Arsenal absolutely dominated Villa in the first half on Saturday. Dominating in the midfield, creating chances, playing good football and nullifying Villa’s attacking threat. It was definitely a big first half from our team and we did get a well-deserved goal from our own Saka, who just terrorized Villa until he was subbed off.
The second half should have seen us score a second but clearly Villa came back with more purpose, intent and physicality and when we did have good opportunities to put the game away, Saka and Laca chose the wrong option instead of laying a good ball to Ode who was in a better position to score…That inability to score the second goal put us under pressure and Watkins nearly scored on a deflected shot and in the last moment of the game, Leno provided a good save to keep the clean sheet.
We showed resilience and team spirit and it is nice to see the team celebrate after such a win – it means they care about winning and they care about our club whether Young likes it or not. Ashley Young should have been sent off by the way – his tackles on Saka were just awful to watch. What a F…..G idiot!
So here are the ratings (feel free to disagree)
Leno – 7, a good save at the end but overall, he did not reassure me
Cedric – 6, another day at the office
White – 7, good game.
Gabs – 7.5, our rock
Tiereney – 7, good game overall but needs to rediscover his crossing effectiveness
Partey – 8.5, what a great first half. One of his best performances for us – is he the new Vieira or the new G.Silva? Not sure yet but he is putting together a good string of performances. I hope he remains fit.
Xhaka – 6.5, a disciplined display but should do a bit better when he has the ball.
Saka – 9, what a game! The guy was unstoppable yesterday
Ode – 7.5, had a good display and was unlucky not to be served by his partners when in a good position to score.
ESR – 7, willing and trying but not decisive. Nice to see him start though.
Laca – 7, same as ESR and what a hard worker he is! Should have done better in the second half when Ode was ready to score…
Subs: No rating but Pepe and Nketiah did not help their cause…
COYG! The games against Chelsea and Tottenham are going to be huge for the Top 4 finish. Beat Chelsea, and you can dream of Top 3 but lose to Chelsea and/or Tottenham and the 4th place may even slip from our grasp…
We gotta hope that Tomy comes back soon, that Leno does not fudge up, that Gabs-White-Partey-Xhaka do not get injured and that Saka, Ode, Martinelli – Laca do not tire too much…
Our starting XI can compete but our bench may be a bit thin…