Game | #5549 |
Season | 2019-20 |
Matchday | #7 |
League Game | #6 |
Manager Game | #45 |
Sunday, 22 September 2019
Premier League | Away | Arsenal | Emirates Stadium | 60,311 |
Game Summary |
Manager | Dean Smith |
KO | 16.30 |
Referee | Jonathan Moss |
HT Score | 1-0 |
FT Score | 2-3 |
FT Result | Lost |
Last 5 Games | WWLDL |
Scorers | John McGinn | 20’ | Wesley | 60’ |
Assists | Anwar El Ghazi | 20’ | Jack Grealish | 60’ |
League Position | 18th | -1 |
Team News |
Trézéguet - returning from his one game ban - replaced Jota who sat on the bench whilst Marvelous Nakamba kept his place ahead of Douglas Luiz.
Line Up |
GK Tom Heaton |
LB Neil Taylor |
CB Björn Engels | BOOKED | 83' |
CB Tyrone Mings |
RB Frédéric Guilbert |
M Marvelous Nakamba | SUB OFF | 85' |
M John McGinn | GOAL | 20' |
M Jack Grealish | ASSIST | 60' |
W Anwar El Ghazi | ASSIST | 20' | SUB OFF | 86' |
W Trézéguet | SUB OFF | 68' |
CF Wesley | GOAL | 60' |
RB Ahmed Elmohamady | for W Trézéguet | 68’ |
M Conor Hourihane | for M Marvelous Nakamba | 85’ |
M Henri Lansbury | for W Anwar El Ghazi | 86’ |
Unused Substitutes |
GK Jed Steer |
CB Ezri Konsa |
W Jota |
CF Keinan Davis |
Yellow | Björn Engels for a bad foul | 83’ |
Team Stats |
Starting XI Average Age | 26.12 |
Substitute Average Age | 29.89 |
Oldest Player | GK Tom Heaton | 33.46 |
Oldest Outfield Player (Starter) | LB Neil Taylor | 30.64 |
Oldest Outfield Player (Substitute) | RB Ahmed Elmohamady | 32.06 |
Youngest Player (Starter) | CF Wesley | 22.84 |
Not selected |
M Douglas Luiz |
LB Matt Targett |
GK Ørjan Nyland |
GK Lovre Kalinić |
CB Kortney Hause |
M Jacob Ramsey |
CF Cameron Archer |
Injury | 2 |
CB James Chester | Injury | 10 Aug - Mid Oct |
CF Jonathan Kodjia | Injury | 17 Aug - Mid Oct |
Loaned Out | 6 |
GK Matija Šarkić | Livingston | 1 July 2019 - 31 May 2020 |
CM Jake Doyle-Hayes | Cheltenham Town | 1 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 |
CF Rushian Hepburn-Murphy | Tranmere Rovers | 2 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 |
CF Scott Hogan | Stoke City | 7 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 |
RB James Bree | Luton Town | 8 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 |
CF Callum O’Hare | Coventry City | 22 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 |
Match Stats |
Possession F | 42
Possession A | 58
Shots F | 14
Shots A | 20
Shots on Target F | 9
Shots on Target A | 6
Corners F | 4
Corners A | 9
Fouls F | 15
Fouls A | 13
*Sunday 22 September 2019*
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s stunning free-kick helped 10-man Arsenal come from behind to beat Aston Villa in a pulsating encounter at Emirates Stadium.
Aubameyang curled home his seventh goal of the season with six minutes remaining to complete a remarkable turnaround for the Gunners, who had Ainsley Maitland-Niles sent off after 41 minutes.
John McGinn flicked home Anwar El Ghazi’s cross to put Villa ahead after 20 minutes before Maitland-Niles was shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Neil Taylor.
Arsenal levelled early in the second period thanks to Nicolas Pepe’s first goal for the club from the penalty spot only for Wesley to restore Villa’s lead from Jack Grealish’s low cross less than two minutes later.
But in a thrilling conclusion, substitute Calum Chambers’ close-range finish brought the Gunners level on 81 minutes before Aubameyang’s late strike secured their third Premier League win of the season to lift Unai Emery’s side back into the top four.
The result was harsh on Villa, who impressed for long periods but paid the price for dropping far too deep in the closing stages and inviting Arsenal pressure. A fourth defeat from six league games means they remain in the bottom three.
After opting for a mix of youth and experience for Thursday's Europa League win at Eintracht Frankfurt, Emery recalled the bulk of his senior stars for the meeting with Villa.
That meant the Spaniard went with the same back four that lost a two-goal lead at Watford last weekend, and another shaky performance here means they have still not kept a clean sheet in the league since the opening day of the season, conceding 10 goals in five games.
The defensive problems ultimately did not cost them the result against Villa, but Emery cannot rely on his attacking players to bail out his team all the time if they are to make a sustained challenge for the top four.
A lack of urgency and desire to close the Villa players down led to the opening goal, with El Ghazi given plenty of time to cross for McGinn, who found himself completely unmarked after ghosting ahead of Matteo Guendouzi.
