Game #5613

2020-21

Position:

9th (-)

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Premier League

Arsenal

Villa Park

Attendance: Behind closed doors (COVID-19)

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Villa hit an early goal to do the double over Arsenal.

Aston Villa

1-0

Arsenal

Scorer(s) | Ollie Watkins | 2' |

Assist(s) | Bertrand Traoré | 2' |

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AT A GLANCE

Game #5613

Season | 2020-21 |
Matchday | #25 |
League Match | #21 |
Manager Game | #108 |
Saturday, 6 February 2021

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager | Dean Smith
KO | 12.30pm |
Referee | Chris Kavanagh |
HT Score | 1-0 |
FT Result | Won |
FT Score | 1-0 |
Last 5 Games | WLWLW |
League Position | 8th | +1 |

TEAM STATS

Team Cost:
| £145.58m |

Starting XI Average Age:
| 25.93 |

Oldest Player:
GK Emiliano Martínez | 28.45 |

Youngest Player:
CB Ezri Konsa | 23.31 |

TEAM NEWS

Dean Smith makes two changes to the team beaten by West Ham United three days previously with Bertrand Traoré replacing Anwar El Ghazi in the line up and a surprise move with Marvelous Nakamba preferred to Douglas Luiz.

UNAVAILABLE

Not Selected | 2 |
GK Jed Steer
LB Neil Taylor

Injury | 2 |
Wesley | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - Unknown |
Kortney Hause | Foot, 20 Jan 21 - 20 Mar 21 |

Loaned Out | 3 |
Conor Hourihane | Swansea City |
Frédéric Guilbert | RC Strasbourg Alsace |
GK Lovre Kalinić | HNK Hajduk Split |

MATCH STATS

Possession F | 34%
Possession A | 66%
Shots F | 12
Shots A | 14
Shots on Target F | 8
Shots on Target A | 3
Corners F | 3
Corners A | 7
Fouls F | 12
Fouls A | 12

MATCH PROGRAMME

LEAGUE TABLE

STARTING LINE UP

GK Emiliano Martínez |
RB Matty Cash |
CB Ezri Konsa |
CB Tyrone Mings |
LB Matt Targett |
M Marvelous Nakamba |
M John McGinn |
M Jack Grealish |
M Ross Barkley |
W Bertrand Traoré |
CF Ollie Watkins |

SUBSTITUTES

W Trézéguet for W Bertrand Traoré | 66' |
M Jacob Ramsey for M Ross Barkley | 78' |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

GK Tom Heaton
CB Björn Engels
RB Ahmed Elmohamady
M Morgan Sanson
M Douglas Luiz
W Anwar El Ghazi
CF Keinan Davis

THE OPPOSITION

GK Matthew Ryan, RB Héctor Bellerín, CB Gabriel, CB Rob Holding, RB Cédric Soares (M Martin Ødegaard), W Bukayo Saka, M Thomas Partey (W Willian), M Emile Smith Rowe, M Granit Xhaka, CF Alexandre Lacazette (CF Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang), W Nicolas Pépé.

Manager: Mikel Arteta.
Team Cost: £289.13m

ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on

Ollie Watkins celebrates winning the game for Villa on 2', 6 February 2021

https://www.premierleague.com/match/59116

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MATCH TIMELINE

2’ Goal, 1-0, Ollie Watkins, Assist by Bertrand Traoré
33’ Booking, Ezri Konsa for a bad foul
35’ Booking, Marvelous Nakamba for a bad foul
HT Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal
66’ Sub off, Bertrand Traoré, Sub on, W Trézéguet
78’ Sub off, M Ross Barkley, Sub on, M Jacob Ramsey
90’+6 Booking, Jack Grealish
FT Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal

ON THIS DAY

Villa completed their first league double over Arsenal for the first time since the inaugural Premier League season in 1992-93 under Ron Atkinson.

QUOTES

*Villa goalscorer Ollie Watkins*
*Saturday, 6 February 2021*

“It’s a big result. We’ve played some good stuff but not got the results so delighted today. We had to grind it out and that’s what it’s all about.

“We were a bit off it against West Ham and they punished us for that so we needed a big reaction and we showed that out there.

