Result: Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 18 February 2023
Venue: Villa Park
Arsenal: Rasmdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Trossard, Nketiah
Subs: Turner, Tierney, Tomiyasu, Holding, Kiwior, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Nelson, Martinelli
Arsenal won a thriller at Villa, twice coming from behind before snatching the points in stoppage time.
Bukayo Saka cancelled out Ollie Watkins’ early opener but the home side took a lead into the break courtesy of Philippe Coutinho’s smart finish. Alex Zinchenko’s first Arsenal goal levelled things again on 61 minutes and it stayed 2-2 deep into stoppage time.
Both sides pushed for a winner in the closing stages, Villa hitting the bar, but it was the Gunners who came out victorious as Jorginho’s effort came back off the woodwork before finding the net off Emi Martinez’s head. In the dying seconds, substitute Gabriel Martinelli put a gloss on proceedings, streaking away to score into an empty net after a Villa corner was cleared.
The morale-boosting win returns the Gunners to the top of the table.
Mikel Arteta made two changes from the side that started the midweek defeat to Manchester City with Leandro Trossard and Ben White taking over from Gabriel Martinelli and Takehiro Tomiyasu. As expected, Thomas Partey didn’t make the trip meaning Jorginho filled his boots in the centre of the park. Emile Smith Rowe was a welcome addition to the bench having spent a further month on the sidelines recovering from a groin issue.
Given our struggles in recent weeks, the one thing we didn’t want was a slow start, so it was far from ideal that Ramsdale was picking the ball out of the net inside 5 minutes.
An innocuous lofted ball by Cash set Watkins free down the middle but marshalled by Saliba it didn’t look like a particularly dangerous situation. Within a couple of touches that had all changed. He squared up the Frenchman, went outside onto his left and found the perfect angle to drive low and hard beyond Ramsdale. Villa Park erupted. Was Saliba to blame? It felt like he could have done more. (GOAL 1-0)
There were further nervy moments at the back when Ramsdale was closed down on his goalline and just about cleared the ball from danger before we started to find a foothold in the game.
We worked neat triangles down the right on a couple of occasions and when White, picked out by Jorginho, got round the back on 12 minutes, Nketiah looked destined to score only for his header, via a slight deflection, to hit the bar. Replays suggested there may have been an offside in the build-up to spare the striker’s blushes.
We continued to push Villa back, our high press helping us win the ball in dangerous areas on several occasions. Unfortunately, the final ball was lacking. You could even say that was the case in the build-up to our equaliser. Again White got around the back and it was Mings who ended up with the assist, cushioning a header into Saka’s path allowing him to lash home first time. It was a fine finish from the England international who celebrated his 10th goal of the season at the corner flag. (GOAL 1-1)
We continued to be the better side for a solid 15 minutes but were undone with a well-worked sucker punch just past the half-hour. The home side played out from the back, made their way up the left and when Moreno played a cutback, Xhaka was taken out of the game by a Buendia dummy, leaving Coutinho in acres of space to take a touch and tuck home. (GOAL 2-1).
Cue more Arsenal possession broken up by a series of niggly fouls by Villa. Saka’s ankles took a real kicking and by the end of the half, he’d had enough. Reacting to a foul by Coutinho, he shoved the Brazilian and then Douglas Luiz. Both Luiz and Saka went in the book after several other players had gotten involved.
Saka’s frustration continued after the break. On the ball in space on 48 minutes, he opened up his body for a curler but got it all wrong and it blazed high and wide. When the camera zoomed in him, it was clear he was still limping.
Twice more the winger was in the centre of the action. A right-foot cross was cleared by Konsa and he then snatched at a shot before hitting the turf again in pain. The medics took off his boot, strapped him up and sent him on again.
Arsenal continued to dominate and came agonisingly close to an equaliser when Nketiah clipped the bar with a header after White stood up a cross to the back post.
The pressure kept building and after a scramble in the box we won a corner. From the set piece, we worked it short to the edge of the box where Zinchenko drove home beautifully with his left foot. Martinez was left standing as the ball darted inside his near post. (GOAL 2-2)
We should have taken the lead three minutes later but after Nketiah stole onto an Odegaard through ball he couldn’t keep his effort down after rounding Martinez. It was a glaring miss.
