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[PLAYER RATINGS] Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal: Yossi Deserves A Start…

Arsenal were able to grind out 3 points with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa last night, Benayoun grabbing the winner. Here are my player ratings from the game.

Arsenal were able to grind out a vital 3 points with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa last night. I wrote in my match preview that Alex McLeish wouldn’t allow his team to have the same relaxed attitude as they had against Liverpool at the weekend, and i wasn’t wrong. I also predicted the 2-1 scoreline correctly 😉

Arsenal were below par and Villa were chasing every ball and in Arsenal’s faces throughout the game. Make no mistake, this was a very good three points. The first half saw the Gunners take the lead from the spot after Walcott beat Clarke in the box with some nice skill, Van Persie smashing home from 12 yards.

We had a couple of opportunities to get the second but gifted the home side an equaliser after Vermaelen’s poor header left Mertesacker short, and the big German was lacking in recovery pace to make up the ground with Albrighton knocking the ball past him before cooly slotting past Szczesny for 1-1.

Super-sub Benayoun came on to head home the winner from a Van Persie corner and seal a vital win that takes us level with fourth placed Chelsea and two points clear of Liverpool, who only managed a 0-0 draw away to Wigan. Arsenal didn’t play well at all, but secured a great away win regardless. Here are my player ratings.

Arsenal Ratings

Szczesny – 7.5 – Great early save from an Agbonlahor header and made several great low saves from crosses, holding on to everything that came his way.

Coquelin – 6 – Struggled with his positioning and made a few sloppy passes in the first half. Also booked for a rash tackle.

Koscielny – 7.5 – Excellent in the first half and another great display from the ever-improving French defender.

Meresacker – 5.5 – Very slow to react for the Villa goal, should have been far more dominant and attacked the ball. Also skinned a couple of times in the first half, and booked as well. Forced a good save from Guzan though.

Vermaelen – 6 – Decent first half, but it was his short headed pass that lead to the Villa equaliser. Very soft goal to give away.

Frimpong – 5 – Disappointing. Was berated in the first half by the bench for being out of position and subbed off early in the second half. Not the usual all-action performance that we’ve come to expect.

Ramsey – 6 – Full of running as usual but just lacked something. I think Rambo needs a breather as his touch looks heavy and he’s giving the ball away more than usual. Should also have done better when he was through in the first half. Subbed.

Arteta – 7 – The best of the midfield trio, kept the game ticking over and distributed the ball reasonably well.

Walcott – 6.5 – Great piece of skill that lead to the penalty but was hardly in the game apart from that. Another quiet night for a frustrated-looking Theo.

Gervinho – 5.5 – Looked lively in the first 20 minutes, but faded badly as the game went on. I heard he made less than 15 passes?!?!  Not surprisingly subbed.

Van Persie – 7.5 – Great penalty and superb assist for the winner, but lacked any real service for large parts of the game and was forced to come deep to get hold of the ball. Unbelievably booked for an apparent dive, when it should have been a penalty.


Rosicky – 7 – Made a positive impact from the bench, putting more urgency into our passing game.

Benayoun – 7.5 – Great headed winner and made a couple of mazy dribbles during his cameo. Deserves a start soon.

Arshavin – 5.5 – Took a hopeful shot that deflected wide, mis-placed an easy pass, and fell over a couple of times. Probably best he goes back to Russia in January i think.

You can watch the goals from Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal here

So they are my player ratings. Remember, these are just my opinions and you are free to express yours and leave your player ratings in the comments section.



  1. coob23

    December 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

    harsh on theo, he deserves a 7 for me, was lively throughout and he cant be faulted for having little service and harsh on coquelin, who after his yellow was nothing short of class, il be disappointed if he leaves back to france… real prospect

  2. Tommy

    December 22, 2011 at 11:40 am

    5.5 is Too harsh on Per. Yesterday he was better than Verminator. Lets be realistic, this guy is slow but makes fewer mistakes. Imagine yesterday yellow card was the second of the season. He was dominant in air and a constant threat on setpieces. He gets a 7.5 for me.

    • Youssef

      December 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

      I confirm what you say. I just want to add that if he had tackeled the players, it would be a direct Red card since he was the last defender. he was really intelligent not to make a fault and keep the 11 players in the game.

    • adiiii83

      December 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Agreed, I wasn’t a fan of Per, but he’s held his own. Since the Chelsea game, he’s been really good including tonight. Still think when we get a Sagna back and a fully fit Santos, you will see Verm and Kos together at CB…..The best 2 defenders in the Prem league

  3. GoonerB

    December 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

    With all due respect i cant blame vermaelen for that goal.That was actually mertesacker’s fault.If he had the urgency he would have reached that ball and alternatively he should have stuck out his head and got a foul instead of just sitting back.

  4. musher

    December 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Favoritism from most gooners. Verminator is always better than mertesacker no matter what. Verminator did not play well, simple as that.

  5. dave

    December 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    First of all spell his name right, Mertesacker, and he wasn’t that bad, and what has pace got to do with it when the back pass to him was short, you need to stop with this crap that per is a bad defender, get off that bandwagon

  6. Rancid Potato

    December 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    To say that Mertesacker was slow on the SHORT ball from Vermaelen is like saying Van Persie deserved to be sent of against Barca last season , Per responded to that bad pass must faster than a second, being the last defender he could not crunch tackle or even block and hope to stay in the game. If he’d sacrificed his place in the game it would be even worse than it’s being made out to be. He’s not like that Hutton who got sent off.

    Vermaelen got and own goal a few games back, i guess that was all Mertesacker’s fault too.

    • okethi richard

      December 23, 2011 at 8:57 am

      Thank for the matured and technical analyses we should learn to say good and bad where it due

  7. Bongo

    December 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I think your rating for Per is completely wrong.

    First off as someone above me mentioned he pulled out of the tackle that led to the goal to stop himself getting sent off. It was Vermaelen who sold him short and Tommy even admitted that he was at fault for it. Tommy said on his twitter it was his fault and yossi even dedicated his goal to tommy to atone for the mistake.

    That was very intelligent play, a red card, plus a free kick and the rest of the game playing 10 men, and having another defender out due to suspension would have been a disaster. So that was probably the best decision of the match. There is no way in hell that mert would have gotten there and even the players themselves recognized that.

    Also you have to give him at least 2 points for the way he covered for Coquelin who was nowhere to be found on many occasions. Mert covered the right flank a hell of a lot and came out to snuff out danger a lot on that flank.

    Anyone who says a defender who is on a yellow, should have stuck the head in, got another yellow, got suspended and forced us to play the rest of that already punishing game with 10 men is an idiot.

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