4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s 2-1 Win Over Aston Villa

By on January 14, 2014

Arsenal eased to a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Monday night to move back to the top of the Premier League table. Here, Gunner333 gives us his thoughts from the game.

mathieu-flamini-arsenal

Photo: football365.com

With 6 of the top 7 sides already victorious in the weekend’s action, the Gunners faced a resurgent Villa side still shy in front of goal. Arsenal however have been in great form of late and another win at Villa Park would restore them as league leaders. Despite Walcott’s absence, we had Gnabry on hand to start while the Ox’s returned from injury to take his place among the subs.

Arsenal settled very quickly and, unsurprisingly, took a real foot-hold in the match. Possession was 80% in the Gunners’ favour, yet the greatest chance Wenger’s men could muster-up was a flicked header from Giroud, which sailed on wide of the post.

Although Villa responded via Delph’s wide and low effort, it was the soon to-be league-leaders who opened the scoring. Monreal slipped through past a poor Villa back-line, before his pull-back allowed Wilshere to convert a sharp low effort. A fantastic start for the Gunners.

Lambert’s side were then dealt a massive blow as Arsenal went further ahead when Olivier Giroud found the bottom corner following a superb pass from Wilshere.  Due to Baker’s concussion forcing him off early, the first period was prolonged but still ended with Arsenal on top.

Villa were much stronger after the break and got themselves back in the game when Benteke found the net with a diving header to give his side a life-line. The striker piled pressure on further and almost found the equaliser but his header went straight at Szczesny.

Arsenal held on to secure yet another three-points and now sit top of the tree. Here I will analyse four talking points from the game:

1) Serge-ing into Side

The young German Serge Gnabry once again performed to an excellent level and looks like a great future prospect. A mirroring talent to that of Januzaj in my opinion, he runs at defenders with pace, is never afraid of whipping in a cross and can chip in with the odd goal.

With Walcott’s absence and Oxlade-Chamberlain still finding his way back to full fitness following five months out, it may be Gnabry’s big chance to cement himself as a first-team player.

2) Maestro Mathieu

After forming a solid partnership with Mikel Arteta in the past months,  Flamini has gone from temporary cover to a vital addition. His inability to hit stray passes has mad him a very viable option in holding midfield and his experience means he is disciplined not to drift out of position.

If we keep him fit, his many dimensions of play may prove to be crucial this season and last night he portrayed his inventive attacking style, via deep runs, quick passes and accurate long balls, as well as his classic ‘rock’ style defensive play.

3) Quick Tempo Gone?

Aston Villa are a side who like to counter attack with pace and energy, something we only once took full advantage of. I feel our attacking play is slowing up and relying far more on pin-point passes than quick movements. To enhance this, I would firstly recommend NOT playing typical ‘number-10’s down the flanks and inject those areas with pace from either Gnabry or The Ox. Let’s get pace back in our game!

4) Back-Line Brilliance

Our strength at the back seldom doesn’t make it into my articles but it is such a vast improvement over previous years, it must be mentioned again. The Unstoppable combination of Koscielny and Mertesacker, unbeaten as a partnership in the last 29 games that they’ve completed together, were once again imperious at the back.

Long ago we relied on our attack but times have changing and now it’s our defence that’s winning us games. If we continue to blunt front-lines and snatch wins, then who says we cannot go all the way? City are our biggest contenders but as long as we maintain our form and are ready to capitalise on any slip ups from our rivals, we’re in with a shout of winning the title.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. STEVE

    January 14, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    I’m an Arsenal supporter 100%and proud to see us top of the division,but unless you get your cheque book out Arsene,there will be no silverware coming Arsenals way,i admit we have a big playing staff,but not quality premiership players,just to name two,Diaby,and
    Bendtener, Diaby,should have been paid off two seasons ago,very good player,but so injury prone,Bendtener,i will be as polite as I can but
    just rubbish,that guy has cost Arsenal millions in wages,£52,000 a week,he wouldn’t get in our Street Team,Arsene before you talk anymore
    about,LEAGUE TITLES,and SILVERWARE you want at least two quality players if you don’t,you will win nothing,the season is only half over,
    and you have all the big teams to play again,and your team is not good
    enough,sorry but true.

  2. Domhuail

    January 15, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Far too early to say our pacey play has disappeared. Each game is played at a different pace and Wenger seems to have adapted quite well to his shortage of pacey players for the moment. Ramsey, Gibbs and Bendtner will,on their returns, add some pace and more options for Wenger.

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