“We have to just focus on the next game. Europe is a long way away, hopefully we just keep plugging away and see where we are at the end of the season.”

*On his goal:*

“There was a bit of confusion from Arsenal at the back, I hit it with my left foot and it hit a defender and went in.”
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*Villa boss Dean Smith*
*Saturday, 6 February 2021*

“That’s the first time we’ve done the double over Arsenal since the inception of the Premier League in 1992-93. These players like to make history as we’ve seen in the last couple of years.

“It was a real hard-working performance. We got away from that against West Ham on Wednesday. We’ve got the quality to score goals but that was more like us – a real dogged display against a good offensive team.

“We started at a good intensity. We charged down balls from Arsenal and pounced on errors.”

On whether Europe is possible: “We’re not looking that far ahead. People talk about that and you fall flat on your face against West Ham.”
---

VIDEO

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*BBC Sport*
*Saturday, 6 February 2021*

"This was Villa’s sixth game in 18 days but there was little sign of fatigue as they worked hard to return to winning ways after being picked off by West Ham on Wednesday."

*BBC Sport*
*Saturday, 6 February 2021*

MATCH REPORT

MATCH REPORTS

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​Dean Smith says his Aston Villa players “like to make history” after they completed a first top-flight double over Arsenal for 28 years.

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan conceded 74 seconds into his debut for the Gunners as Villa followed up a 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium in November with a narrow victory at Villa Park.

Former Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez started the move which led to Bertrand Traore pouncing on a mistake by Cedric Soares before Ollie Watkins scored with a shot that deflected off Rob Holding.

“That’s the first time we’ve done the double over Arsenal since the inception of the Premier League in 1992-93,” said Smith.

“These players like to make history as we’ve seen in the last couple of years.”

Boyhood Gunners fan Ryan, signed on loan from Brighton in January and starting in place of suspended first-choice keeper Bernd Leno, produced a fine save to deny Traore a goal on his return to the Villa side.

Martinez frustrated his former club further when the Argentine produced an excellent save to keep out Granit Xhaka’s free-kick.

Villa move up to eighth in the Premier League while Arsenal’s second successive defeat leaves them 10th.

Watkins moves into double figures

Villa climbed above Tottenham and closed to within three points of fifth spot through Watkins’ 10th Premier League goal since joining from Brentford for a club record £28m in September.

Three of those goals have been against Arsenal, the 25-year-old scoring two in Villa’s 3-0 win in London earlier in the season.

After a barren run of games without a goal between November and January, there are clear signs Watkins is warming to playing at a higher level.

In netting Villa’s earliest Premier League goal since 2014, Watkins has four goals in his past five top-flight appearances after Cedric’s intended pass to Gabriel was way too short, allowing Traore to nip in and cross for the striker to score.

This was Villa’s sixth game in 18 days but there was little sign of fatigue as they worked hard to return to winning ways after being picked off by West Ham on Wednesday.

John McGinn and Jack Grealish were both denied by Ryan while Watkins forced the new Arsenal keeper into two further saves.

Burkina Faso forward Traore brought fresh energy after being a substitute on Wednesday, while Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings helped limit Arsenal to three attempts on target.

During a sustained period of Arsenal pressure, Mings did well to block Emile Smith Rowe’s goal-bound attempt and Matty Cash got in the way of Bukayo Saka’s shot.

“It was a real hard-working performance,” added Smith.

“We’ve got the quality to score goals but that was more like us - a real dogged display against a good offensive team.”

With 35 points from 21 games, Villa have equalled their tally from 2019-20 when they stayed up on the final day of the season.

Asked whether qualifying for Europe was a possibility, Smith added: “We’re not looking that far ahead. People talk about that and you fall flat on your face against West Ham.”

Lacklustre Arsenal

Arsenal once again struggled without their inspirational forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who started on the bench for the second successive game.

Gabon striker Aubameyang has been absent in recent weeks because his mother has been in ill health.

Since the captain last started for his club, the Gunners have gone out of the FA Cup and taken four points from four games in the league, where they are without a win in three.

Aubameyang came on for the final 30 minutes at Villa Park but, despite a spell of sustained pressure towards the end, Mikel Arteta’s side failed to score for the third time in five games.

