Daily Archives: February 2, 2015
Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0
Sometimes playing with some measure of pressure can be a good thing you know. With Arsenal’s top four rivals, Tottenham and Manchester United sealing victories, it was paramount to get a win over the non-scoring Aston Villa because Southampton had a match against Swansea and in the form they’re in, compounded with the losses of Wilfried Bony and Gyifl Sigurdsson, one expected the Saints to steamroll past the Swans.
Arsenal started with more urgency and almost broke the deadlock when Aaron Ramsey sent a brilliant through ball to Theo Walcott. The winger’s rustiness was on show again and Okore showed good anticipation to block his effort. Aston Villa’s first sniff at goal arrived with a tame shot from Fabian Delph that drifted wide.
Arsenal was on the prowl again as Nacho Monreal teed up Ramsey with a nice pass but the Welshman’s search for a league goal continued as he blasted his effort wide. Arsenal opened the scoring when Mesut Özil delightfully cushioned Per Mertesacker’s cross-field ball to Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman covered some distance with the ball before clipping the ball past Brad Guzan to send the Emirates into raptures.
With that all-important goal scored, Arsenal played in bullish mode and almost made it two but it was a classic case of one touch too many when Giroud attempted a one-two with Ramsey when shooting the ball might have been a better option. Giroud almost doubled his tally when his looping header from a Santi Cazorla cross clipped the cross bar and went over.
Cazorla and Özil connected superbly on the left and the German scored a neat goal that was wrongly ruled offside. David Ooooooooooooooooospina was having a relatively untroubled day at the back but he had to keep his guard up when Andi Weimann guided a glancing header goalwards. Arsenal launched a counter attack from that move but Walcott killed it off.
Arsenal made it two when Giroud showed off his creativity to thread a sumptuous pass to Özil that wasted no time in scoring his second goal in his second start from injury. Two quickly became three when Walcott intercepted Cazorla’s proposed pass to Giroud before curling the ball past Guzan. I’m pretty sure that Thierry Henry and Robert Pires on the stands would have enjoyed that. The party wasn’t over and it almost became four when Cazorla fired an effort that hit the upright.
With Tottenham on the horizon and the game put beyond doubt, Wenger brought on Chuba Akpom for Giroud and Tomas Rosicky for Walcott. With Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell out on loan, Akpom would have a chance to stake a claim and his cause was helped when he used his pace to go past Guzan before he was scythed down. Cazorla took the penalty and made it four.
The Spanish magician was enjoying himself and he created another chance for Akpom but he missed his chance. Cazorla created another chance for Bellerin that was well taken and the young Spaniard’s placed effort made it five.
Late on, Ospina made a wonderful save to keep his clean sheet intact and that was it. Aston Villa’s hunt for a goal continued and they are currently the lowest scoring team in all nine divisions in England. This consists of 649 teams.
Despite the goalscoring exploits by the team’s attackers, the defender’s did their bit to maintain balance and Francis Coquelin had another awesome game in the holding midfield role. We really shouldn’t be looking at him as a short term solution, he’s actually the solution.
With Tottenham and Arsenal in good form, the North London derby promises to be a mouthwatering prospect.