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October 2016
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Aston Villa – Arsenal: 0-2 a not that difficult win after a CL midweek match

By Walter Broeckx

No changes in the team before the start of this match. So both Giroud and Walcott in the starting line up. Iwobi was named on the bench.

Team that started: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud.

On the beach: Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi


The first shot between the posts was from Sinclair but an easy catch for Cech. Walcott being pulled back in the penalty area when he went past his man and after some hesitation ref Friend pointed to the penalty spot. Giroud behind the ball and putting the keeper the wrong way. GOAL! 0-1 to The Arsenal after 8 minutes. It was a foul and in the penalty area so the decision was correct but a bit late.

Arsenal trying to keep the ball in their ranks after that and Aston Villa trying to go forward but no real threat for the moment. Arsenal still 0-1 in front after 15 minutes.

Özil with a free kick and Giroud with a header with the back of his head but he looped it too high and a Villa defender could clear in front of the line. Cech coming for a cross but not being able to hold on to it but Bacuna lifted his effort over the crossbar. Arsenal just keeping the ball and Aston Villa defending. A free kick from Özil just can’t find the head of Koscielny. Still 0-1 to The Arsenal after 30 minutes.

Aston Villa go forward but Ramset with a great sliding tackle winning the ball back. The ball goes to Giroud and Özil who finds Theo who launches Özil in space in the middle and the German Weltmeister pulls the ball back to Ramsey who won the ball deep in our own half and he puts the ball past Guzman. GOAL! 0-2 to the Arsenal after 37 minutes. What a sharp attack.

Arsenal giving the ball away just before half time leading to an Aston Villa corner but Hutton heads it wide. Theo scores a third goal but it is cancelled for offside but no replay is shown. It sure looked debatable. Arsenal go in to the dressing room with a good 0-2 lead after 45 minutes.

Aston Villa have the first shot of the second half but it goes well over and wide. Cech then has to catch a shot from distance but does so comfortably. Arsenal then almost messing up when Per plays a bak pass and Cech almost plays it too short back. Sinclair with a chance but his header goes over. Are some legs getting tired after the CL match? Arsenal still 0-2 in front after 60 minutes.

A counter over Ramsey and Özil but this time his cross only finds Guzan. Bacuna with a curling shot that goes over. After 62 minutes Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain come on for Campbell and Theo. Gibbs almost with a chance but first his header is blocked and he can’t produce a shot from the rebound. Aston Villa win 3 corner in a row but Arsenal defenders stay on top. Ramsey spreading the ball to Gibbs but his cross is intercepted by the Villa keeper before it can find Giroud. Arsenal still 0-2 in front after 75 minutes.

Sanchez from Villa then bumps his head against the shoulder of Giroud and looks in pain. He is already wearing a protective mask but he can continue. Gil has a shot that goes wide and Cech saw it going well wide. Ramsey with a great interception but the attempt from The Ox is blocked in to a corner. Ramsey again with a good interception sending Oxlade-Chamberlain away but he went for own glory as a pass to Özil might have been better. With 6 minutes to go Özil goes off and Chambers comes on. Traore with good run for Villa but his shot ends up in the side net in extra time.

Ramsey stealing the ball but nobody in front of the goal and he then tries to lob it but it goes over. Oxlade with a cross from the right but the header from Bellerin is too weak to really cause danger.

Arsenal win after a difficult CL away match at Aston Villa. We controlled the match almost completely and scored when we got the chances.

Cech now got 169 clean sheets in the PL and is record holder. Good to have him on our side this season.

The most important stat however is that Arsenal go back to the top of the league table and that for at least 24 hours. For once we even could wish Chelsea not to lose a match?

Another fin win from a team that is missing some of their best players for a few weeks now. But Ramsey is surely showing his worth in the heart of the engine room for the moment. Scoring and assisting as in his best days.

Next match a real top match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates in 9 days time.




