Arsenal secured a famous 3-2 win against Aston Villa despite being down to ten men before the end of first-half as they continue their winning run from mid-week.
The Gunners started the game on a positive note but lacked the incision going forward. Aston Villa, meanwhile, took full advantage of an early opportunity that saw John McGinn score the opener. The newly-promoted outfit looked dangerous on the counter. And they looked set to dominate Arsenal when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off just before half-time.
However, Arsenal produced a strong display against Villa in the second half. Although they still looked vulnerable at the back, their persistence paid off when Nicolas Pepe scored the equaliser through a penalty. However, Aston Villa quickly restored their one-goal lead courtesy Wesley’s goal. Arsenal once again equalised through Calum Chambers before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a late winner to seal all three points for the hosts.
Here is how Unai Emery’s men performed in win over the Villans this afternoon.
Bernd Leno 6
Didn’t have anything much to do aside from being tasked to save both of Aston Villa’s goals. But, he had absolutely no chance at all to save either of these close-range efforts.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 4
Yet another erratic display from the Arsenal youngster, who struggled to keep up with the likes of Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi. He was extremely irresponsible for committing himself to a needless loose ball that led to his second yellow card.
The Greek international’s poor form continues as he was once again unable to provide any stability in the backline. He was caught ball-watching way too many times, and his marking wasn’t top-notch at all.
David Luiz 6
Much like Sokratis, David Luiz failed to keep track of Aston Villa’s midfield runners, notably allowing McGinn to make an incisive run inside the box as he ultimately scored the first goal of the game.
Sead Kolasinac 7
An impressive display from the Bosnian international, who was once again Arsenal’s defender of the afternoon. He moved up and down the pitch and showed excellent character, though he did struggle to keep up with Trezeguet, at times.
Granit Xhaka 6
Granit Xhaka looked inconsistent and often, clueless. While the Swiss international is not really an efficient midfielder, his passes were also not up to the mark. He also struggled in possession that rightfully led to his substitution during the final phase of the game.
Matteo Guendouzi 10
Started the game on a promising note and kept that momentum throughout ninety minutes. Indeed, the Frenchman produced a superb display in midfield as he not only helped Arsenal win the ball back but also marched forward into the final third.
It was Guendouzi who won the penalty that led to Arsenal’s first-equaliser. Also, hit the bar once and was unlucky not to score a goal for himself. An inspiring performance, nonetheless.
Nicolas Pepe 7.5
Pepe’s trickery on the right flank caused the likes of Tyrone Mings and Neil Taylor some problems. The Ivorian wasn’t necessarily a telling factor in this game but did well to convert penalty under pressure, helping the Gunners get back into the game.
Dani Ceballos 7
Looked promising throughout the first-half. But, his influence faded as the game wore on before he was eventually subbed off in the 72nd minute.
Bukayo Saka 6
It was an unfortunate Premier League debut for young Saka, whose time on the pitch was cut short due to Maitland-Niles’ red card. He didn’t influence the game much in the first half, though.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 8.5
Aubameyang missed a couple of golden opportunities to score before he redeemed himself with an exquisite effort from a free-kick late in the game. He was matured, and despite not getting much space from the opposition, did well to interchange his position with Pepe.
Calum Chambers 8
Chambers was brought in as a replacement for Maitland-Niles at right-back. It was his poor touch that allowed Aston Villa to counter-attack, eventually leading to Wesley’s goal in the 61st minute. But, he, too, redeemed himself by scoring the equaliser in the 81st minute.
Lucas Torreira 7.5
Came on for Xhaka during the final phase of the game and was heavily involved in the Arsenal attacks. His influence did play an indirect role behind the Gunners’ late comeback.
Joe Willock N/A
Replaced Ceballos in the 72nd minute but didn’t make any telling difference.
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