Saturday, May 21, 2022

Report: Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal (inc. goal)

Result: Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 19 March 2022
Venue: Villa Park

Arsenal: Leno, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette

Subs: Okonkwo, Holding, Tavares, Swanson, Lokonga, Elneny, Pepe, Hutchinson, Nketiah


Bukayo Saka’s first half strike sealed a 1-0 win for Arsenal at Aston Villa as Mikel Arteta’s side took another step towards Champions League football.

The win sees the Gunners stretch the lead on fifth-place Manchester United to four points and opens up a six-point gap on West Ham and Sp*rs who face each other on Sunday.

Pre-game

For the first time since the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City, Arsenal were without Aaron Ramsdale between the sticks for a Premier League game. The keeper picked up a hip injury in the midweek defeat to Liverpool and remained in London to recuperate. It sounds like his participation with England is also in doubt. Bernd Leno stepped up from the bench with Arthur Okonkwo providing backup. Gabriel Martinelli, such a livewire on Wednesday, also missed out with illness meaning Emile Smith Rowe came into the starting lineup. Other than that, Arsenal were unchanged.

First Half

As halves of football go, this was an accomplished one by Arsenal. From start to finish, we dominated the ball, creating chances with neat passing play that had Villa stretched all over the pitch. Out of possession, we closed down high up the pitch so that the home side struggled to feed the ball to their more dangerous players further up the pitch. 

While we didn’t create that many clear-cut chances, at the break it felt like we deserved to be further ahead than the one goal advantage given to us by Bukayo Saka on the half hour mark. 

We set out our intentions early on. After Partey, Saka and Odegaard worked a cutback for Emile Smith Rowe, the England international, making one of his trademark late runs into the box, fired over. The 21-year-old had a second opportunity 15 minutes later but on that occasion couldn’t sort out his body shape as he awkwardly met another cross. Martinez grabbed the loose ball as it was going wide. 

The Argentine keeper had earlier collected a Partey shot – fired straight at him from just inside the box – and made a superb save to keep out a deflection by centre-back Konsa. 

When we finally made the breakthrough, it wasn’t a surprise that Saka was involved. The England international saw lots of the ball on the right and enjoyed terrorising Ashley Young. The 36-year-old looked way off the pace and was made to pay a heavy price when he resorted to fouling our man on the touchline. 

Saka and Cedric cleverly worked space for the right-back from the set piece and when his cross looped into the box, the Gunners did well to keep it alive before Saka rifled home the bouncing ball from 18-yards. It was a controlled finish that worked its way through a mass of bodies before nestling in the net and Arsenal’s 2000th in the Premier League. (1-0)

While it would be a stretch to suggest this was a feisty affair, there was definitely an edge to things. Jacob Ramsey had already gone in the book before Mings sparked a melee with a late challenge that left Saka in a heap. As Arsenal’s players turned to referee Andy Madley, McGinn gave Lacazette a shove that earned him a booking. Mings was also carded before Xhaka joined him in the book on the cusp of half time for a tiny push on Buendia.

Second half

Obviously told to keep the pressure up, we were quick out of the traps again. Every time we lost the ball, we won it back quickly penning the home side into their own half. The pressure led to half chances for Smith Rowe, from a corner, and Odegaard but neither hit their efforts with enough conviction.

Villa weren’t going to let us have it all our own way and when Young curled a dangerous cross to the back post, Gabriel did brilliantly to head it clear under pressure from Watkins.

Saka had another chance to test Martinez on the break but he was crowded out by a blur of maroon shirts having held on to the ball too long.

By the hour mark, Villa were looking much better and we were lucky McGinn didn’t find the target with a low curler that just whipped past Leno’s post. We pushed them back again and Saka had two more opportunities, the second going just wide as he cut onto his left foot.

Perhaps dictated by the heavy blows he took in the first half, Saka was the first to make way. He was replaced by Nicolas Pepe. That change came moments after Watkins, via a deflection off Tierney, hit the base of the post.

Villa responded by making two changes of their own, Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore being sent on for Buendia and Ramsey. The two subs looked to combine immediately forcing White into a desperate clearance at the near post.