Guendouzi summed up Arsenal’s performance, he was often sloppy in possession and his failure to track McGinn led to the first goal, but he led by example in the closing stages with a series of driving runs into the penalty area.
One of those runs resulted in a sloppy tackle from Bjorn Engels, allowing Pepe to equalise from the spot early in the second half.
After Arsenal went behind again Guendouzi drew a fine save from Tom Heaton, who pushed his low drive from the edge of the box on to the post.
With Villa seemingly unable to get out of their final third, Arsenal’s pressure finally told.
A mistake by Tyone Mings allowed Chambers, brought on in response to Maitland-Niles’ dismissal, to stab a looping effort beyond Heaton.
Then, after Aubameyang was brought down just outside the area, the Gabon striker curled beyond an unmoved Heaton to send the Emirates crowd, who were frustrated for much of the afternoon, into raptures.
Villa left to rue late collapse
While Arsenal went into the game with concerns about their defence, Aston Villa had worries about their attack after failing to score in each of their last two matches.
They looked much more potent here, but were left to rue defensive mistakes that led to all three Arsenal goals.
Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet, playing either side of striker Wesley, found plenty of space on the flanks, with Arsenal full-backs Maitland-Niles and Saed Kolasinac regularly exposed.
Egypt international winger Trezeguet, back in the side after a one-match ban, set up McGinn for an early effort on target while it was El Ghazi’s delivery from the other flank that led the opening goal.
After Pepe’s penalty brought Arsenal level, Villa showed great spirit to immediately go up the other end to re-take the lead thanks to some fine work by Grealish down the left and a smart finish by Wesley, his second goal for Villa since joining from Club Brugge in the summer.
With Arsenal pushing forward, Villa nearly caught them on the counter when Trezeguet was played in the right-hand side of the area, but he could only fire straight at Leno.
Four minutes later, Villa manager Dean Smith replaced Trezeguet with the more defensively minded Ahmed El Mohamady in an attempt to shore things up, but that only served to invite Arsenal pressure.
Mings, whose form this season saw him called up to the England squad, was punished for a poor header on the edge of his six yard box for Chambers’ equaliser.
His defensive partner Engels, whose foul also led to Arsenal’s penalty, then hacked down Aubameyang right on the edge of the penalty area, with the Gunners forward converting the free-kick to condemn Villa to defeat.
*Aston Villa boss Dean Smith, speaking to BBC MOTD:* “I am bitterly disappointed. We lost our structure for periods in the second half. First half we were on the front foot and looked solid. It is always going to be a tough game but we will never get a better chance to win.
“The game became too open with them at 10 men. We lost our fearlessness but for some reason we retracted second half and put us under pressure. We scored again and had a good five minute spell but retracted again. The players lost a bit of belief and that is what disappointed me the most.
“You look at the goals we conceded and they are sloppy. We concede a penalty and give a free-kick away. Second goal, Tyrone Mings has cushioned a header to Neil Taylor and should have put it out for a corner.
“I thought it was penalty [for handball against Sokratis]. He leant towards the ball, which was going towards the goal. It has hit his arm so I don’t know why it wasn’t. But if you’re asking about handballs in the box these days, I don’t know and I don’t think anyone
knows. We have seen some subjective ones. If they get a good view on the TV screens they need to overrule the on-field referee.”
On his side’s form:
“There is no big concern. We have had a real good go. Apart from Man City and Liverpool I don’t fear anyone in this league.”
*Sunday 22 September 2019*
"Aubameyang breaks Aston Villa hearts as 10-man Arsenal bounce back late on"
At some point Arsenal may tire of lurching from famine to feast and offer their supporters a square meal. That day could hardly look further away, though, after a mindboggling 90 minutes into which they distilled their vibrant best and shambolic worst. At half-time there was the sense that the Unai Emery era could be on the verge of falling into accelerated decline. His team were behind to a John McGinn goal and a man down after Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s careless red card. They had barely done a thing right but by the end they were celebrating a man who can do no wrong.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had already scored 13 goals in his last 11 club games so when he won and shaped to take a free-kick just outside the penalty area it was tempting, just for once, to make a prediction in a game involving Arsenal. They had just levelled the score for a second time, through Calum Chambers, and an atmosphere that had previously hummed with discontent was now crackling. The position looked set up for someone of his peerless finishing ability and so it proved, his whipped effort flying past Tom Heaton to send the Emirates delirious.
“The character was amazing,” Emery said. “We want to feel something special with our supporters in the stadium, to connect with them and be strong in our mentality.”
For 45 minutes none of those words were close to anyone’s lips, because Arsenal were catatonic. Their midfield of Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos may as well have been holograms for all the pressure they exerted on a Villa side that, while happy to test their hosts’ weaknesses, should not have posed an extraordinary threat. McGinn had already worked Bernd Leno twice when, escaping an inexplicably static Guendouzi, he nudged Anwar El Ghazi’s delivery past the Arsenal keeper and it sparked what appeared to be an unravelling.
