thank goodness we have Cedric during Tomiyasu’s absence.
a few months ago I never thought I’d hear anyone say that, let alone agree with it.
How many times has Saka been fouled this season? Amazing how we can do so well without a striker.
Felt like this is the kind of game we will win 3-0 next year with a proper striker.
Otherwise I know it’s impossible not to love Tierney and he looks solid defensively but he doesn’t offer much anymore going forward, does he?
I think that would change if we had a poacher in the box and actually have someone to aim for. Love laca and his dedication the last few games, but he isnt really a header of the ball or a poacher really. At least not in recent years. Next season once we have a new striker i think we will see his best going forward again
who exactly is he supposed to be crossing to? Laca is hardly an aerial threat.
Correct me if I’m wrong but there is not much aerial threat at the Liverpool forward line (bar Jota who’s really good despite his size) and it doesn’t prevent TAA and Robo to get tons of assists.
Like I said, I love KT, I just fear we overrated him a little bit.
They do have an aerial threat. Players don’t have to be 6’2″ to be that. Jota, Firmino and to some extent Mané as well are good headers of the ball. Early crossing is the way to go for such players so they can reach the ball before the defender instead of the only way being to jump higher. You might remember that Falcao guy who was quite something at headers being 5’9″ or something.
0/10 for the pigeons of Birmingham all missing Ashley Young’s mouth today. Back to target practice lads.
10/10 for that comment
Think the Tierney role change has been pretty vital recently. Was not long ago he was the focal point of most attacks, which just was not sustainable. Is now playing like a complete full back with his primary role being as part of the back 4, overlapping when needed rather than every time, and he’s doing it very well.
He’s been fantastic. I think people have been critical of him because they expected him to be going forward like he used to but he’s so solid in his current role. Was MOTM for me today.
He’s got Gabby ahead of him to do the damage he doesn’t need to be bombing up and down the wing as much
Yes I noticed that he’s not getting behind his full back and whipping in crosses lately but who exactly is he supposed to be crossing to? Laca is hardly an aerial threat.
Doubt anyone has a better second goalie tha Leno!
Maybe Liverpool but I get what you’re saying. He was pretty calm with the ball at his feet as well today. Really happy for him and the team!
Nketiah is really trash, didn’t even run hard to press and can’t control ball properly – even Odegaard pressed harder during that period. Really don’t understand what Arteta sees in him
He’s the only other contracted centre forward at the club, I think trash is harsh but I agree he’s really not good enough to play for arsenal. I’m sure he could find a club in the championship and have a decent career but he seems to have a petulant side and maybe thinks he’s better than he is.
I was impressed with Cedric’s game today. I think he had a solid game and I loved his attitude even more! Despite his size, he was up for battle all night.
Massive win! Great job team!
Great 3 points and very good away performance from the boys. The refereeing was very very poor today. Saka was getting kicked by almost everyone but the lad was just sort of ignoring it. We need to continue this and take the maximum from our next 3 games before we play Chelsea and ManU.
Great win before the interlul, the squad was being stretched and a couple of injuries and niggles cropping up so the break couldn’t have come at a better time! Lacazette though, man loves to play with his back to goal so much he sometimes makes easier chances into difficult lay offs, please get a proper striker this summer, please!! Coyg💪
Pepe not only committed that stupid and dangerous foul but he also gave the ball away numerous times while we were trying to control the game. I think we might as well part with him at this point.
Fantastic win, great performance all round, but have to agree on Eddie – you’re playing for arsenal mate, you should be willing to out it all on the line.
Cedric again showing he can be valuable. Laca shooting instead of passing to Odegaard makes sense to me, strikers need to shoot. And stating the obvious, Saka is a gem.
Watching Villa, I wouldn’t want us to go near Coutinho in the summer. Watkins shouldn’t be high on our list either. Wouldn’t mind Douglas Luiz at a reasonable price.
Also, our shirt in the sunshine and the cannon crest 10/10.