Villa threatened a couple of times on the counter as the game became more stretched. Both managers reacted by making substitutions, Trossard being replaced by Martinelli for the final 20 minutes. The Brazilian was straight into the thick of things, charging up the field at pace only to play a loose pass that Nketiah couldn’t reach.
Odegaard really should have put the game to bed on 74 minutes but produced a miss so bad that he couldn’t help but collapse to the turf in dismay. The goal was gaping when he was played in by Nketiah who’d stolen the ball in the box only for the Norwegian to screw wide.
With the game on a knife edge, Villa still sensed a chance to win. Bailey, running from the touchline, had our defence backpedalling and unleashed a rocket that smashed the bar. Ramsdale’s fingertips made the difference.
At the other end, Odegaard swung in a free-kick that Gabriel glanced over the bar. The clocked continued to tick down. Saka squeezed through a gap but fired straight at Martinez, who picked up a booking for timewasting.
Into six minutes of stoppage time and substitute Duran tested Ramsdale on another counterattack. Still we pushed forward in search of a winner. When the ball fell to Jorginho on the edge of the box, the whole Arsenal end screamed shoot. He did. It smashed against the bar, bounced back onto Martinez’s head and rebounded back into the neck. Wow. What a moment. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What an amazing moment. (GOAL 3-2)
Surely that was the end of the drama? Not quite. Again Villa came back at us winning a corner right at the death. Up went Martinez leaving his goal exposed. The Gunners cleared, Fabio Vieira streaked away, Martinelli went with him, collected a pass from the Portuguese and ran the ball into an empty net. Just incredible. (GOAL 4-2)
And that was that. Easy. We’re back top of the table. Over to you City.
Emi Martinez being an absolute fart all game then getting humiliated twice in 5 minutes literally the highlight of my year so far
Oh the joy of it 😂
Thanks for your contribution Emi, we know you always love Arsenal. The time wasting, the yellow card and ultimately the own goal and your intentional abandonment of your own goal showed your true love for the Gunners. Emi is working as under cover agent. Emi is Red.
Arteta: OK Emi, here’s the plan. We’ll sell you to Villa as you request, but in a couple of years I want you to see a shot late and not reach it, score an own goal, and come up for a corner and not get back in time.
Emi: OK boss, whatever you need
Jorginho, my word!
Will the Jorginho’s haters please stand up…
I’m still standing he offered no protection to the back four we got lucky today.
He’s played two games and looked impressive in both. And what a finish – that goal just bears re-watching over and over again. We deserved a bit of luck for it to rebound in off that shithouse’s head, but it was an absolute peach of a strike. COYG!!!
No way my fellow gooner. He had a really good game today.
the defensive part might take more time to sync with a completely new back 4 for him, new tactics etc. Give him time and be thankful how much he’s helped us on the ball.
We’re all entitled to our opinion, but your opinion is, just, well… it’s just plain wrong, isn’t it. Jorginho played well today. Just give a bit of credit where it’s due.
FFS Jorginho is not Partey and it is not his fault that we’ve been found wanting at the back on the couple of ocasions. He is an absolute master progressive passer and MA should have switched positions between him and Xhaka and we would have been far more dangerous. Xhaka also can not do what Partey does but he at least played there for a whole season and is far better aquainted with the movement of our players. If anything I am concerned with the stil present inability of MA to change anything before or in the game that would… Read more »
If you watched the actual game you’d have seen he did pretty much switch positions with Xhaka or at the very least was alternating, Jorghinho was often at a much more advanced position with Xhaka covering for him.
Jorginho is absolutely not Partey, he gives us completely different qualities and can do some things better than Partey, overall Partey is still the better player but I’m not sure if you could ask for a better backup to him than Jorginho given what he’s shown the last 2 games.
If you are saying he does not play the role that Partey does, of course you are right. But if you mean he had a poor game today, you are blind.
Enjoy the win. Don’t pick fights.
I’m not a “hater” (it’s a silly use of the word really – he’s a football player, not a mass murderer!) but I will continue to reserve judgement until he’s got at least 10 games for us under his belt.