We continued to be patient in our build up play but couldn’t quite create the clear cut chance we needed to settle the match. Lacazette had a prime opportunity to play in Odegaard but decided to shoot himself and had his shot blocked. Arteta didn’t like that much and hooked off the Frenchman soon after. Eddie Nketiah came on for the final 13 minutes.

Villa’s last throw of the dice saw Danny Ings replace Watkins. He didn’t have to wait long for his first chance, connecting with a cross to loop a header just over the bar. That frayed the nerves enough for us to send on Rob Holding as we reverted to a five-man backline to deal with a late aerial bombardment.

White, Gabriel and, right at the death, Leno all made vital contributions in those closing stages before the whistle went to signal a huge three points.

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Ólafur

Massive win! COYG

Omash

Great win, slowly and surely we will make UCL.

Sagebrush

We will get there

Maniac

Man do Arsenal not half test my blood pressure. Cannot understate how massive a 3 points that was. COYG!

JuiceJ

We all are on the edge of the seat with you mate, but this one felt way far too secure. Villa offered very little and great team work to stifle them. 1 shot on target and that came in the 94min.

Paul

Exactly!! The 94th minute. Why do they do it to us? 🙂

Maniac

Pepe giving away a stupid foul on the edge of our box in the 94th minute had me screaming at the TV. We played really well defensively all game, but it’s moments like those which can turn the game on its head in a matter of seconds that stress me out so much.

SpudGun68

Wow, that last free kick almost gave me a heart attack. Brilliant defensive display and three gorgeous points.

Fabulous

Massive heart attack as well.

Crystal Palace away next, not easy. But we’re taking it game by game, top 4 in our hands.

78/79/80

Surely Paddy does us a favour like the Walrus used to fir Utd.

GoonerJust

Glad that we nail it! Great win, great mentality. I was quite anxious waiting for the final whistle. I think it obvious that Ramsdale ball distribution is much better than Leno

C.B.

Saka scores the 2,000 goal for Arsenal in the PL!

Fuzz

If it takes 15 years to score each 1,000 goals maybe a 36 year old Saka will get the 3k too (let me dream)

Dr Zebra

Hehe according to Arteta, it may only take us about 10 more years!

Vaibhav

Haha that sounds too good to be true because over longer term these things do average out, so 15 it will be 😀

C.B.

Big win, good attacking first half, strong in defence in the second. Good signs of progress!

eternalflamini

These are the kind of bounce back wins that champions are made of. COYG!

Red Arrow

Bouncebackability!

Cygan’sbaldspot

Nice

shokim

Massive 3 points! Well done, boys!

weebgooner

Glad we are able to win away against Villa!
So happy for Saka winning goal as the 2,000th goal in PL!
COYG!

Gunner Thesaurus

Nice victory! Partey was really good again!

On a different note, whoever the commentator was on the broadcast in India, I think Peter Drury, can piss right off. I’m almost sure he was wearing an Aston Villa kit while doing his “job”.

kaius

Yeah Peter Drury tries too hard, I always mute that failed poet

Flashman71

Yep he is awful. He used to do commentry for itv champions league for years here, loves man utd used to fawn over them and almost orgasm when commentating on them. His tones of voice and false inflections when commentating used to drive me insane “and rooney…” etc. Glad you mentioned it he been bugging me for years shame he has managed to keep working for other channels he is such a biased dick!

Vaibhav

The whole broadcasting team which are shown in India are huge United fanboys and the discomfort was visible when presenter mentioned Arsenal opened up a 4 points gap with United. I enjoyed that bit.

Jack

Xhaka getting a yellow for accumulative fouls even though it was his first foul was the most Xhaka thing to happen to Xhaka

Paul

I loved Xhaka asking “what was that for?” as he clearly wasn’t sure if it was the foul or pushing the bloke away afterwards. 🙂

John

Anticipatory bookings are his speciality.

chepetin

It’s like our own version of Minority Report, with Xhaka getting yellow cards before he commits the actual fouls…

thanasis

“Many referees didn’t play football in their life and some decisions are at least strange”, klop had told in a press conference last year. The referee today hearing moans, manted to thank people and tabloints and pundits, saw near him Xhaka and gave him a yellow card! Shall i smile or I cry?

Magneto

This yellow card says a lot more about the match officials, and their agenda against Arsenal at particular moments in a season, then it does about Xhaka.

