It was a wonderful opportunity for Arsenal to go top and they didn’t let that chance slip by this time as they comfortably dispatched a struggling Aston Villa side 0-2 at the Villa park.
The Gunners were on the high after their midweek demolition of Olympiacos in the Champions League which booked their place in the round of 16 and it didn’t take them much time to get going. The Emirates club took the lead within the first 10 minutes after Walcott was brought down in the box after getting ahead of the defender in the box.
Giroud dispatched it with a cool head taking his Premier League goal tally to 50 becoming the third fastest in doing so, only behind Henry and Ian Wright. It was all Arsenal since, as they took control of the game and Villa didn’t have the attack to threaten the Gunners.
The second goal eventually came from a counter with Ramsey getting on the end of an Ozil cross. Villa displayed some resilience in the second half but couldn’t find the back of the net. Wenger took of Walcott and Campbell around the hour mark and the Gunners took it easy, as they held on to a 2-0 lead. They are now top of the table and will stay there until Leicester play Chelsea on Monday.
Here are the Player Ratings.
Petr Cech – 7.0: It was game as usual for the experienced keeper. There were some shots on target from the Villans, but they hardly threatened the Arsenal goal.
Per Mertesacker – 7.0: Villa hardly caused Mertesacker any problems as they were lacking the pace and physical presence to trouble him. However, the German was not all that comfortable and looked lackluster in parts.
Laurent Koscielny – 7.5: Was the more comfortable one among the center back pair but again the opposition attack didn’t warrant any trouble.
Hector Bellerin – 7.5: Made a couple of good runs forward and wasn’t troubled much by Villa’s attack. However, we have become accustomed expect more from him in the offence.
Nacho Monreal – 7.5: Was calm and untroubled throughout the game. He has been wonderful this season and has been the most underrated player from the start of the year.
Mathieu Flamini – 7.0: Did what he needed to, with a calm and composed display. Covering for the injured Coquelin very well, but a more resolute test awaits him against City next week.
Aaron Ramsey – 8.5: His running for the second goal was brilliant, as he won the ball in his own half and finished coolly on the other side from an Ozil assist. Looked in control throughout with his positioning and tackling. Getting better and better with each passing game in the Central midfield position.
Theo Walcott – 8.0: Still a bit rustic after returning from injury in the midweek. However earned a penalty for the first goal with his well-timed run and also had a part to play in the second half, as it was his pass to Ozil that lead to the goal. Tried to get past the Villa defence with a couple of good runs but to no effect.
Mesut Ozil – 7.5: Wasn’t at his scintillating best with his touch but still managed to earn himself an assist with the second goal. He is such a form that he can even assist in his sleep, so a good or bad day doesn’t actually matter.
Joel Campbell – 7.0: Had a quiet game after some good performances over the past week. He was good in possession but didn’t find himself in any scoring opportunities. Defensively impressive again tracking back on a couple of occasions.
Olivier Giroud – 7.5: In a purple patch right now and scored the penalty with ease. Wasn’t a great offensive performance but did what is expected of him physically.
Kieran Gibbs(64′) – 5: Didn’t have much to do and did what he was brought on for.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain(64′) – 6.5: He was all buzzing since coming on with around half an hour to go and found himself in good goal scoring positions. Had a shot on target which was blocked.
Calum Chambers(85′) – NA: Nothing much to do.
Manchester City up next. Big big game for the title challenge.