I can’t see how anyone can come to a firm conclusion – one way or the other – until he’s done something like that.
All they’re saying is he had a good game.
It’s incredible isn’t it what some read and interpret. 🙂
We’re always wary with chelsea agents
We will await your judgement oh great one.
Well he just won that one for us.
Well, you can make a partial judgment based on some realistic criteria. From the way he played at Chelsea and for Italy (and recently, not five years ago), we know he has some quality. From the fact that Edu and Arteta wanted him and that Arteta seems to think of him as similar to himself as a player (“he makes other people look better”), we can judge that they trust his attitude and character; they could be completely wrong, but they are more likely to be right than we are with less information. And finally, from his (few) appearances for… Read more »
I was someone who was apposed to the Jorginho transfer.
But I think he was wonderful today and has played really well from the get go.
I used to watch him at Chelsea and think how undynamic he is. But there’s a big difference to playing for Graham Potter and playing for Arteta.
I’m not 100% on the Jorge train just yet.
But he’s looking like a really good bit of business.
Consider me humbled.
Bloody hell, we left that late, thought we had blown it with those missed chances! Massive thanks to Agent Martinez today 😀
Great headed finish!!!!
Martinelli should have also scored his goal by header, just for a laugh.
Been disgusted by what a cheat he’s become, delicious to see him get what he deserves!
Seemed such a nice bloke when he played for us. Appears to have become a complete arse ( at World Cup and since)
I met him once at an Arsenal open day event, really nice guy.
I suppose he wasn’t a big enough figure for anyone to really question his personality when he was at Arsenal, but seems making his debut for Argentina two years ago has gone to his head.
All that time wasting must of went to his head and then in.
Couldn’t agree more
Well done to Martinez for getting the winner for us! And Martinelli to seal it! Made up for Martin O’s miss! 3 points ahead after 23 matches!
Thanks Emi. Once a gunner always a gunner.
Hahahaha, Martinez own goal like that. Couldn’t have happened to a better bloke!
Eddie Eddie Eddie what the fuck
I am sorry but I feel like Eddie worked hard today and was better than in the last few games. He is young and we need to be patient with him.
He lacks confidence in front of goal but his mojo will be back son.
The winless streak is over, let’s build on this result.
This isn’t under 12s football. It’s Arsenal first team, the highest level in Football. Please stop excusing below par performances. We won despite Eddie today
Agreed, he worked hard.
My issue is that in the periods when he’s the focus of our attack, he works hard, looks okay – but we don’t score.
I don’t want to criticize him too much, he’s an Arsenal product and, yes, very young.
I’m just not sure we should be relying on someone so raw.
The over protection of Eddie is startling. No1 wants to tag on the guy we are just using our eyes and being honest
The thing is, we haven’t got anyone else to rely on at the moment, until GJ returns.
So the only thing we can all do is to support him unconditionally, while he’s on the pitch.
Remember, normally he would have got the assist for Odegaard to score the 3rd.
I must ask, why is being flexible with positions is commended when Ben White plays RB and Toni at LB but the idea of trying Matinelli or Tross through the middle is some taboo? because Eddie IS the option a nothing else will work. Odd to say the least. This happened last time Eddie was no 1 for a while. Watch martinelli first ever goal for arsenal
Because the guy that played White at RB and Tomi at LB before you called it has decided against it.
Can y’all just stay be quiet with your ignorance?
martinelli in the middle trossard on the right and esr and eddie to cover
Not convinced Martinelli or Trossard are really target men. Both seem more suited to coming in off the wings to cause havoc and open up spaces for others.
Mikel will have a better idea of this though as he sees them day in day out.
Maybe we’re working towards it in training but the recent matches have been too high calibre to try it, who knows.
But for now Eddie should get our support.
… because we didn’t buy a striker in January.
Support him how? I’m not saying boo him (don’t boo him), I’m saying I’m less-than-completely convinced.
Hardly scathing criticism.
Point taken with the assist – I’ve been trying to repress the memory of that chance.
only last month he scored 7 goals in 7 matches I believe? Short memory. He’s young, it’s normal even for older players to have confidence swings but even more so for younger ones. Raw is definitely not a word I’d use with him anymore.