After scoring against Wolves on Tuesday, Nicolas Pepe wasted two good chances while Martinez saved well from Hector Bellerin. Substitute Martin Odegaard blazed a late chance over the bar.

The Gunners, who had two players sent off at Wolves in the previous game, were unhappy when Konsa’s first-half foul on Saka did not result in a red card.

Ryan, Arsenal’s fourth keeper of the season, recovered from conceding early to produce some good saves but Arteta’s side remain anchored in mid-table after a 10th league defeat.

Arteta was frustrated by his side’s performance. “We gave them the goal and another three big chances,” said the Gunners boss.

“We created more than enough openings but when we had to score a goal we didn’t find the the right pass or the right shot. We should have won the game comfortably.”
---
​*The Guardian*
*Saturday, 6 February 2021*

​*Ollie Watkins' early strike enough for Aston Villa to sink blunt Arsenal*

​If nothing else, Arsenal will be happy to see the back of Aston Villa. This was their third defeat to Dean Smith’s side in a little over six months: while it was by some way their best performance in that collection, they found no way through and left the West Midlands empty-handed for the second time in four days.

​Villa did just about enough to merit the win and answer questions about their recent form. They have buccaneered their way through much of this season but had to knuckle down after Ollie Watkins’s winner, which came after only 75 seconds.

While Arsenal put them under the pump in the final half-hour they created only one glaring opportunity, which Martin Ødegaard slashed over the bar six minutes from time, and Villa held out with a resolve Smith felt had eluded them in a sloppy defeat to West Ham three days previously. “It was probably the polar opposite of our performance on Wednesday, when we didn’t look like a good team,” Smith said. “Today we looked a well-organised team. In the last 10 minutes we showed a great desire to see the game out. The players answered my critique of them.”

​Their desire to do that bore fruit quickly through Watkins, although Arsenal lent them a helping hand to a degree that exasperated Mikel Arteta. While his players had torn into Wolves on Tuesday, albeit ultimately to no avail, a costly error from Cédric Soares meant they began on the back foot here.

​Arsenal had largely dealt with a Villa foray down their left but then Soares, attempting to pass backwards towards Gabriel Magalhães, executed the idea sloppily and Bertrand Traoré nipped in.

​Traoré was decisive from there, rounding Gabriel and laying across goal with the outside of his left foot for Watkins to shoot. With help from a deflection off Rob Holding the ball trickled past Mat Ryan, who was making his debut because of Bernd Leno’s suspension and was beaten without having touched the ball.

​“We dominated in every department and should have won,” Arteta said. “But when you give a goal to the opponent and are not ruthless in their box you don’t win games. The rest – the energy and quality we showed – was incredible but it wasn’t enough.”

​Arsenal did monopolise possession but Villa still managed eight shots on target to their three. Arteta was unhappy with the officials about two decisions, feeling Ezri Konsa should have been dismissed rather than booked for a first-half foul on Bukayo Saka and screaming for a penalty early in the second period when Emiliano Martínez grappled with Alexandre Lacazette at a corner.

​“I prefer to stay on mute,” he said when pressed on specifics. In truth the first of those calls seemed right but there was a case that Martínez had pulled Lacazette’s shirt before the striker leaned into him, even if the VAR official, David Coote, joined Chris Kavanagh in disagreeing.

​Martínez had already produced a party piece against his former employers, executing a save of stupendous athleticism to claw Granit Xhaka’s free-kick out of his top left corner shortly before the half-hour.

​He also denied Héctor Bellerín and Nicolas Pépé after the interval but should have been beaten when the effervescent Saka cut back for Ødegaard.

​The substitute fluffed his lines from 15 yards and Villa, whose defensive endeavour was otherwise immaculate, survived without further alarm. While they saw only 34% of the ball, Villa had better chances to score again. Ryan did well to save when Traoré, who had turned sumptuously in the box, sought to scoop the ball over him in the 31st minute and would be called upon several times after the break. Watkins, Jack Grealish and John McGinn all saw shots repelled, while Watkins also drilled wide.

​Theirs was an intelligent display, picking the right moments to attack while keeping their shape; Smith was delighted Villa have equalled last season’s tally of 35 points but called for them to be “more consistent” in order to trouble the European spots.