54 comments to Aston Villa – Arsenal: 0-2 a not that difficult win after a CL midweek match

  • Great summary as always Walter!

    Nice to be top of the league but I am conflicted about what I want tomorrow evening. I want Chelsea’s run of defeats to continue but then it’s nice seeing us above everybody else in the league.

    I guess I’ll settle for a draw which will keep us atop but make Abrahamovic Toys 2 points closer to relegation.

  • Hisham

    A very professional display from the Gunners. It’s always difficult to play again at the very highest level after an energy sapping game in midweek.

    We are top of the League! Let’s settle into this position for the rest of the season. We can do it! COYGs..

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    No take the Leicester win, I’m sure we will beat them to make up for the points difference.

    Friend tried awfully hard not to give us the penalty, but in the end came back from the Dark Side.

    Well done the Lads good solid three points with no dramas. Giroud with his 50th League goal and I think his 27th in all games in the calendar year – not bad for a player ‘not fit to wear the shirt’!

  • colario

    @ Josif
    Yes Glen Hoddle in is first game in charge of spuds. An FA cup semi final which we won 2-1.

    However Arsene was a club manager for 12 years in France so there could be a former French player who went on to manage a team against Arsene.

  • Al

    Well done Arsenal after a tough midweek fixture. I’d go with a Leicester win tomorrow, that’s for sure. Anything to wipe the smile off that weasel Mourinho 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    An excellent win and very professional performance. We did look a bit tired in the second half yet the guys kept going very well.

    A very valuable three pionts – especially after such a crucial mid-week match and a lot of travelling.

    Well done guys!

  • Norman14

    As usual, channel PIGMOB poo pooing our team, refering to Rambo’s goal as a “tap in”. Dickheads!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO ,HOO ! Well done guys, nice win. Up the Gunners!
    The Christmas spirit must be in the air -2 penalties in a week!
    In reciprocating it , I‘m sure all the AKBs wish the Foxes all 3 points! As well as to Newcastle !

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Jingle balls! Top of the league, ahhhh the airs nice an fresh up here!

  • Rich

    Satisfying. Thought we played with a lot of intelligence there. Ramsay easy man of the match, I thought.

    Walcott’s goal very much onside. Can give linesman some benefit of doubt given speed these things occur to naked eye. Only problem with that is the fact those things don’t tend to even out with us at all.

    Video of goal on this guy’s twitter. Easy to see he was on if you pause it at moment of pass.

    More suspicious,though, is Sky’s decision not to show a replay. They showed plenty of the pen, which the ref did get right, in the end, and gave the impression they’d love to say even though it was a pen, maybe there was something wrong with the ref awarding it.

    Same thing happened earlier in the game when Ramsay was caught late by Veretout. Common practice is showing a replay, nothing was happening in the game, so when they didn’t it left me pretty sure it was a challenge worthy of a card.

    there are people in the van who make those decisions and i sure don’t trust them.

    Anyway, good day, even if those Spurs gits have just scored.

  • JohnW

    More of the same Monday week!Thought Flamini was out of position a few times but I guess I can’t complain with three points in the bag.Would also have loved to see Lwobi get a few minutes, but Arsene might not have wanted to gamble with the game. Itching for us to reach 19 games at the top, then we will start counting down. Who would have thought that we would be 18 points ahead of Chelski?

  • Gord

    Moyes was apparently bad mouthing Mesut as another dumb muppet. And another English-Spaniard, Gary Neville’s team came back to get a tie. I was hoping his team would lose.

  • Al

    This guy called Jan Molby, former Liverpool player, said something that I’ve started paying attention to and beginning to see is true. He says, and I quote “‘For several years now I’ve thought we’re asking for corners and free-kicks to be absolutely perfect.

    ‘For me the best at the moment, Mesut Ozil at Arsenal, just puts the ball into a dangerous area where the goalkeeper can’t get it.’”

