Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal: summary, match report, goals, highlights | Premier League 22/23
An amazing comeback at Villa Park put an end to Arsenal’s poor run of form and keeps them top of the Premier League.
First of all, a question: Will Emi Martínez get a medal? Not for being an Arsenal player, which is evidently is not, but for scoring the most important goal in the Premier League title race?
The Gunners had just come off the back of a 1-3 defeat to Manchester City, the third in a triumvirate of poor results that saw City make up a previous gap of 8 points to draw level at the top; many were seeing as the moment in which Pep Guardiola’s side would inevitably run away with the league.
So, it was all down to Villa: Arsenal had to win or they would risk going behind City on points for the first time all season.
An amazing game saw Aston Villa take an early lead on 5 minutes after a ferocious shot from Watkins gave Ramsdale little opportunity to make a save. The ball was won on Villa’s right side and played long to Watkins who took it down superbly and gave the home team an early advantage.
It took ten minutes for Arsenal to get an equaliser. Arsenal took their time on the right side to put in a cross and eventually White’s poor effort fell to Mings, who cleared it away. Luckily, the clearance was even worse than the cross and Saka met the bouncing ball with a fine strike that Emi Martínez could only watch as it flew past him and into the roof of the net.
But Villa kept pushing and it was ex-Barcelona man Coutinho - remember him? - who gave the lead back to Unai Emery’s side and, once again, piled the pressure on Arsenal to find a way back into both the game and their entire season.
Again, a quick counter-attack from Villa undid the Arsenal defence, who defended passively as Coutinho got on the end of a low cross to poke the ball past Ramsdale from inside the area. Arsenal went into the dressing room at half time 2-1 down, knowing that any result for City against Nottingham Forest would see their lead wiped away completely.
And so came the comeback: a scramble in the box ended in a corner for Arsenal, which was played short and then onto ex-City defender Zinchenko, who hit a laser-guided bullet into the bottom corner from outside the box. 2-2. Arsenal believed.
The minutes ticked on; 60 minutes turned into 75 and Arsenal pushed and pushed, well aware of the threat of the counter-attacks that Villa had used to decimate them in the first half. There comes a time as a football fan, while watching your team chase a lead, where the expectation of the comeback fades into the reality of the situation: it’s not happenning. Arsenal fans were way beyond that.
But nobody told Jorginho.
Ninety minutes had gone by and the game was well into the depths of the 6 added on, the dark place where time and space don’t conform to the usual rules: clocks tick slower and the fabric of reality causes round objects to move not just slowly, but agonisingly slowly.
Martinelli held onto the ball just long enough for some fans to grumble as the Villa defence sat back in its comfortable and recognisable Unai Emery shape: sturdy, bullet-proof rhino skin covering all sides of the goal. As the fans threw their hands in the air in frustration, Martinelli played the ball to Jorginho, who was alone on the edge of the box. His shot was not a bullet but an entire army squad of fire, directed onto one corner in the goal; the ball fired off the inside of the corner joint of the post and onto the head of Emi Martínez, midway through his attempt to save it. The ball bounced off his head and into the goal. Pandemonium.
A corner for Villa meant Emi Martínez was sent up to the opposition goal in a final act of heroism, but the misplaced goalkeeper was taken full advantage of by an Arsenal that smelled blood, and Martinelli tapped in to make it 4 and continue the Premier League dream for Mikel Arteta and the club.
Premier League 2022/2023
|Leicester City - Arsenal||S-25/02 10:00|
|Arsenal - Everton||W-01/03 14:45|
|Arsenal - Bournemouth||S-04/03 10:00|
*Data updated to date Feb 18th, 2023
- 1 Emiliano Martínez
- 5 Tyrone Mings
- 2 Matthew Cash
- 4 Ezri Konsa Ngoyo
- 15 Álex Moreno (77')
- 7 McGinn
- 44 Boubacar Kamara
- 6 Douglas Luiz (66')
- 23 Coutinho (61')
- 11 Ollie Watkins (77')
- 10 Emi Buendía (66')
- 15 Bertrand Traoré
- 32 Leander Dendoncker (66')
- 31 Leon Bailey (66')
- 18 Ashley Young
- 41 Jacob Ramsey (61')
- 38 Viljami Sinisalo
- 16 Chambers
- 22 Jhon Durán (77')
- 27 Digne (77')
- 1 Aaron Ramsdale
- 6 Gabriel
- 12 William Saliba
- 4 Ben White (78')
- 35 Zinchenko (94')
- 34 Xhaka (78')
- 20 Jorginho
- 8 Odegaard (94')
- 7 Bukayo Saka
- 19 Trossard (67')
- 14 Eddie Nketiah
- 10 Emile Smith-Rowe
- 18 Takehiro Tomiyasu (78')
- 30 Matt Turner
- 21 Fabio Daniel Vieira (78')
- 15 Jakub Kiwior
- 11 Martinelli (67')
- 16 Robert Holding (94')
- 3 Tierney (94')
- 24 Reiss Nelson
Jacob Ramsey (61', Philippe Coutinho), Leon Bailey (66', Emiliano Buendía), Leander Dendoncker (66', Douglas Luiz), Gabriel Martinelli (67', Leandro Trossard), Jhon Durán (77', Ollie Watkins), Lucas Digne (77', Álex Moreno), Takehiro Tomiyasu (78', Ben White), Fábio Vieira (78', Granit Xhaka), Rob Holding (94', Martin Ødegaard), Kieran Tierney (94', Oleksandr Zinchenko)
1-0, 4': Ollie Watkins, 1-1, 15': Bukayo Saka, 2-1, 30': Coutinho, 2-2, 60': Zinchenko, 2-3, 92': Emiliano Martínez, 2-4, 97': Martinelli
Referee: Simon Hooper
VAR Referee: Stuart Attwell, Scott Ledger
Douglas Luiz (46',Yellow) Bukayo Saka (46',Yellow) Emiliano Martínez (83',Yellow) Xhaka (93',Yellow)
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?