Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2: Post-Match Thoughts and Player Ratings
Posted by enigma106
With fellow title hopefuls, Manchester City and Chelsea winning their away clashes, the onus was on Arsenal to come up with the goods against an Aston Villa side that was not in good form heading into the game. The Gunners waltzed past their hosts with a breathtaking first half performance but they took their feet off the pedal in the second half, which offered Aston Villa a chance back into the game.
Listed below are the Gooner Daily player ratings for Arsenal’s triumphant heroes on a cold night at Villa Park:
Wojciech Szczesny: The Pole was more or less a spectator in the first half but he made some routine saves as the game progressed. Blameless for the goal he conceded from Christian Benteke. 7/10
Nacho Monreal: The Spanish fullback was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Aston Villa defense and offered an outlet on the left. He latched onto Mesut Ozil’s threaded through ball to supply the assist for Jack Wilshere’s goal. 8/10
Bacary Sagna: The Frenchman swung in a lot of quality crosses but the forwards failed to capitalize on them. He was also culpable for giving the opposition a sloppy pass that led to a counter attack but nothing meaningful came out of it. 7/10
Per Mertesacker: The captain for the night put up an exemplary performance and made a lot of vital interceptions as the game progressed. 8/10
Laurent Koscielny: Kos the Boss was ubiquitous in the Arsenal defense and made several vital challenges keeping the Aston Villa attack at bay. 8/10
Kieran Gibbs: He replaced the injured Monreal and offered an outlet on the left. However, he was found wanting in the final third. 7/10
Mathieu Flamini: Flamini’s tenacity and doggedness were on show yet again as he made a couple of bone-crunching tackles that made the opponents think twice before coming closet to him with the ball. 7/10
Jack Wilshere: Arsenal’s poster boy built on his stellar performance against Cardiff to put up another great outing. Starting in his favored box-to-box role, Wilshere came from deep and showed great composure to score the opener after some good work from Monreal. Just when we thought we had seen it all, Wilshere wins the ball in midfield and dinks a peach of a pass to Giroud. The rest they say was history. 9/10
Mesut Ozil: The German maestro was surprisingly sloppy on numerous occasions but provided a key pass that led to the first goal. However, he failed to make any real influence on the game whatsoever. 6/10
Tomas Rosicky: The Czech midfielder joined the fray but got a nasty whack in the nose after a collision with Gabby Agbonlahor. He was substituted shortly afterwards. N/A
Santi Cazorla: The diminutive Spaniard wasn’t threatening enough in attack and he incurred the fan’s wrath when he lost the ball deep into the Gunner’s half which led to the cross that supplied what proved to be a consolation goal for the hosts. He needs to step his game as he has been below par all season long. 6/10
Serge Gnabry: After making the fans drool in the North London Derby, The German starlet was offered another chance to build on that scintillating performance. What we got yesterday was a rather subdued performance before he was substituted. 6/10
Olivier Giroud: Amidst all the speculation that Arsenal is on the lookout for a new striker, Arsene Wenger continues to place his faith in Giroud. What did Wenger get in return? – a brilliant improvised finish from the French forward despite being under pressure from a defender. His linkup play was superb as usual. 8/10
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Showed a couple of good touches on his comeback from injury. N/A
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