Maitland-Niles had missed a decent chance within two minutes and had also been guilty of standing off El Ghazi before the goal. He completed an unholy trinity when, having already been booked, he followed through on Neil Taylor. The referee, Jon Moss, was unimpressed by the fact Maitland-Niles had won the ball and Moss waited while the right-back, who had injured more than his pride, received treatment before showing a second yellow card.
Emery said he had been thinking of substituting Maitland-Niles at the interval, an event he was presumably desperate for by that point. His players had shown little discipline, a fact Sokratis Papastathopoulos underlined with a risible attempt to show Wesley had clipped him in the face. They rode out some early Villa pressure after the restart, though, and had begun to force a few hacked clearances when Guendouzi, a force of nature throughout the second period, thrust into the area and was fouled by Björn Engels. Aubameyang was happy to let Nicolas Pépé, who had looked like a player burdened both by a £72m price tag and the need for a goal, to take the penalty and it was duly dispatched.
But Villa were back ahead within two minutes after Jack Grealish, leaving three Arsenal players trailing before crossing for Wesley to nick the ball home, produced a penetrative run of his own. Arsenal had shot themselves in the foot again and when Xhaka, a lightning rod for fans’ frustrations, was jeered upon his 72nd minute substitution there seemed little prospect of the clouds lifting.
Nobody told that to Guendouzi, who struck a post and continued to drive forward furiously. When he clipped a deep ball towards Chambers, who had replaced Bukayo Saka, the otherwise impeccable Tyrone Mings attempted to cushion a header towards Taylor rather than making a simple clearance. Chambers was alert, intercepting and jabbing an impressive effort high into the net.
Aubameyang then completed the turnaround and left the Villa manager, Dean Smith, ruing their inability to finish the game. “We paid them too much respect and tried to hang on to the lead,” he said, and it is true that Arsenal had looked there for the taking.
“We lost a little bit of control, but we took a few risks to come back,” a far happier Emery said. Their lack of cohesion should really have caught up with them here, but Arsenal got away with it and the rollercoaster shows no sign of easing up.
Dean Smith “We will never get a better chance to win at the Emirates. Going a goal up and they went down to 10 men. We retracted when we should have gone out to get the second. We have made a mistake. We have given them three goals and dropped too deep in the second half, hanging on to the lead we had. Just before half-time I thought it became a bit of a basketball game - it was end-to-end. We didn’t make the most of our opportunities and lost our structure.
“We ended up jumping out from midfield and they played through us. It is a bitterly disappointing dressing room as they know they can compete but we lost belief in the second half. I don’t see too many positives at the moment but in the cold light of day we will look back and analyse the game. The home games are going to be very important. We have had opportunities in all games and not fear anybody except maybe the Man City’s and Liverpool’s in this league.
“We took the lead against Tottenham, should have got a point against Crystal Palace and should have taken something from this game. It’s just about having a bit of know-how.”
"I am bitterly disappointed. We lost our structure for periods in the second half. First half we were on the front foot and looked solid. It is always going to be a tough game but we will never get a better chance to win. The game became too open with them at 10 men. We lost our fearlessness but for some reason we retracted second half and put us under pressure. We scored again and had a good five min spell but retracted again. The players lost a bit of belief and that is what disappointed me the most."
“You look at the goals we conceded and they are sloppy. We concede a penalty and give a free-kick away. Second goal, Tyrone Mings has cushioned a header to Neil Taylor and should have put it out for a corner. I thought it was penalty (for handball against Sokratis). He leant towards the ball, which was going towards the goal. It has hit his arm so I don’t know why it wasn’t. But if you’re asking about handballs in the box these days, I don’t know and I don’t think anyone knows. We have seen some subjective ones. If they get a good view on the TV screens they need to overrule the on-field referee.”
*On his side’s form:* “There is no big concern. We have had a real good go. Apart from Man City and Liverpool I don’t fear anyone in this league.”
”Any team is beatable, we saw that with Norwich’s result against Manchester City.
“When you go head-to-head against anybody you’ve got to have that belief but we know how tough it is at the Emirates.“We’ve got great belief in what our players are about and we saw with that trip to Tottenham that we can go toe-to-toe with these teams.”
“We are very disappointed. We had 11 men and Arsenal had 10. We have to win these games. For 60 minutes we played well. We scored a goal then stayed back and Arsenal scored three more goals. We have to work hard because you cannot lose like this.”
“That is two weeks in a row that teams down to 10 men have affected us badly. We have addressed it in the dressing room. I don’t know if it is a lack of belief or tiredness, which it shouldn’t be. We should be creating the chances but we weren’t. We showed we are dangerous and scored a good goal, concede one and then show it again. But we got deeper and deeper and you can’t do that. It is game management. It has cost us dearly this season. When you force pressure on yourself you get punished. We need to capitalise when things go for us in the game. We are yet to get a VAR decision go our way. There was no surprise that (a late penalty call for handball) didn’t for us.”