David C

How did Young not get a yellow for accumulative dives? Must have been at least 4, such an unlikable player.

Gooner7190

Or Cash for 4-5 fouls whilst Xhaka & Cedric got bookings for their only fouls. I would expect consistency but I’ve seen how many flailing elbows Mane gets away with this season while we get players sent off for 2 yellows in 5 seconds

A Different George

Ashley Young has earned the official lifetime achievement award for diving. There was one today where he (a) had lost control of the ball, (b) was not fouled, and (c) was outside the penalty area but threw himself into it. That, my friends, is an artist at work.

Gooner7190

You forgot (d) looked at the ref, arms out, asking for the pen then looking confused as to why he didn’t get it

Jordan

Is there a way to mute the commentary but unmute the sound of the stadium & crowd? I really miss the sound of the crowd, but the commentary almost made my ears bleed. I’m glad I am not the co-commentator because if I was, I would have punched that guy. In self defence, to save my ears.

Jack

They spoke for about 10 mins about Partey fouling someone when they were taking a corner, showed the replay and it was the most non existent thing ever

Jordan

yeah making my blood boil! It was almost some dark magic subconscious distracting shit!

Flashman71

Yep you totallyright whilst completely ignoring the dirty foul twat ashley young was literally doing on saka as they were fucking talking. You couldn’t make it up!

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Then you would have missed the great Mcmanaman saying “up the arse”

TeeCee

“the great Mcmanaman”
There are two of them?

JuiceJ

I feel you, but we keep getting the 3 points.

Jordan

That’s always the sweetest revenge!

Flashman71

Spot on it was fucking dreadful wasn’t it. As arsenal fans I suppose we should be used to it but the bias is so fucking obvious it is appalling, they have no shame (of course they will maintain they are objective – but as we know are they bollocks!). It was like listening and watching Villa tv they were so desperate for Villa to do something they were willing them on. Thank fuck they didn’t win we would have had to deal with all the fawing of good ole stevie gerrard!!

MinsterGunner

Apologies if I missed it, but I don’t think there was a single mention (before, during or after the game) of the silly-short turnaround between the Liverpool game and this one. There were 62 hours between the final whistle on Weds and kick-off today.

As well as winning a battle against a talented side away from home, we also won a battle against fatigue. It’s to Arsenal’s great credit… and it would have been nice for the broadcaster to mention it even once.

Gooner7190

McManaman telling the ref to stop being fussy when he made Villa retake a free kick for a moving ball really irked me, blokes following the laws & you want him to let it go cause it’s against The Arsenal? Love The Away Boyz though, broke out the complete songbook today although I’m still not sold on them singing Benny White White White, that song is Wrighty’s

Qwaliteee

The BT Sport twats – especially McManaman – were in vintage anti-Arsenal tosser mode.

At times, it was bordering on Villa worship.

Disgraceful, when you consider the money those clay brains are being paid to spout the tripe they come out with.

baz00r

I have been told if you have surround sound, if you turn down or mute the centre channel, you can effectively get rid of most if not all of the commentary. Can’t say I have tried though!

RobC

kudos to the boys, I feared a meltdown after Liverpool defeat and they responded with a resilient display getting three points away from home! so happy I was proved wrong. in my face!

Qwaliteee

Or, as the Merse would say, “a melt up”…..!! 😂

He was coming out with some beauts the other day in the Sky studio box at the Emirates, bless him.

“Partey’s joined the party” was another one.

You’ve gotta love The Merse.

Grumbleduke

Great 3 points against the villa animals. McGinn can go fuck himself.

Flashman71

Yep they were dirty esp that fucker, mings and young.

MojoWillneny

Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey
Thomas Partey.
Now we’re seeing one of the best No. 6’s on the planet!!!

UzesGooner

YES YES YES 💥💥💥

Brady’s bunch

Thought he was man of the match today, kept Coutinio quiet all game. Benji white had a good game too.

Kentish Gooner

That top four finish is VERY realistic now. Absolutely loving this team that Mikel has put together. COYG

Guns Up

I’ve mentioned it a few times, and usually with a pinch of jest, but Chelsea are well within range still, particularly with a win at Stamford Bridge, which doesn’t seem too far fetched in my opinion.