I actually watched those matches, did you? His performance is mostly sub standard and those goal by and large were tap ins and not the type of goals that demonstrate the level required to win the league. He runs and he tries but he is Welbeckian in his performances. Maybe thats a level youre satisfied with as long as its from the academy but not I and others like me
The plan was never to rely on Eddie, that’s why we bought Jesus.
Eddie’s played a lot of football, probably more than he expected at the start of the season.
He’s done reasonably well, and is certainly good enough to rotate with Jesus and probably one other (Balogun) next season.
Will Eddie ever be our 1st choice? I don’t think so, but he’s provided positive contribution to the team, and this is a team that sits 2 points clear at the top of the league with a game in hand.
Mik clearly believes in him.
Created our best chance today (Martinelli goal aside) with hard work. He had a couple of decent chances but neither were egregious misses.
We need a striker that will score decent chances and create goals from nothing when we aren’t playing well.
we do, but he is injured
Jesus will not always score decent chances either. No striker does. Eddie is probably the better finisher of two and as I said, he made a great chance fie Ode.
Absolutely massive win. We desperately needed that to stabilise our recent fall in form. I’m really pleased to see that we had the mentality to keep pushing right till the end for that result. Now we have something to build on to gain confidence and push hard for the rest of the season. COYG!
Agreed. Massive. I’m thinking that this type of win might do more for us mentally than if we had won comfortably
It’s worth living for these kind of games
No these games will kill me !!! Boom what a win !
My favourite comment here for a while
Stunning diving header
He scores when he wants, he scores when he wants, Emi Martinez he scores when he wants!
Take that you time wasting cu*t tw*t!
1. The most bonkers, drunk match I’ve seen in years. What a win.
2. Haha, waste some more time Emi!!
As I said, to Villa we go. It seems like Arteta is protecting Eddie’s confidence, hopefully it won’t cost us.
Nice to see Unai was ready to go from the game straight to his weekend camping trip.
That steam punk gilet was class. I actually really like the bloke, even more so now.
Get fxcking in! Eddie needs to learn how to play for the team. Or will he?
Let’s move on from here. Fxck you haters. Analysis will be much later.
put one on a plate for Odegard
He set up Odegaard brilliantly for what should have been the winner. He didn’t have a great game overall, but he made the right choice for what ought to have sealed the deal. It isn’t his fault Odegaard Sp*rsed it up (I am sorry to use that word, but it fits).
For sure, he got a lot of grief last game too even though we won the penalty. I like it that even though he’s struggling for form and confidence right now he’s still able to contribute.
I think it’s not his game. He is not at level we require unfortunately. He did create great chance for odegarrd but that’s been it in last 5 games played for us. He’s creates nothing. If we can stay in it until Jesus comes back it will a tremendous achievement.
Agree 100% his inconsistency in front of goal cost us last week and almost again today
Oh, fuck off!! You’re kidding, right?!
Crazy Saturday afternoon!!
Oh fuck arsenal, my heart!
With the 3rd goal, I guess it’s fair to say the football gods have a sense of humour.
It’s not that uncommon for a player to score against his old club… Oh wait
It was comedic gold.
Well, the fourth too to be honest.
“another old chelsea c*nt”, “embarrassing fuck up”, “willian 2.0″… GET FUCKING IN JORGINHO
He’s a pretty clever singing I think. I never really understood the Willian comparisons – when his contract expires, he’ll be the same age as Willian when he actually signed. The age thing is a non starter, and he’s clearly a PL level midfielder.
Great nail biting game by the lads, have never screamed this hard during a game. At half time, I sat here thinking about how much we miss Partey then Jorginho comes out for the second half and plays a blinder. I also have to mention Nketiah who ran his socks off all game.
Thank Godness the winless streak is over.
Upwards and Onward.
Martinez is a proper cunt
Seems a long time ago that we all loved him during that FA Cup win.
I hereby take back every comment I have ever made about the extraordinary punchability of Jorghino’s face.
You’re forgiven already. He’s one of us now. Look at him leading the team in the closing stages, yelling orders at Villa’s last corner kick.
