Saturday 18 February 2023

Villa 2-1 Arsenal (half time)

Arsenal's title challenge is continuing to falter in February.

Despite some slick passing, Villa have been able to cut through Arsenal's midfield like butter. The Gunners are clearly missing Partey, as although Jorginho is decent, he doesn't dominate central midfield the way the Ghanaian can.

Making his first start, Trossard has caused problems down the left, while Saka scored a peach of a volley and has put Villa on the back foot on numerous occasions.

The England international's equaliser to Watkins's opener seemed just the tonic for Arsenal to go on and win the game, but once again they came unstuck as Villa struck back through ex-Liverpool midfielder, Coutinho.

A flurry of x-rated tackles ended with Saka getting booked, unsurprisingly, as by leaving his foot in on one occasion, he showed that it's as good to give as it is to receive.

It won't be surprising to see someone see red in this game, which is fast and flowing, but niggly too: a great spectacle for the neutral, but depressing viewing for Gooners.

Ramsdale 6 - nearly got caught playing around in his 6-yard box
White 6 - not at his sharpest
Saliba 6 - not dominant against Watkins
Gabriel 6 - the most solid defender
Zinchenko 6 - good attacking, not defending as well
Saka 8 - a constant thorn
Odegaard 7 - marked tightly, fouled frequently
Jorginho 6 - keeping things ticking over
Xhaka 5 - anonymous
Trossard 8 - tricky
Nketiah 6 - working hard, but ineffective

Sent from my iPhone

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