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.