That through ball to Saka was really good.
The schizophrenic nature of being a fan. Fucking detest HK as a Sp*rs cunt, but support him fully as an England player.
Honorable mention to Ben White who I feel we sometime forget is a CB playing out of position.
He is not ‘playing out of position’. He can play RB just as well as CB. Many players in the modern game can do that, playing in different positions when needed. Stop obsessing over ‘positions’.
It’s between Jorginho and Emi for me. Not a textbook diving header, but what a finish nonetheless. And I like Ben White, but I don’t think he had a particularly good game today and we had more control on the right when Tomi came on (the left was pretty open though). I much prefer Tomi at right back, and feel much more comfortable with him there. I noticed quite a few times White played Saka short with some passes, especially the one Saka did well to get his body across and win a foul. That could’ve been a dangerous counter… Read more »
Really pleased with how calm the team were, pushing all the way to the end.
We have got to tighten up and cut out the sloppy goals through losing possession.
Fairly pleased with Jorginho signing.
Ever been prouder to be an Arsenal supporter?
Whatever happens this season, never doubt the commitment and togetherness of this team
Arteta said all the right things after the recent disappointments to ensure the team kept their belief
Never in doubt.
Can someone please go on Wikipedia and edit Emile Martinez goal record for The Arsenal.
Martinez 1 – 0 Ramsdale
Wow, still in shock!
I have to admit, and I feel ashamed, at half time and for the first time this season I looked at the points gap to fifth. It didn’t seem enough!
But that’s the roller-coaster that football is, now the title is back on, haha! But seriously, that was one hell of a result considering everything. One game at a time, let’s get everyone healthy and give it our all. Glad for J-Dawg, and for Martinez too.
Hm hm ‘J-Dawg (😎) not bad 👍🏾
My wife was on a zoom meeting downstaiirs and had to pause twice in injury time as I was going mental – I regret nothing!!
This comment is gold 😂
Hopefully neither does she!
hahaha I dont think you could contrive a more fucking bonkers end to a game. Like God was mixing ideas and just got carried away. “Zinchenko scores his first Arsenal goal.” “Mm… needs a touch more drama.” “Okay… Zinchenko and Jorginho both score their first Arsenal goals…” “Still needs more drama!” “And Jorginho scores in the 93rd minute?” “MORE DRAMA!” “…from 30 yards?” “MORE! MAKE IT SCARCELY FUCKING BELIEVABLE!” “…but he actually doesn’t because it rebounds off Emi Martinez’s head for an own goal?” “THAT’S THE STUFF! AND THEN MARTINELLI SCORES IN THE 98TH MINUTE BECAUSE MARTINEZ WENT UP FOR… Read more »
They never gave up, not for a second, no quit in this young team. Saka great goal then soldiering through on one leg. Zeno, gutsy performance, great goal. Jorginho, what a strike. It wasn’t pretty but every champion wins ugly. Love this team! Great win!!! COYG
Jorginho and Trossard already proving themselves in our shirt. Still a long season but we’ve definitely strengthened our squad in the transfer window. Stay in the fight until the final run in, and with Jesus coming back we may yet have the final say in this season. Come on you reds.
Delighted for a massive win but trossard was poor today
the left side is undeveloped
i actually think trossard shoulda started vs brentford and everton and martinelli today…it was obvious that villa had a high line and the pace of martinelli was perfect, whereas trossard is the king in tight areas…so simple, should of been a manager myself ;);)
No, you’re not delighted. You’re miserable weirdo – have a look at your comments.
Have a look at yourself buddy 👍🏻
I’d like to see Trossard in the 8 / Xhaka position
I was hoping Smith-Rowe would’ve come on in the 70-somethingth minutes for Xhaka. I think he could’ve potentially linked up well with Martinelli.
I can also see the logic behind Trossard starting in this match. Martinelli running at tired legs playing a high line must be pretty scary.
Jorginho was immense
What a win! Unbelievable
Nothing better than relax with 3 points after an early kick-off hoping the other sucker teams hit a brick wall…
Jorginho is really no back up…he’s almost at Partey’s level technically. Really impressed by his passing and positioning. Though Partey gives us that presence and physicality I’m quite happy with Jorgi so far. Oh what we’ve missed not having a suitable backup for Partey. Just imagine if Twas Sambi playing today.