Why not try pepe in false 9 position. There is no problem trying
Think he’ll be on the move in the summer
I’m happy to offer to carry him on my back to his new club
Why not try pepe in d false 9 position there’s no harm trying
Surprised at the praise for Leno… He was competent, but hardly put under much pressure – and his distribution was really poor in the second half! Maybe Ramsdale has spoiled me, but I thought in the second half as Villa were starting to threaten it was rubbish of Leno to give away possesion multiple times off long kicks either to Martinez or out the touch lines… Can’t let them back into the game!
Agreed on Eddie.
Ground it out – character just getting stronger and stronger and the season runs on… brilliant. Leno showed loads of it coming in after such an abscence so respect there, however having been spolied by Rambo’s laser distribution, Leno repeated hoofing into either no-man’s land or touch got a little irritating! Top save at the death though… Partey has finally levelled up to the monster we hoped he would/could be. What I love most about him is the ‘great player time factor’ he has – just seems to have that extra few seconds bubble around him that the really class… Read more »
Neves could be worth a punt in the xhaka role if the money was right.
What is the Xhaka role exactly? Panto villain?
Would prefer Renato Sanches – he’s not necessarily the shiniest thing in the shop window atm but I just have a feeling he’s got something about him, and he has a point to prove back in Blighty so timing could be spot on.
This is the type of game we lose or draw to in the past, kudos to the boys this was a mature display. I wonder if we should give Eddie nketiah a run in that no 9 position, lacazette is missing something. Again partey was immense also wanna stress that Cedric did very well and arseblog doesn’t quite give him the credit he deserves or downplays it a bit.
So you want to replace someone who runs all match but can’t score with someone who doesn’t run and can’t score?
Laca seems to be so hell-bent on ending his goal drought that he’s now guilty of trying to score when the easier chance would be to pass to a team-mate. This selfishness will hurt the team in the long term
This game has convinced me. If we keep these guys fit and suspension-free we are easily getting 4th place. Genuinely even 3rd is possible. We’re the 3rd best team in the country and have been for a while now.
So good to watch now as well, absolutely loving the confidence and attitude of the team.
70 points will do it for 4th, meaning we just need to win the home games and draw the rest. For this team playing like this, it’s in the bag.
The arithmetic might convince you otherwise but we’re miles behind Chelsea in quality, nous and coach.
Glad I’m not the only one that thought Eddie was taking the piss with that performance. Share the sentiments with Blogs and everyone else in here. The difference between his effort and Laca’s and even Pepe’s to an extent (neither of which were particularly good) is night and day in terms of effort and energy.
Ashley Young is such an annoying, diving cunt.
To be even more grievously irritating than someone like Bruno Fernandes simply raises the bar on cuntery aforethought m’lud.
Pepe was very poor today. I thought we could used him to add a goal but he did none of that and a liability at defending. Air kicked a simple clearance at 92mins thanks to Tierney to deny Ings. https://arsenalist.com/f/tierney-denies-ings-2022-03-19.html
Then gave away an unnecessary free kick in a very dangerous location in dying minute!
Can we try martinelli as number 9
Saka and ERS as wings
Ordegaard as playmaker
Fantastic performance for at least an hour where we completely dominated and were everything that Villa weren’t i.e. composed, penetrative, organised, dangerous, pressing and aggressive. Thereafter, we tended to sit back (might have been feeling a bit leggy after the short break between games?) and invited some unwelcome late pressure. Kudos to Leno for an assured performance after such a lengthy absence and for saving the one effort they had on target. If any of you still wonder why Arteta doesn’t trust Pepe it’s because of cameos like this where his defensive contributions resemble those of a woke Harry Maguire.… Read more »
Absolutely delighted to say I thought the match was rather dull. I think Arteta treated the second half like an exercise in controlling the match, rather than trying to put it away. The only problem with that is that had Leno not reached that final ball, we’d have been crushed. Happily, that didn’t happen.