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[Player Ratings] Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa: What A Comeback….

Arsenal produced seven minutes of ‘power-play’ football to seal a stunning second half comeback against Aston Villa and win 3-2, here are my ratings from the game

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Arsenal produced seven minutes of ‘power-play’ football to seal a stunning second half comeback and beat Aston Villa 3-2 at the Emirates.

After Richard Dunne and Darren Bent had put Villa 2-0 up at half time, the Gunners came storming out the blocks after the break and scored three goals in seven minutes thanks to a Van Persie double (both penalties) and a lucky Walcott effort.

The first half was both wasteful and unfortunate. Both sides had chances to score but Villa took two of their opportunities, while Arsenal wasted all of theirs. That’s football i guess, but we were unlucky to be 2-0 down at the break in my opinion.

But whatever Arsene Wenger said at half time definitely worked as we came out with new vigour in the second half and pummelled Villa in to submission. But the most pleasing addition to our play was the desire to close villa down when in possession and win the ball back. If only Arsenal could play with that intensity all the time!

The defence looked far more composed in the second half, while the midfield and attack were showing more desire to make things happen and there was far more movement off the ball. Lets take that in to the Bolton game on Wednesday please.

Aside from booking our place in the fifth round of the FA Cup and sealing an away trip to face either Sunderland or Middlesborough, the good news from the game was the return of Bacary Sagna. It was great to see him Bac (sorry, couldn’t resist) and we’re now closing in on having our first choice defence available. Hopefully that can be the catalyst for a great second half to the season.

It was far from a vintage display from Arsenal, but it was a great cup game and a superb, and unexpected, comeback. Here are my ratings:

Fabianski – 5 – Looked suspect whenever the ball entered the box. Flapped at a couple of crosses and always looks ‘on edge’ for some reason. Doesn’t fill me with any confidence when he’s in goal.

Coquelin – 7 – An energetic display and got forward on occasion. Needs to work on his positioning a little though, but he looks like he could have a good future at the Emirates.

Mertesacker – 6.5 – Caught well out of position for the attack that lead to Villa’s first. But otherwise had a decent game.

Koscielny – 7.5 – I thought he should maybe have attacked the cross with more aggression for Villas opener, but apart from that Kos was once again Arsenal’s best defender. He’s improved so much he’s almost unrecognisable from the player of last season.

Vermaelen – 7 – A better display than last week against United, getting forward more and he almost scored a wonder goal with a thunderous strike early on.

Song – 6.5 – Broke up play well, especially in the second half. Wasn’t involved in the attacking play as much as usual, which is a plus for me as i think he should be sticking to his defensive midfield duties more.

Rosicky – 6.5 – Looks like he’s getting fitter by the game and seems to have gained a yard of pace from somewhere, but too often he lacks penetration and had a couple of weak shots.

Ramsey – 8 – Poor first half, but superb in the second as his energy and drive helped turn the game around. Nice run lead to the first penalty. Still needs to work on his shooting and finishing though.

Walcott – 6.5 – Nice work lead to the equaliser, which will go down as a Walcott goal but was very fortunate, but another fairly average display by Theo overall. Poor crosses and not enough penetration.

Chamberlain – 7 – Faired better than Walcott, Oxe looks more composed and in control of the ball when in possession. Made a few wrong decisions on when to pass or shoot, but he skinned his marker on a few occasions and put in a couple of dangerous crosses.

Van Persie – 8.5 – Two expertly taken penalties, but his all round game was excellent. Eager for the ball and along with Ramsey was the driving force behind the comeback.


Arteta – 6.5 – Added fluidity to the midfield as we tried to see out the game. Great to have him back.

Sagna & Henry – Only on for a matter of minutes, but Thierry fluffed a chance to shoot while Sagna saw little of the ball. Not enough time to warrant a rating for either though.

If you haven’t seen the goals, or want to relive things, watch video highlights from Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa

Those are my ratings, feel free to leave your own ratings and opinions in the comments section below….

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