Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal: Gunners Move to the Top of the League!!!
Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 2 (Giroud 8′, Ramsey 38′)
For the record, Arsenal has had several chances to climb to the submit of the Premier League. The first chance came against Tottenham but they came from behind to salvage a draw. After the international break, a win against West Brom would have pout the team in a commanding position but the game was lost. Then there was Norwich, that didn’t fare as planned. So when Arsenal was set to play a struggling Aston Villa side that has amassed only six points this season, it would have been an utter disappointment if Arsene Wenger’s side didn’t get maximum points. Bearing in mind that a victory would take the Gunners to the top of the league, pending Leicester and Chelsea’s game tonight.
Arsenal were still buzzing from the Champions League qualification and they had to cap a good week with a win over Villa.
As expected, Wenger opted for the same lineup that was awesome in Athens, which ultimately meant that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was going to remain on the bench and Walcott was going to continue from the left wing, and it was nice to see the forward being appreciative of Olivier Giroud in recent weeks.
In a matter of minutes, Walcott was impeded by Alan Hutton in the box and Giroud stepped up to score his 50th Premier League goal in Arsenal colors. That was also a milestone as he became the third fastest player to reach that feat for the Gunners. Thierry Henry scored 50 in 83 games, Ian Wright achieved his in 87. Giroud has done his in 113 games, surpassing the likes of Dennis Bergkamp (114 games), Robert Pires (137 games) and that Dutch cuntbag, Robin van Persie (142 games).
That early strike brought in some confidence and you could see it from the way the Gunners controlled possession and influenced the game. Just before halftime, the Gunners extended their lead with some brilliant counter attacking football. Aaron Ramsey won the ball with a neat tackle and Giroud latched on to the loose ball and fed Walcott. The English speedster decided to unleash his inner Ozil and threaded an inch-perfect ball that split open the Villa defense to Mesut Ozil. As you’d expect from Arsenal’s Assister-General, Ozil cushioned a carefully-cushioned ball for Ramsey that was placed into an unguarded net.
From that moment, I was hoping that the lads were going to concentrate and avoid those goals they had conceded just before halftime but for a change, the Gunners went into the break with their shutout intact. At the start of the second half, Arsene Wenger’s side seemed to put their foot off the pedal and the wind sailed on Aston Villa’s sails but a good defensive rearguard action saw the Gunners quell the threats they posed. Wenger took out his wingers to bring on a fresh set of legs in the forms of Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but it’s fair to say that the Ox did not cover himself with glory because he was very sloppy in possession.
Calum Chambers continued his ‘football education’ as a holding midfielder when he replaced Ozil, allowing Ramsey to move further forward. In the end, it was a great result for the team, and it was another milestone on a personal note for the legendary goalie, Petr Cech, as he equaled David James long-standing clean sheet record in the Premier League.
Wenger was particularly happy for his goalscorers and spoke about Ramsey’s strengths in the middle and Giroud’s milestone. We have a week to prepare for the Manchester City game and I will be hoping that there would be no injuries between now and then.
It feels good to be on top though.
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