Aston Villa fell to a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Friday night as we have now suffered three consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time since July 2020.
Following on from the loss to Wolves last weekend, it was expected that there would be a reaction from the Villa players. As the early stages of the encounter at the Emirates unfolded, it became clear that we weren’t set to produce one.
In what was a hugely disappointing first half performance, we simply had no answer as Arsenal could have killed the game off before the break but ultimately went in 2-0 to the good.
Things improved in the second half and it was pleasing to see Jacob Ramsey net his first senior goal, but it was nowhere near good enough as the pressure builds on Dean Smith and his players ahead of West Ham’s visit to Villa Park next weekend.
Villa player ratings vs Arsenal:
Emiliano Martinez, 6 – Produced some good saves throughout the match, will perhaps feel he could have done better for the first goal but saved well on the penalty but had no luck with the rebound or the deflection on the third.
Ezri Konsa, 4 – Struggled with the movement and pace of the Arsenal attack along with his defensive teammates, albeit they were offered little protection as the hosts broke at them in numbers.
Axel Tuanzebe, 4 – A poor showing after his struggles late on against Wolves, it would be a surprise to see him stay in the XI next weekend especially with Kortney Hause on the bench.
Tyrone Mings, 4 – Similar story to his fellow centre-halves in that back three as they couldn’t contain Arsenal and all failed to win their individual and collective battles in that area of the pitch. Constantly gave possession away too with his long balls forward.
Matty Cash, 4 – Never really got going in this one. Had his hands full defensively and struggled to keep things quiet on his flank, while when he was able to push forward, had no real quality to his delivery.
Douglas Luiz, 5 – Constantly put under pressure by Arsenal’s midfield as they pressed high and didn’t allow him to get on the ball and have time to build our play forward. Battled throughout but couldn’t display his technical quality.
John McGinn, 3 – A really poor night at the office after telling Sky Sports this week that he’s in the best form of his career. Lost Thomas Partey for the opener and gave possession away cheaply in the build-up to Arsenal’s third as alongside Luiz, they were completely overrun in midfield.
Matt Targett, 4 – Like the rest of his teammates, couldn’t get to grips with Arsenal’s pace and direct attacking and so was undone a few times down that left flank. Decision to award a penalty for his challenge was harsh though.
Emiliano Buendia, 4 – Had a big chance in the second half to bring us back into the game but his effort was well saved. Disappointingly didn’t build on his performance last time out, as he was outmuscled and gave the ball away constantly. Not helped by being played out of his best role.
Danny Ings, 4 – Starved of service but didn’t really have any major influence on the game. Found himself chasing shadows and isolated for the most part and never emerged as a goalscoring threat.
Ollie Watkins, 5 – Poor in the first half as again, he looked lost in the system. However, it picked up for him in the second half as he was more effective out wide on the left, and while he had some chances of his own, was also creating openings for others as he battled hard throughout despite being second best physically on a number of occasions.
Leon Bailey, 6.5 – Another really positive impact off the bench and it’s hoped that he’s soon ready to play from the start. His pace, movement and desire to get on the ball to try and make things happen were real positives in the second half.
Jacob Ramsey, 7 – Delighted to see him score his first senior goal, and it was some finish too as he curled a superb effort into the top corner. Unfortunately, it didn’t spark a comeback, but Ramsey made the type of impact off the bench that will put him in the conversation for a start next week.
Anwar El Ghazi, N/A