Aston Villa 0 - 3 Arsenal
After Dortmund dealt Arsenal a European blow, it was time to focus on the Premier League. Arsenal made their way to Villa Park, with Ozil finally playing at number 10, whilst Cazorla and The Ox came in to replace Alexis and Wilshere.
The game started rather sluggishly.
Villa were closing down well, and The Gunners were looking toothless going forward. Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta in particular were looking below par, misplacing every other pass they made.
Clark nearly put Villa ahead early on with a free header after a free kick, but Szczesney was able to make the save.
Thankfully, everything changed in the thirty-third minute. And it changed fast - thanks to Mesut Ozil.
It was three goals in 3mins and 12seconds. Villa were stunned, and Arsenal were cruising.
Welbeck threaded a ball through to Ozil, who had made a good run through the middle. The midfield maestro stayed calm, and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Just seconds later, Ozil popped up on the left-wing, crossing in beautifully to find Welbeck in front of goal. All Danny had to do was finish, and finish he did.
Then, seconds after that goal, a loose ball in the box was turned in by Cissokho for a Villa own goal. It was three goals in 3mins and 12seconds. Villa were stunned, and Arsenal were cruising.
In the end, Ozil was the driving force behind Arsenal’s first half masterclass. Job done.
In contrast, the second half was a bit of a bore.
No goals came, as Arsenal decided to settle down and see the game out. Villa didn’t really push for anything either.
So, in the end, Ozil was the driving force behind Arsenal’s first half masterclass. Job done.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Gathered the ball well from crosses and looked comfortable (as usual). Made a great save for Clark’s header too. However, he had yet another scare with poor distribution in the first half.
Played well overall, but very nearly got himself sent off after making silly tackles. Great potential, but still much to learn.
Read the game well, cleared a number of crosses and dangerous balls. Solid as.
Cleaned up behind the midfield, made some good forward passes too. No worries.
Defended well, but got forward better. Put in a couple of good crosses, ran at defenders, and technically got the assist for Cissokho’s own goal.
Mikel’s passing was very poor today, and I’m still not confident in him when teams attack.
Ozil: [8/10] - MOTM
Mesut switched on the style today, and it’s no coincidence - he was playing at number 10. He made good runs, one of which was seen by Welbeck, leading to his first goal. He took that goal well, and followed it up with a pin-point cross for Welbeck seconds later, grabbing a goal and assist. He was the difference today.
Made nothing happen offensively. didn’t do much defending, and his passing wasn’t great either.
What a shocker from Aaron. Worst passer on the pitch, booked, and had no positive input. Looked very tired today. Could do with a rest.
The Ox: [7/10]
Come alive more in the second half. He linked up with Chambers well, ran at defenders and gave Villa a headache. Also made a fantastic block to stop Villa scoring.
First touch and finishing needs to improve, but Danny played well today. He threaded a good ball into Ozil for the opener, then grabbed his first Arsenal goal after Ozil returned the favour. Not a bad show at all.
Wilshere, Rosicky, Podolski [N/A]
Mesut’s The Man
The result is great, but let’s be honest. Arsenal didn’t actually play that well.
In fact, bar the 3mins 12seconds in which the three goals came, Villa matched us.
If Mesut didn’t grab a goal and assist in quick succession like he did, I’m not sure Arsenal would have got any more than a point from this fixture. Villa looked tame going forward, but before and after the goals, they were well organised.
Then again, that’s what playing a world-class number 10 in his actual position gets you. Goals, and assists. Who would have thought it?