IamsterdamGooner

Yeah, i mentioned it a couple weeks back. Need to grind out wins consistently and hope for a couple of Chel$ki draws and losses in meanwhile tho. Mate, 3rd place would be something else!!🤯 COYG!!

Gooner7190

100%. Beat them & win our game in hand & we’re 3rd. Surprised to see Keown say Spurs are favourites for 4th though, I can only assume that’s because his got us pitched for 3rd because nobody of an Arsenal persuasion would ever think Spurs are favourites for anything

Arsenal

Looking at the table, we don’t look that far away from city as well. We used to have a 20+ point difference in this part the season. Excited to see this team because their ceiling is so high.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

I just realised we’ve only won 5 games less than City, in 1 less game

Zadok the Regular Priest

Think that’s what’s known as a “good away performance”.

Gooner7190

Professional, controlled 1-0 that. Never even felt under threat until their only shot on target

BillyKrystal

May Ashley Young’s mouth alway hang open. And may our avian friends aim always be true.

Flashman71

😅😅👏

Sheldon

Partey is just immense!

UzesGooner

👊💥

The Arsenal

Even though we lost people really need to watch his first half vs Liverpool again. and the performance against City.

Lacaubapepe

Huge win. But it’s that last scene of the boys surrounding Leno in celebration for me! The camaraderie in this arsenal team is real. COYG!!!

Up4GrabsNow!

Brilliant team display. Great win. The naysayers can shut it. When “This is where we hold them Holding” came on, I knew we were safe.

Many wanted Martinez over Leno but today at least Bernd made the big saves and Emi will feel he should have done better.

Fourth place trophy, here we come!

Wengerball

This team is just missing a top striker. Scary to think we are fourth with the youngest squad in the league and the majority of our goals coming from our wingers.

Cyril

Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal!

Grumbleduke

Nice one

JuiceJ

Massive results, well played from the boys, energy levels did go down a little in the second half which was expected after the Liverpool game but we controlled the game fairly well. 300000 passes, I love it. COYG!

Give youth a chance

That match felt really comfortable for a 1-0 until the last 10 minutes

Amazed villa didn’t get more yellow cards, especially when you look at Xhaka’s booking

Abiodun

At work, only got to watch stream. Heart almost quit a few times. Great win. This team is on to something.

Cyril

Working hard or hardly working?

Fatgooner

An enjoyable but slightly frustrating afternoon.

We dominated a very good Villa side and were good enough for a comfortable 3-0 win. But in the end we had to settle for the 1-0. Villa could have even nicked an undeserved point at the end. Or inability to create and convert clear-cut chances is still a big problem.

Arteta is creating something special here, but we desperately need a couple of strikers in the summer.

White and Gabriel joint MOTH.

Flashman71

Good points made about taking our chances, we need to make it easier for ourselves and prevent the frustration in most matches, you right.

UzesGooner

Thomas Partey. That is all.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Great win against what looked like a potential banana skin.
Another game that shows how good we can be with upgrades on Laca and Xhaka, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Mikel is doing a great job.
Gabriel was immense.
Nketiah is really bad.
Now lets hope for a Spurs/West Ham draw.

Have a good couple weeks looking at the league table

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Xhaka fans. I wasn’t in any way, shape or form implying that Xhaka was bad today, he actually defended well

UzesGooner

We will miss Xhaka. 😱

Mkh

He wasn’t bad, but not at the level of this Arsenal.

The Arsenal

He was exceptional today. Those that don’t want a better player than him but still have the guy around dont know what Squad depth means and just seem to take it personally. Same with Laca. Love the guy but a better striker and we are 3-0 up at half time.

UzesGooner

Nketiah wasn’t even chasing 100% when he came on……no where near good enough

Carlos

It’s so frustrating to watch nketiah trudge around the pitch. I can understand it if you’ve put solid minutes in closing down, but after 5-10 minutes on, he NEVER closes down fast enough. Wish we gave his minutes to a hungry youngster.

kaius

He’s the proverbial bull in a china shop with the fouls he gives away too. Him and Pepe need to refine that part of their game – don’t give the opposition encouragement!

Alan Sunderland

Eddie might be on track to set the record for fouls per minute played. He was pathetic today, pepe and Eddie both should look at holding to see how to enhance your reputation by doing your job and putting in a bit of effort when you get the chance.