Yeah really good in both his starts so far, very tidy. He doesn’t have room to develop into like Caicedo or Rice but he’s no worse a player than Xhaka (who is a very good player) and on the flipside, there are clear ticks in the “pro” column to bringing in an experienced and successful player like that at what is a prime age for many central midfieders.
Thank you the Arsenal.
That 3rd goal is joyous, I could watch that in a loop all day long!
Well, we live to fight another day but at 2:2 it was looking a little worrying.
The win was the only acceptable outcome really. Not only the three points but the boost to confidence that it should bring (hopefully) to get back to our previous form.
The icing on this Saturday cake would be for Forest to take something off City, but I think City will probably get the points there. Regardless of that outcome, it could have been a lot worse at Villa for us so a job well done.
City should have thumped them but Forest hung in there and nicked one. Funny old game sometimes.
Statue for Jorginho
Jorginho did well today. He’s been much better than I thought. Hope he can keep it up.
So so happy for the players, the team and supporters…and happy for Emi too for that fantastic goal he scored for us…LOL On another note, I wish anyone/any fans who still have problems with old ex Chelski players playing for our team, please say your piece now…This is a perfect night for you to point out why this sort of transfer would not work out and I don’t know about others, but I personally would respect you more for it cause I know it would be difficult…but you took the challenge anyway. Otherwise, please just get on with supporting every… Read more »
how does comment moderation work? is lee mason in charge of it? why does everybody’s comment get instantly posted while mine always gets stuck at least eight hours every time i comment? will i ever be able to enjoy an exchange in here right after a game? sometimes it takes more than a day and by the time my comment gets posted the article is already irrelevant. well if someone reads this by the year this gets approved or whatever, LETS FUCKING GO GOONERS
Same with me, I feel like I’m on a watch list, I covered my laptop came a with tape
Maybe you should try drawing a line under your comment before posting it. I’m told that simply underlining it also works.
Hilarious and true
Hope this will spur the lads on to go on a winning run. We go again! COYG
You should never write the words “spur” and “winning” in the same sentence.
Granted, I just did but you get the point
Anyone notice the build up to Jorgino’s goal? He seems to have been watching Partey…that’s exactly where Partey takes his shots from. And he set himself up for the shot calmly, almost leisurely…
I especially liked the fact that he first checked to make sure there was cover behind him before calling for the ball.
His awareness and ball skills are gold to us now.
So emi was wasting time so that villa couldnt catch up. He waited and waited for us to score the winner, and when we couldnt, he took matrers into his own hands and scored an exquisite header for us. We werre in danger in injury time,when villa got a header, and good ol’ emi decided to abandon his goal to help us secure the win. A true gooner and proper legend
So proud the boys kept going, must have been exhausted. We finally got our little bit of luck and to get the fourth will hopefully give them that little extra mental boost.
Love seeing Fabio celebrate when his through ball reached Gabi. Zinchenko vibes from earlier in the season there. Will give him a bit of needed confidence too. My poor heart though. Blimey.
Watching the 4th goal again, what a header by Saliba. Great alertness by Vieira. What a nice adjustment by Martinelli on his run.
Speaking of Martinelli, his full speed relentlessness after a corner is something special. A one man counter attack at times.
Few things make me as happy as ripping that whingey backstabbing PRICK emi martinez for 4 goals.
F You, you prick.
I really dont understand the goal keeping time wasting tactic. I think it slows down your own team and looks like you’ll settle foe a draw. It very rarely works I think
If all the referees would book a keeper who is time wasting at the first chance and then follow it on with a second yellow, if they continue to do so, it will end the goalkeepers’ time wasting immediately.
With our luck, it will happen to us
This is true. But a red card would only come in the most extreme circumstances. I think they should probably set fixed amounts of time allowed and then go for the second yellow.
Xhaka should make way for tries atd not martinelli
Xhaka should make way for trossard not martinelli
Inject this right into my veins!!!!
Enjoy it and the rest of your weekend, you merry band of miscreants!!!!