    He said this about three weeks ago, and each time I have looked at Ozil’s deliveries, and each time he places the ball close enough to tempt the keeper out but just out his reach. Today he made two such deliveries from set pieces. The link

  • Al

    Thanks for the link, Rich. I thought it was odd too not to show any replay and immediately suspected Walcott may have been on. Sky didn’t show a replay for another ‘offside’ too, on Mesut too just before he got subbed, in the 2nd half. I’ve grown to become suspicious each time there’s a lack of replay from Sky. It doesn’t make sense to replay a single incident 10 times while completely overlooking another. It just doesn’t sound right.

  • Rich


    Yeah, I’m firmly convinced it’s not right.

    Suspect they’ve a large team of people and that any remotely contentious call is reviewed by at least a couple of pairs of eyes. Then either they or the director makes the call on whether to show it.

    Not replaying a call which resulted in the ball hitting the net is therefore inexplicable. Similar thing with Ramsay- clearly unhappy and left limping by a late one. Normally, that’s a guaranteed replay.

    Obviously, I don’t watch other teams’ games with anything like as much attention, but still, I’m pretty sure fishy things go on with what they commit to show at times.

  • The Scum’s unbeaten run finally ended by Newcastle. Final score 1-2.

    Two weeks ago, Newcastle were expected to lose to Liverpool and Tottenham, 2 teams in very good form. They won both.

    Nobody likes to give us any credit but apart from November (I blame that Arsene October manager of the month award), we have been the most consistent team this season along with Leicester.

    This is a crazy season of football and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

  • Usama Zaka

    Flamini had a good game today. There were moments in second half where Koscienly showed some hiccups in defense, and Flamini took care of it.

  • Rich

    Sounds like one of Pulis’s boys might have badly injured someone again.

    Not seen it yet but someone who is usually sound judge on twitter said Gardner’s challenge, which saw Lovren go off in agony, was a terrible one. Playing ball first then smashing into players knee with studs.

    If that’s right, it’ll be interesting to see what sort of scrutiny it gets seeing as how it’s against liverpool instead of us.

    Could put me in a dark mood even on a great day like today dwelling on Pulis for too long, and the depressing fact he’ll be around for ages yet and that those who play against his players are at much higher risk of injury than they should be.

    Just last week Maclean put in a shocker, so you’d have to guess old Tony didn’t reprimand him for it too much in front of the players this week. Didn’t quite stamp his mark on palace, so to speak, but West from clearly going full Pulis now.

    Oh well, I’ll focus on our win and the end of the Spurs game instead.

  • Rich

    Yep, full Pulis. Either gets players into a zone where they play with zero consideration of health of fellow pro’s and so ferociously bad injuries are inevitable, or something worse than that. End result is the same.

  • Gord

    In the commentaries I was reading, some twit sent in a twit saying that we needed to replace our centrebacks.

    Happy Birthday Santi. Come back soon. Not that we need you, but we sure like to have you.

    I still dislike the idea of a a first XI. You set your team for your opposition. Sure, if all the possible are the same, you have a first XI. Giroud isn’t really fast enough for counter-attack, Walcott is. If you want the striker planted in the opposition penalty area, Giroud is like a mountain. He is planted.

  • BarryL

    After heroics in Piraeus good that the boys could get 3 points in the bag without too much exertion. No new injuries and 8 days to prepare for big game Monday week.
    We have 4 key fixtures from now to 2nd January which could make for a very Happy New Year.

    Would love Leicester to stomp on Maureen’s crew, even if it means they go back to top!!

    And the Spuds lost too, perfect week.
    P.S. Thank God we’re not in Europa League – Spurs and Liverpool results very telling

  • John L

    big shout out to Mr Arsene ‘doesnt do tactics’ Wenger. the teams approach to the last three games has been absoultely spot on. the slight tactical changes due to injuries without losing out continuity is a testament to how tactically astute Wenger is.