​Arsenal will have to be metronomic if they are to do that. Their revival has stuttered and Arteta admitted it was “a big blow” to have emerged pointless from the past week’s endeavours, an outcome that certainly does not reflect their input.

​They must wait anxiously to see whether Thomas Partey, whose absence earlier in the winter was sorely felt, is badly hurt after he was forced off with 15 minutes left.

​Partey had been excellent; Arsenal themselves had not been bad but, beneath the sense of grievance, Arteta knew where the problems are. “[The top four] teams don’t make those mistakes,” he said, and therein lies the rub.
---

​Dean Smith says his Aston Villa players “like to make history” after they completed a first top-flight double over Arsenal for 28 years.

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan conceded 74 seconds into his debut for the Gunners as Villa followed up a 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium in November with a narrow victory at Villa Park.

Former Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez started the move which led to Bertrand Traore pouncing on a mistake by Cedric Soares before Ollie Watkins scored with a shot that deflected off Rob Holding.

“That’s the first time we’ve done the double over Arsenal since the inception of the Premier League in 1992-93,” said Smith.

“These players like to make history as we’ve seen in the last couple of years.”

Boyhood Gunners fan Ryan, signed on loan from Brighton in January and starting in place of suspended first-choice keeper Bernd Leno, produced a fine save to deny Traore a goal on his return to the Villa side.

Martinez frustrated his former club further when the Argentine produced an excellent save to keep out Granit Xhaka’s free-kick.

Villa move up to eighth in the Premier League while Arsenal’s second successive defeat leaves them 10th.

Watkins moves into double figures

Villa climbed above Tottenham and closed to within three points of fifth spot through Watkins’ 10th Premier League goal since joining from Brentford for a club record £28m in September.

Three of those goals have been against Arsenal, the 25-year-old scoring two in Villa’s 3-0 win in London earlier in the season.

After a barren run of games without a goal between November and January, there are clear signs Watkins is warming to playing at a higher level.

In netting Villa’s earliest Premier League goal since 2014, Watkins has four goals in his past five top-flight appearances after Cedric’s intended pass to Gabriel was way too short, allowing Traore to nip in and cross for the striker to score.

This was Villa’s sixth game in 18 days but there was little sign of fatigue as they worked hard to return to winning ways after being picked off by West Ham on Wednesday.

John McGinn and Jack Grealish were both denied by Ryan while Watkins forced the new Arsenal keeper into two further saves.

Burkina Faso forward Traore brought fresh energy after being a substitute on Wednesday, while Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings helped limit Arsenal to three attempts on target.

During a sustained period of Arsenal pressure, Mings did well to block Emile Smith Rowe’s goal-bound attempt and Matty Cash got in the way of Bukayo Saka’s shot.

“It was a real hard-working performance,” added Smith.

“We’ve got the quality to score goals but that was more like us - a real dogged display against a good offensive team.”

With 35 points from 21 games, Villa have equalled their tally from 2019-20 when they stayed up on the final day of the season.

Asked whether qualifying for Europe was a possibility, Smith added: “We’re not looking that far ahead. People talk about that and you fall flat on your face against West Ham.”

Lacklustre Arsenal

Arsenal once again struggled without their inspirational forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who started on the bench for the second successive game.

Gabon striker Aubameyang has been absent in recent weeks because his mother has been in ill health.

Since the captain last started for his club, the Gunners have gone out of the FA Cup and taken four points from four games in the league, where they are without a win in three.

Aubameyang came on for the final 30 minutes at Villa Park but, despite a spell of sustained pressure towards the end, Mikel Arteta’s side failed to score for the third time in five games.

After scoring against Wolves on Tuesday, Nicolas Pepe wasted two good chances while Martinez saved well from Hector Bellerin. Substitute Martin Odegaard blazed a late chance over the bar.

The Gunners, who had two players sent off at Wolves in the previous game, were unhappy when Konsa’s first-half foul on Saka did not result in a red card.

Ryan, Arsenal’s fourth keeper of the season, recovered from conceding early to produce some good saves but Arteta’s side remain anchored in mid-table after a 10th league defeat.

Arteta was frustrated by his side’s performance. “We gave them the goal and another three big chances,” said the Gunners boss.

