Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa: Player ratings as Gunners keep their perfect record
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Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa: Player ratings as Gunners keep their perfect record

by Josh
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Arriving at the Emirates Stadium After only five minutes, when Bukayo Saka was wrestled to the ground inside the penalty area, a tough Aston Villa team avoided a VAR review for a penalty after the referee decided not to punish Tyrone Mings.

While the home team made the most of the staccato rhythm to get behind a flat-footed defensive line on numerous occasions, the aggressive approach persisted, and a combination of crunching and cynical fouls kept the game from flowing in the first 20 minutes. However, the side really should’ve been comfortably ahead well before halftime.

, STECHITEGIST

After 30 minutes, Emi Martinez mishandled a deflected cross right into the path of Gabriel Jesus, who pounced on the opportunity after being thwarted by some desperate defending earlier.

In the final 20 minutes, when Villa substituted Douglas Luiz and Philippe Coutinho in a move for an away corner, Arsenal remained frustrated—the highlight being Martinez’s outstanding save of a thunderbolt from Gabriel Martinelli just before halftime.

Luiz turned the corner, and it sailed right in.

Before they stormed up the field and quickly regained the lead with Martinelli’s close-range goal following superb work on the right by Saka, it appeared as though the bad old Arsenal was back, controlling the game but failing to finish off a distinctly inferior opponent.

The final 15 minutes were frantic, and Villa always appeared to have a chance of snatching a point amid the mayhem, particularly when Aaron Ramsdale suffered a hamstring injury, alarming the home crowd (how much do you trust Matt Turner? You could learn shortly). But there was no surrender, as Arsenal continues to lead the league with a perfect record.

, STECHITEGIST

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