Aston Villa vs Arsenal, 2-4: Full time analysis and player ratings
Written by Chris on November 27, 2010 20:30
I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that everyone was waiting for Arsenal to bounce back after two very disappointing defeats against Tottenham Hotspur and Braga.
And bounced back we did. Today’s win – yet another one on the road – means that we keep our excellent position in the English Premier League hoping to see Chelsea drop points, tomorrow, against Newcastle. But having said, and as it’s almost always the case with our beloved Gunners, there were moments of anxiety, especially after Aston Villa scored their second but luckily, we survived.
In a way, you can easily divide today’s performance by taking the pitch and splitting it in two, knowing how we were simply superb in the offensive department with Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin doing brilliantly but also how we again lacked proper organisation in the defensive department.
If we are to closely examine the two conceded goals we see how Gael Clichy’s defending was simply shocking in the first as he got out of the way instead of throwing his body at Ciaran Clark and in the second Alex Song and Sebastien Squillaci could have surely done better to deny the 21-year old.
And if Villa’s first goal should have been disallowed because of John Carew’s position, it is also true how referee Mark Clattenburg could have easily pointed to the spot after Jack Wilshere’s hand block in the first half.
But anyway, raise your hand if bad thoughts didn’t cross your mind when Villa pulled one back.
You know it’s funny, if we take the lead but keep pushing forward we know we will concede from a counter but if we take the lead and park the bus, conceding is still a possibility because of our shaky backline. At the moment, lack of concentration and the defensive department(minus the goalkeeper) are my only concerns. If we fix this then we will finally be where we all want our team to be.
I wanted to conclude with Andrey’s performance. Will today’s amazing game cancel all the disappointing games he had so far? No, of course. I think this was the first time I was 100% satisfied with him this season, which by the way started three months ago. Make no mistake, he had very good games so far but I believe none of them were as close as this one in terms of perfection.
I stressed the importance of the Russian in these last two weeks, one who – just like Samir Nasri – can invent something special out of nowhere. So keep it up little man, I know you can.
As always, whether you agree with my ratings or not, submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and make sure to share them on Twitter and Facebook.
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Fabianski: 6 – Yet again, Lukasz could do nothing to prevent the two goals, blocked by Carew for the first and let down by the defenders in the second.
Squillaci: 6,5 – Could have surely done better to challenge Ciaran Clark when Villa scored the second but all in all a very solid game from the Frenchman.
Koscielny: 7,5 – Back to his best. Perfect with the timing of his tackles and not at all impressed with all the knocks he suffered in the head. Twice we were caught on the back foot when Villa were surging forward with Laurent out of position but in both occasions he managed to produce a fantastic tackle.
Clichy: 6 – Did well in the offensive department but again very disappointing at the back. Not entirely sure why he made no attempt whatsoever to challenge the Villa player for the first goal.
Sagna: 7 – Solid game for Bacary but caught out of position in more than one occasion allowing Villa to put some dangerous crosses from the right.
Wilshere: 6,5 – Very disappointing first half for Jack guilty of a Cesc-like attempt to block the ball in the first half but managed to step it up a gear in the second where he was one of the best players on the pitch.
Song: 6.5 – Just like Squillaci, questions will be asked about his defending when we conceded the second but to be fair he made some vital interceptions in midfield and some of his through passes were simply exquisite. Having said that, it is also true how the way he pushes forward means that we are more vulnerable on the counter and this is a concern.
Rosicky: 7 – Very happy for the Czech who deserved to start and didn’t disappoint. Brilliant assist for Marouane for the third goal.
Nasri: 8 – Best player so far this season? Missed a good chance immediately after Andrey’s goal but recovered straight away scoring a brilliant volley. Chapeau!
Arshavin: 8,5 – I predicted in my preview how he could be one of the best players today. In reality, he ended up as the man of the match, clearly showing how when he wants to play he can be one of the biggest assets of the team. Scored one, produced a phenomenal assist seconds later and delivered the corner for Samir’s goal, going on to play his best game of the season.
Chamakh: 8 – Another brilliant game from the Moroccan who was also not shy to try his luck from distance in the first half. Scored one, fought hard for the full 90 minutes and turned provider for Wilshere to close the game out.
Denilson, Gibbs, Djourou: No Vote – I’m sure many were expecting Theo or Robin to come on, instead Arsene opted for three defensive options, and rightly so.