“We created more than enough openings but when we had to score a goal we didn’t find the the right pass or the right shot. We should have won the game comfortably.”
---
​*The Guardian*
*Saturday, 6 February 2021*

​*Ollie Watkins' early strike enough for Aston Villa to sink blunt Arsenal*

​If nothing else, Arsenal will be happy to see the back of Aston Villa. This was their third defeat to Dean Smith’s side in a little over six months: while it was by some way their best performance in that collection, they found no way through and left the West Midlands empty-handed for the second time in four days.

​Villa did just about enough to merit the win and answer questions about their recent form. They have buccaneered their way through much of this season but had to knuckle down after Ollie Watkins’s winner, which came after only 75 seconds.

While Arsenal put them under the pump in the final half-hour they created only one glaring opportunity, which Martin Ødegaard slashed over the bar six minutes from time, and Villa held out with a resolve Smith felt had eluded them in a sloppy defeat to West Ham three days previously. “It was probably the polar opposite of our performance on Wednesday, when we didn’t look like a good team,” Smith said. “Today we looked a well-organised team. In the last 10 minutes we showed a great desire to see the game out. The players answered my critique of them.”

​Their desire to do that bore fruit quickly through Watkins, although Arsenal lent them a helping hand to a degree that exasperated Mikel Arteta. While his players had torn into Wolves on Tuesday, albeit ultimately to no avail, a costly error from Cédric Soares meant they began on the back foot here.

​Arsenal had largely dealt with a Villa foray down their left but then Soares, attempting to pass backwards towards Gabriel Magalhães, executed the idea sloppily and Bertrand Traoré nipped in.

​Traoré was decisive from there, rounding Gabriel and laying across goal with the outside of his left foot for Watkins to shoot. With help from a deflection off Rob Holding the ball trickled past Mat Ryan, who was making his debut because of Bernd Leno’s suspension and was beaten without having touched the ball.

​“We dominated in every department and should have won,” Arteta said. “But when you give a goal to the opponent and are not ruthless in their box you don’t win games. The rest – the energy and quality we showed – was incredible but it wasn’t enough.”

​Arsenal did monopolise possession but Villa still managed eight shots on target to their three. Arteta was unhappy with the officials about two decisions, feeling Ezri Konsa should have been dismissed rather than booked for a first-half foul on Bukayo Saka and screaming for a penalty early in the second period when Emiliano Martínez grappled with Alexandre Lacazette at a corner.

​“I prefer to stay on mute,” he said when pressed on specifics. In truth the first of those calls seemed right but there was a case that Martínez had pulled Lacazette’s shirt before the striker leaned into him, even if the VAR official, David Coote, joined Chris Kavanagh in disagreeing.

​Martínez had already produced a party piece against his former employers, executing a save of stupendous athleticism to claw Granit Xhaka’s free-kick out of his top left corner shortly before the half-hour.

​He also denied Héctor Bellerín and Nicolas Pépé after the interval but should have been beaten when the effervescent Saka cut back for Ødegaard.

​The substitute fluffed his lines from 15 yards and Villa, whose defensive endeavour was otherwise immaculate, survived without further alarm. While they saw only 34% of the ball, Villa had better chances to score again. Ryan did well to save when Traoré, who had turned sumptuously in the box, sought to scoop the ball over him in the 31st minute and would be called upon several times after the break. Watkins, Jack Grealish and John McGinn all saw shots repelled, while Watkins also drilled wide.

​Theirs was an intelligent display, picking the right moments to attack while keeping their shape; Smith was delighted Villa have equalled last season’s tally of 35 points but called for them to be “more consistent” in order to trouble the European spots.

​Arsenal will have to be metronomic if they are to do that. Their revival has stuttered and Arteta admitted it was “a big blow” to have emerged pointless from the past week’s endeavours, an outcome that certainly does not reflect their input.

​They must wait anxiously to see whether Thomas Partey, whose absence earlier in the winter was sorely felt, is badly hurt after he was forced off with 15 minutes left.

​Partey had been excellent; Arsenal themselves had not been bad but, beneath the sense of grievance, Arteta knew where the problems are. “[The top four] teams don’t make those mistakes,” he said, and therein lies the rub.
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