Daily Archives: September 21, 2014
Aston Villa 0 – Arsenal 3 (Ozil 33′, Welbeck 34′, Cissokho o.g. 35′)
Villa Park (Emirates Stadium)
With the Gunners losing in such an unconvincing fashion against Dortmund, the players had to give better accounts of themselves in the game against Aston Villa. The manager made five changes from the team that shared the spoils with Manchester City but the Gunners began the game in nervy fashion when Wojciech Szczesny made a poor clearance but he was alert to parry Fabian Delph’s drive at goal. Aaron Ramsey hasn’t been in good form of recent but he compounded his miseries when he lost the ball further up the pitch to Kieran Richardson and the winger fed Gabby Agbonlahor that closed in on goal. With Szczesny in No Man’s Land, Koscielny was on hand to make a vital interception.
Ozil swung in a corner kick that was attacked by Calum Chambers. Danny Welbeck showed great improvisation to attempt a scissors kick but his a shot was blocked by the defense. Cazorla dipped in a cross that fell to Ramsey’s path and he didn’t need a second invitation to drill a shot that went wide.
Aston Villa almost took the lead when Tom Cleverley swung in a dead ball that was headed at point-blank range by Ciaran Clark but Szczesny stepped up the plate to make a magnificent save. With the home team failing to take the initiative, the Gunners grabbed the lead when Welbeck split the defense with a neat pass to Mesut Ozil that placed the ball past Brad Guzan. You could see the relief in the German’s reaction because he needed that badly.
Ozil turned from scorer to provider in typical fashion as he latched on to Cazorla’s pass to feed Welbeck that opened his Arsenal goalscoring account with a blasted effort into an unguarded net.
Two goals changed to three almost immediately when Kieran Gibbs fired a tame shot that was deflected into the net by Aly Cissokho. The last time Cissokho played against the Gunners, he was part of that Liverpool team that decimated Arsenal at Anfield last season. It was sweet seeing him suffer the ignominy of an own goal.
As expected, Welbeck’s opening goal gave him some measure of confidence and he attempted a neat shot at the edge of the area that was saved by Guzan. Ramsey almost put Aston Villa back in the game when he made an awkward pass that gifted the home side a corner. The resulting corner went to Clark’s path but the Ox made a superb block from Clark’s shot.
Chambers showed his inexperience as he grabbed unto a player further up in midfield, probably forgetting that he was walking on a tight rope with the yellow card he had initially received. Luckily for the lad, the ref decided to be lenient with him. Chambers made a neat one-two with the Ox before drilling a cross that was blocked by Phillippe Senderos with Ramsey on the prowl. Arsene Wenger summoned Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski and Tomas Rosicky that came on to have a decent run-out with 20 minutes or so to go. The remainder of the game was played in pedestrian fashion as the damage had been done in that three-goal blitz in the first half.
The game itself was a more comfortable affair in sharp contrast to the horror outing the Gunners put up in Germany. Speaking of Germany, it was a wonderful performance from Ozil that has come under some stick with the fans and media alike. Yes, he came to the club with a mammoth price tag and the expectations were massive but this season he has been played ‘out of position’ and with his lethargic style of play coming into mind, he was bound to struggled.
However, Jack Wilshere’s knock paved the way for the German to play in his favored No. 10 role and we could see the massive difference it made. If he was walloping in the right wing, I don’t think he would have latched unto Welbeck’s pass to coolly place the ball past Guzan. The manager urged for patience but Ozil repaid Arsene Wenger’s faith in him.
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