Brady’s bunch

Yeah Pepe back to being shite as well

Tombo

Great win, but we should have been out of sight. If we get a top striker we will be some beast of a team!

Anteneh Ademe

I loved Arteta as a player for us. I think he was underrated and He’s management style is just what we need. Not afraid to make tough decisions. Standing on the touch line pushing the boys. Even of results may not go our way sometimes, I’m ok knowing an effort is being made by the manager and the players.

Qwaliteee

Ultimately, that is all we can ask for.

Real supporters will forgive a lot, if they can see that 100% effort is being put in.

And 100% effort is definitely what the manager and the team are putting in.

If they keep this up, then I can forgive 5th or even 6th place, if the lads have given their all and fate conspires against us.

Hopefully, that won’t be the case. The manager and the players richly deserve that 4th place and all the plaudits that will continue to come their way.

Proud of them. 👏

Silentstan

We were generally very solid in defence and mf, nearly all pressure came from our own mistakes ( loose passes). Downsides were the inability to take chances. Lacca showed why he should not be retained. Pepe did his best to be appalling for 15 minutes. Unfortunately ESR had a very average game and so Marti was certainly missed. The Liverpool game certainly affected us but once again we had a great 1st half

Mkh

Great 3 points. What a scary shot at 94 minute.
I hope we don’t renew Nketiah for next season.

Gunn Cabinet

Villa were so bad we did not even need to get out of first gear to beat them. I don’t know why I was so worried before the game. Seriously though, I think it is time we trusted this young team to deliver the goods. It was not ideal having to play today at lunch time, but we still created enough chances to bury Villa into their own arse had we had a sharper striker. But no matter. I love a goal against Martinez, and for him to stay hopeful until the last minute: then take a front row seat… Read more »

Mkh

Well-said!

Qutubkhan

Incredible performance and vital 3 points. Missing 3 first choice players at one of the toughest places to go away in this league. Top top stuff!

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

Massive, massive 3 points!!!

Andrea

Leno distribution was quite poor hopefully ramsdale returns asap Aside from that COYG

Mkh

Leno did a great job. Be realistic.

Flashman71

He didn’t say anything in terms of shot saving but rightly stated his kicking is poor, and it is. He took 3 goal kicks in a 10min period at one point 2 ended up in the stands and the other over hit into martinez’s hands. It is important because in tight or difficult games you can’t be handing possession back to the opposition so easily.

Mkh

That’s my point. We better see the good and the bad at the same time.

The Arsenal

5 away game wins in a row.. First time in seven years. Character.

Cooked Patino

Very glad Arteta kept the Ramsdale injury. Figured Villa may have threatened more with Ings starting.
All the same, great win by the boys. I’ll have this win all day even if we have to be awarded the most unhealthy team to follow in the world

LoonyLeftie

Awesome win. Hopefully that will crush the spirits of sp*rs, manure and west spam.

Qwaliteee

Another solid performance from one and all, this really is good stuff. I must admit to cursing our two additional injuries before kick off, but it became clear very quickly that Leno and ESR were more than capable replacements, some nice play as usual from the latter and a great save at the death from the former to deny Villa what would have been an undeserved point. My only gripe is that we didn’t kill the game off sooner, but it really would be churlish to complain at the moment, given the overall performances and results. As ever, we just… Read more »

Kanonian Gunnar

Great performance with great 3 points champion league for sure

Sammy Nelsons Arse

Was worried about this game but lads did well, looked quite comfortable. Bernie did well was worried when Rambo was announced unavailable. great 3 points

Teryima Adi

I was on the edge of my seat at the closing stages of the match.The final whistle was a relief.

baz00r

Perfect way to bounce back from Liverpool. Arteta is right though, we need to start scoring more goals. Our reliance on Saka is getting a bit much. I still think there is too much passing out wide and not enough link-up play directly through the middle (where a prolific striker would help).

Pete Plum

What a cunt McGinn is sneaking round and charging at Laca unseen from the side trying to impersonate a big man dishing it out. Then trying to pull aside Gabriel and Partey and getting absolutely nowhere because actually he’s just a prick.

us_gunned_lad

that was a massively impressive save from leno. if we get top 4 this year we can look at that as a major factor

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