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A few thoughts on the Aston Villa match

February 2, 2015

This week I stuck to the Harlow-Blackhorse Road-Holloway Road route as Sunday Greater Anglia were once again being rubbish and not running a proper service. I’m expected to pay £17.60 for the train/tube to Holloways road, but they want me to get a coach replacement. No reduction of fare for longer and more uncomfortable journey. Legalised bloody robbery.

It was bloody freezing in the Stadium and twenty minutes before kick off I had to send a search party out to look for my legs as I had lost contact with them.

Arsenal lined up as follows : Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey, Walcott, Cazorla, Ozil and Giroud Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Akpom

Ospina kept his place. Bellerin in a right back, Monreal at Left back, The BFG back to partner Koscielny, Coquelin replaced Flamini and Cazorla came back in for Rosicky.

Aston Villa turned up at the Emirates with only eleven goals scored yet only conceding twenty-five goals.which could only be bettered by the current top four. They did not turn up to play rubbish and simply let Arsenal walk over them.

Right from the get go though Arsenal went for Villa and the passing was as good as it has been all season. Villa really could not cope with the pressure and after Ramsey had shot wide a ball out of defence from Mertersacker found Ozil who played a top-of-the-range flick to put Giroud away. Giroud bared down on goal, looked like he had lost control and somehow found enough balance to chip the ball over the on-rushing Guzan for 1-0 Arsenal!

The rest of the Arsenal saw Arsenal dominate for thirty minutes and should have been at least 2-0 up, maybe 3-0 by half time. Cazorla hit the post after a good run. Ozil swapped passes with Cazorla, scored but the goal was ruled out for offside and it was very, very close. Ramsey had a good shot well saved by Guzan. Yet while you are 1-0 down you’re always in the game and a cross by Gil, found Weimann and his header was well saved by Ospina.

HT 1-0

At the start of the second half Villa carried on where they left off in the last fifteen minutes of the first half, gaining some confidence and had two chances that fell to Benteke who could not take either which would cost them dear. On fifty-six minutes Theo picked up a loose ball, strode forward and played the ball to Giroud who in turn played a defence splitting pass to Ozil who with one touch to control and another to shoot found the bottom right hand corner for 2-0 Arsenal! Super break, three passes, not fifty to score a goal.

On sixty-three Ospina threw the ball to Theo who passed to Cazorla, who in turn passed to Giroud, but his pass was intercepted by Walcott and with little time to think, one touch forward and the second touch a beautiful curling shot that again ended up nestling in the bottom right corner of the goal 3-0 Arsenal! Game over!

Cazorla took a free kick right onto Giroud’s head and the ball hit the bar. Seventy-Four Ozil to Ramsey who floated a lovely ball into the path of substitute Akpom who took on Okore and Guzan brought down for a penalty to Arsenal. Up stepped Cazorla  and scored with a poor penalty it must be said. 4-0 Arsenal! It’s all Ole’s now at the Emirates. Coquelin to Ozil, who dummies the ball for Cazorla, who passes to Monreal, who passes to Ozil, who nutmegs Okore and just takes the ball to far but it fell for Monreal whose shot was turned away for a corner off the back of Okore.

Bellerin wins the ball, passes to Ozil who passes to Rosicky who in turn passes to Cazorla, who controls the ball, waits moves across the edge of the area and lays a nice ball into the path of Bellerin who started the move to simply pass the ball into the net from twenty yards for his first Arsenal goal 5-0 Arsenal!

FT 5-0.

Ospina did all that was asked of him again, he came out when needed, caught the ball well and stayed back on the line when needed. Made good saves from Weimann and Westwood should keep him the No.1 spot for now 7.

Bellerin played well yet again and topped off his performance with a very good goal 7.

Monreal again did all asked of him. You cannot fault him and over the season has not let the team down 7.

Mertesacker 7 and Koscielny 7 keeping another clean sheet and bot played well, the BFG even finding time to pop up on the edge of the area and chip a nice left footed cross onto Akpom’s head.

Coquelin continued his fine form since he returned winning plenty of the ball, simple passes to those who create danger and moving back to cover, keeping it simple, effective and disciplined 8.

Ramsey also did a job against Villa. Playing almost in front of Coquelin and doing plenty of donkey work. Still plays the un-needed flick and holds onto the ball to long, but bust a gut for the team.  It’s a team game and each team the sum of its parts. Ramsey did his part well. 7.

Ozil is looking sharper yet you can see he needs a few more matches. Good passing and control and surely the best pass of the season so far for Giroud’s opener. took his goal well and maybe should have had another 7.

Cazorla is playing out-of-his-skin recently. Scoring goals, assisting goals and causing opponents all sorts of trouble, making my favourite Chelsea player Hazard look ordinary. Scored a goal from spot and set up both Walcott and Bellerin with assists 8.

Walcott is still looking for top form. Scored a good goal, had a hand in Ozil’s and at times looked like the Walcott we all know when on top form. Still loses the ball far to cheaply for me though 6.

Giroud won plenty of headers his control and holding the ball up are getting better. Good at one touch passing with players around him. Hot the bar and scored again albeit he almost lost control. 7

Now I’m not going to go to overboard about this result, but it really does make me wonder when people see a result and assume as it was 5-0 it simply means the team that lost were rubbish. For me Arsenal made Aston Villa rubbish. Right now I’m enjoying Arsenal’s current form with twelve wins in the last fifteen matches, with one draw away to Liverpool and two defeats at Stoke and Southampton. Hopefully this can continue with Arsenal looking a much stronger and tighter defensive outfit. With the addition of Gabriel we should be ok in that department for the remainder of the season.

Ozil and Walcott back and looking good so far and I expect more to come. Arsenal don’t need Ozil tracking back and making tackles, we need him creating goals for forwards and getting the best out of Walcott. It’s looking good for the remainder of the season.

Most results went as expected over the weekend expect Swansea beating Southampton at St Mary’s so this left Arsenal level with Southampton on forty-two pints and the saints having a one goal better goal difference. It’s tight from third to seventh. Now we have the build up the North London Derby at the Lane that time forgot.

I’m expecting an Arsenal victory by 2-1.

Cheers

@harlowgooner

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