  • Tom

    Pulis’ template for success is very simple and efficient.
    Success of course is a relative term to discribe what his philosophy is about. Total commitment and disregard for one’s safety and wellbeing is, like you have suggested, one of the main staples of his philosophy.

    Others include long ball and bypassing the midfield play all together, wasting as much time as humanly possible, thus limiting opponents with superior football skills and ideas to as few opportunities as possible.

    His style of management will always be in demand in the PL, because it yields a relatively high chance of PL survival season over season, when a highly skillful and entertaining passing game style is sooner or later bound to experience a dip in form – like Swansea for example.

    That’s why Wenger deserves a lot mor credit than he gets ,for consistently playing an attractive style of football while staying at ,or near the top ,in a league that promotes the type of conduct and style managers like Pulis revel in.

  • Al

    Cech’s record is phenomenal; he’s achieved it having played 223 games less than the other goalie! I know part of this record was achieved with our despicable rivals, but still….

    I have to hold my hand up that I was one of those not particularly happy with this signing at first but boy was I wrong. His signing reminds me of Van der Sar, who joined Utd from Fulham at the grand old age of 35, when everyone thought he was past it. But what he did for utd at that age was unbelievable. Getting this strong vibe Cech might do better than that for us, and we got him at 2 years younger too 🙂

  • Al

    Anyway, this was a perfect weekend, hope Leicester rounds it off nicely tomorrow.

    Now off to enjoy a glass of vintage port 🙂

  • Gord

    Stats and Hype

    Some nameless medja person said that Aaron Ramsey _SMASHED_ the record of how far an EPL player ran during a game. Aaron ran 12.37km, the record was 12.34. A change of 0.03km (30m) is smashed?

    The average stride in 800m is 2.36m (stride gets longer, on shorter runs). That is close to straight line running.

    Let’s guess that Aaron’s average stride length today was 2m. His distance run was 6185 strides. We will guess that the standard deviation of that number of strides is a small number (near 1) times 78.6m. If the multiplier is smaller than 0.38, Aaron’s distance run today starts to become statistically different form the previous “record” of 12.34km. There is no reason the multiplier couldn’t be slightly larger than 1.

    If the person is running a known distance in a straight line, the average stride length is easy to calculate. All we need to do is count how many strides. This doesn’t tell us anything about the standard deviation. For that, we need to measure the length of each stride.

    Running in a straight line, we can measure each stride length, but we do so with the knowledge that the sum of strides from start to whatever point is something we can also measure. Hence, the error in stride length N depends on the errors of its neighbours. Errors are correlated. When we run, we conciously and unconciously adjust our strides. There may be some reason (for example, slightly downhill) why for a distance we lengthen out our stride and then later on shorten our stride (headwind for example).

    When we deviate from a straight line, we now have to define what we mean by stride length. Is it the straight line distance between start and finish of a stride, is it the arc length we would find by projecting the path of the foot vertically onto the ground, or something else (we could project the path in a line parallel to the backbone as another example).

    In a marathon, assuming the backbone is parallel to the gravtitational vector is probably a safe bet. In football, this isn’t even a good assumption for straight line running.

  • Nonny

    Have you guys noticed how difficult it is becoming to predict PL matches. I didn’t see Chelsea, Liverpool or City losing last week nor Man U and Totts this week. Predicting Leicester to beat Chelsea 3 – 2.

    By the way, welcome to the EPL Kloop where any team can beat any team. It ain’t rosy here like the bundesliga

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Walcott was effective in this game but Ozil, Ramsey, Giroud and Cech have crowded him out of favorable mention. Walcott got us the penalty that Ozil slotted in and he also provided the through ball that Ozil used so brilliantly to set Ramsey up for the second goal.

    Of course, I’m not complaining about the praises going the way of those that made it a unique record breaking game for Arsenal: Ozil (13th assist), Ramsey (scoring CMF; box-to-box prowess), Giroud (50th goal fastest, bar only Henry and Wright; shading Bergkamp into the fourth position) and Cech (equaling David James’ clean sheet record – 169 in 324 games); I just felt that Walcott deserved a honorable mention in the game too.

    By the way, all those years UA kept comparing Giroud’s record with Henry’s. Though the footballing crowd, pundits, AAAs and AKBs ridiculed the comparison, it didn’t stop Giroud from quietly keeping pace with Henry. UA ought to take some credit for the early insight – seeing the Arsenal greats that he is now suddenly ranked with!!

  • bjtgooner


    re the Walcott not given goal – you are correct – on side & a well timed run with a superb finish – too good for the officials!

  • nicky

    The penalty was “slotted in” by Giroud.

  • Josif

    @AI – what strikes me about Čech is how intelligent that man is. He seems to be one of those players that managers absolutely adore to have in the team because it doesn’t take too much time to explain them what they are supposed to do on the pitch.

    Excellent victory.

    Good luck, Mr Remi Garde, you will need it.

  • Pat

    The hesitation over giving the penalty is odd. The Tv commentators and pundits agreed it was a penalty and that Friend was in a good position to see it. Why then did he hesitate? Who did he listen to in his earpiece? Was he getting the ok from someone before he took the bold step of awarding Arsenal a penalty?

  • Pat

    Talking about Tony Pulis, Juergen Klopp in his BBC interview says many times that West Brom played only long balls and set plays. He says something like, a team who plays like that can’t be allowed to come to a place like Liverpool and win. So he’s going to look at what they can do to counter it in future.

    First, I agree with him. Second, will he get the kind of prolonged stick Arsene Wenger got when he said similar things a few years ago?

  • WalterBroeckx

    About the hesitation I could say that you have 100% penalty decisions that even a blind men can see and that are easy to give. Those decisions can be and mostly are given even before the player hits the ground. But there are others less likely. Theo didn’t really fall openly to the floor in a clear way. And that might have brought the hesitation to the ref. He gave himself the extra second to rethink his decision. The most important thing was that he got his decision correct. If that takes an extra second or so… so be it.
    Just as the outcome of the disallowed WBA goal was correct even though it took some time to sort it out. The assistant was outsided who really scored and let this known to the ref who confirmed wich player scored and then the assistant could confirm that Olson was offside.

    For those opposing a video ref… this video ref could have done it much quicker. I saw it on the first replay…

  • WalterBroeckx


  • Pat

    Thanks for clarifying that, Walter. I’m getting suspicious about everything!

  • porter

    Whilst we are quite right to criticise the Pulis style , it should be mentioneed that Milner and Skrtyl were not exactly shrinking violets and were putting it about as well.

  • Andy Mack

    I’ve just watched Match of the Day 2 with the idiot boy Shearer, but I was quite pleased Chris Ramsey made mention of Flamini. So many pundits (and ‘online’ football managers) don’t have any understanding of the DM role. They think it’s only about tackles and ball winners, the guys that think the phrase ‘marking space’ is actually a negative… Like Shearer and Owen.
    But the former QPR manager showed a real understanding of the role.
    I shouldn’t be surprised as he was a coach for many years before becoming a manager, but it’s so unusual for anyone to say anything insightful on the show.

  • Andy Mack

    Walter, I think the term is ‘unsighted’ rather than outsighted.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Well done Arsenal, and congratulations to our keeper on his clean sheets stats.
    Ramsey and Ozil were excellent, Grroud racking up the goals at a rate.
    We weren’t at our very best, maybe we did not need to be,
    But another good weekend, as those around us have dropped points, apart from City who were extremely lucky……and let’s see how Leicester get on, hoping for a draw
    it’s been a hard weeks work…….

  • Mandy Dodd

    Apparently the latest flavour of the month done deal is a Russian chap, a forward I believe who goes by the name of Kokorin…….don’t know much about him, probably usual press nonsense but would guess a Coq and a Kok in the team would work on some sort of level

  • GoingGoingGooner

    MOTD chaps said that Friend called the penalty because the ‘BACK’ assistant referee…50 yards back but almost in direct line with Friend…called the foul. In other words, Friend wasn’t going to call it.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Totally off topic but next year could see Spurs’ UEFA club coefficent surpass ManU’s…

  • ARSENAL 13


    This is not just the crazy season in football. This is the first of those. With the amount of money flowing into the league, every club top to bottom have/will improve exponentially in quality. The only thing that differentiates will be squad depth. Unless the referees have other ideas….

  • @Walter only today will i disagree to agree with you,this muppet of a ref is behind theo,theo beats hutton by pace and hutton wrestles him realy walter if it was against Arsenal would it have taken all that long to award a penalty against us? I will thank first Theo and the rest of the boyz if they had not persisted we were gettin nothin.
    That shows you that we are in a lot of trouble with those morons who have orders of not letting us nearer to that trophy,mark my words.

  • colario

    It seemed to me the ref was not going to give it until either he realised or was told that he couldn’t miss this one without facing the outcry of ‘cheat’.

    So there was no alternative but to give it but his natural response was not to give it.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    On the penalty. The ref’s position was close but behind the action. I believe he waited to be advised or to get a second opinion on how serious the effect of Hutton’s hand across Walcott’s chest was on felling him. He got the confirmation from one of he colleagues and thus, he not only blew his whistle for the penalty, he demonstrated with his hands, why he was doing so. Don’t forget, referees are supposed to give penalties that they are absolutely/reasonably sure of. I do think, and I am waiting to see Untold Referees report that EPL’s refereeing this season has notched up some improvement, at least, in respect of Arsenal’s games.

  • para

    We are top… you know the rest 🙂
    This was probably the easiest game this season?

    I wonder why people watch MOTD? I used to watch it long ago in another age, but not since the anti-arsenal theme. It’s not as if they are experts giving a valid representation of the match.

    Anyway I actually have no TV in my house now.

  • Pat

    I’m not sure about a refereeing improvement. There were a couple of recent games where experienced referees got scores in the forties or fifties.

  • Andy Mack

    para, I only watch MOTD when we play and usually with the sound off, but I hadn’t heard C Ramsey as a pundit before, so sound on during that bit…..

  • Al

    I was watching on NBC and the commentators kept saying Friend’s body language was the bit that caused some concerns as he took about 3 steps backwards, suggesting he was not going to award the pen. I think the fact everyone (bbc,sky, etc, apart, strangely, from Keown) is unanimously agreeing it was a penalty isn’t helping any argument he may have. I think most people’s argument was it was such an obvious penalty that it didn’t require any consultations/hesitancy.

    Anyway, the important thing is he gave it in the end. Since when did we get 2 penalties in 2 successive games, hope our luck hasn’t run out. Who is the ref for the city encounter by the way, hope not Atkinson.

  • Jambug

    It’s Barcalona

  • Menace

    para – no TV is a great way to bring up children. It keeps the art of convesation alive. I get why the TV pundits behave the way they do. TV is motion & the pundits are loose motion.

    Sky & all the Newscorp subsidiaries should have have bee locked up for corrupt practice. They were all hand in glove with each other in phone hacking. It is so bad that even the PM employed the filth close to government. The US has been looking into the FIFA debacle but just as bad is the Rupert media. The US got very shirty with BP when it was actually a US company that failed in the Gulf of Mexico. The whole political scene in US & UK is corrupt with deviant systemic greed.

    Arsenal has survived a long period of corrupt media & officials after WEnger was appointed. He is still hounded by his honesty in exposing corruption in French football.

    The sad thing is the next phase of corruption is coming with Chinese involvement. The gambling markets will control all the games in a similar fashion to the recent exposed cricket ‘no ball match fixing’ scandal. The throw ins, corners, cards & penalties will all be set up for corrupt markets.

    The beautiful game is sadly so vulnerable because good governance is not matching the financial success.