Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 2

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Three goals in seven second half minutes gave Arsenal fans the comeback they were all craving for and the team a trip to the north east to look forward to for the 5th round of the FA Cup.

It was the kind of schizo self-sabotaging performance we are not strangers to from the Arsenal but thankfully that summary only applies to the first half as the team came out assured with an enterprising second half show.

Other than Fabianski in goal it was as strong a fit starting 11 as we could have fielded and from the off we kept hold of possession well. Yet we never really looked like threatening and the first 30 minutes were pretty subdued aside from a stinging Vermaelen free kick and a shanked Walcott effort from inside the box.

In the meantime Villa looked disinterested with attacking and were quite happy to watch us knocking the ball around them in safe areas while they waited for their chance. Their opportunity came twice and they ruthlessly took both, one from a simple short corner headed home by Dunn, the other a good finish by Bent from an acute angle as he latched onto a through ball on the 45th minute. We may have seen most of the ball but we went in for half time reeling from two sucker punches.

I don’t know what was said/eaten/thrown at the team during the interval but it worked. We started with much the same emphasis on possession but this time we were turning it into some dangerous chances and Mertersacke’s header was cleared off the line from an early corner. Oxlade-Chamberlain was jabbing his way down the wing showing the kind of directness we’ve lacked at times while the movement off the ball from most of the forward players increased, and eventually brought around the seven minute turnaround. In a nutty nutshell, it went like this: two confidently dispatched Van Persie penalties came either side of a Walcott goal courtesy of a rebounded clearance that went in off his shoulder after he wriggled his way into the six yard box from the byline. It wasn’t pretty but who cares. If we’d lost by two penalties and a shoulder spectacular there’d be no sympathy for us from the critics, so I don’t see why there should be any grumbles when we win by such means.

Liverpool got a similar goal when they beat us at home this season so it was nice to see the comedy goal karma come back round in our favour for once.

Robin scores his first penalty with ease.

After we took the lead we looked comfortable in possession which was a good sign considering our tendency toward meltdown in the latter stages of critical games. Arteta made his injury comeback and excellently recycled the ball time after time, even slipping Henry through shortly after he came on, but his touch was poor so there was to be no Thierry magic in this round of the FA Cup.

In other good news it was great to see Henry on the bench talking to the younger players. At the Leeds game the camera showed him regaling Walcott, hopefully inspiring with tales of Champions League finals and league titles. Today he was smiling and chatting with Szczesny. Lord knows what advice he was giving the young Polekeeper–perhaps Irish fans will think it’s something to do with his handling–but I always like to see happy players and any words of wisdom he can impart to the team than all the better. I hate it when the camera pans to the bench and we are greeted by a silent row of emotionless faces while Wenger assassinates his latest Evian bottle.

All in all, a good day to be a Gooner, and as frustrating as it was to concede two sloppy goals at least we saw some resilience from the team, a spirit summed up best by kel’s comment in the previous post’s thread: “So at last we show some BALLS!!!!!!”

Well said.

And finally, a big welcome back to Bacary Sagna, man we’ve missed him.

Spread the Arsenal love by leaving a comment.


22 thoughts on “Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 2

  1. Well it was a bit shakey for a while but it will definately do.
    Great to see Sagna and Arteta back in the side we will need them in the days,weeks,months remaining. Though I will not go so far as to say they’re like new signings. 😉

  2. A thrilling game. Going in to half time it seemed almost a lost cause, and the back line looked shaky. But the team came out fighting, really up for it … moving the ball forward, running at Villa, and they just kept it going.

    Very impressed with the Ox today. Walcott much better too. Well done The Gunners!!

  3. Excellent result…the 10 min spell of high pressing and single minded attacking was pressive..the team was being pro acyive and going dirzct at goal. Why this tactic isnt adopted more often I dont know…its like we think we will score in games without putting in the hard yars..all too often we are only showing our potential when we go behind or when weve left 5 mins on the clock to get the win…If we could address this we would be a force to be reckoned with…I began too hope…then we wemt 3-2 up and we decided wed done enough for the day and decreased our intensity from 100 back to 35 and Villa had chances with a header and had Ireland and Oetrov been greedy we could have been looking at a different result….just still so many questions hanging over this team.

  4. Still not impressed . The game could have easily gone into a draw. Ox is indeed a talent we have been missing and the only one i have seen Wenger try to groom. Dont remind me of Fab cause he was already a done deal. We still need a striker and an attacking midfileder. Ramsey can,t be faultedcyesterday but he is still a big joke at arsenal.

  5. Couldn’t watch the game as I was on the beautiful south coast of NSW boogie boarding with the dolphins and building sand castles on the beach with the littlies! Nice to be able to not think about our dodgy defence, listen to the gloom and doom merchants and questions over Our Dear Leader for a few days…

    Caught the goals on the net and have read some match reports. Sounds like a classic game of two halves. Great to see Sagna back. Still in two comps, unlike some other clubs.

    And great to have you on board Mark and able to pick up from Andy. Keep it up!

  6. Am satisfied with yesterday game. I urge for Wenger to prepare his team for AC Milan. For sure with no more injuries Arsenal FC can win the AC Milan game.

  7. would like to hear more positves from the Arsenal, at least a win, there seem to be a lot of work still, and I like your report style, good replacement for Andy 😉 😎 😀 🙂

  8. i just read this, and i must say, great answer :mrgreen:

    on whether he will sign anyone…
    Certainly not. But you never know!

  9. The kind of combination of luck, skill and (2nd half) fortitude which we haven’t seen in a long, long time was MOST welcome.

    The Theo goal was a fluke, but it’s all about creating chances and fluke goals are just as important and vital to get as those clinical 1-touches and volleyed wonder goals.

    The problem continues to be this: For a few seasons now, this team does not seem to be inspired enough or with any consistency by these kinds of matches to carry the necessary momentum forward.

    They’ve just proven they can fightback – believe, boys – you CAN make Top 4 and now have a more than a decent opportunity at the FA Cup.

  10. It was a good win , we were fortunate but we’ll take it. We all know that we need help except for the manager. I read that one best young talent in Europe Hazaard has declared his intentention of going to the EPL and not sign with PSG. This would be a perfect a opportunity to upgrade our team with future world class player. Is Wenger going to talk to his agent and try to make deal or is he going to sit on his hands and let Chelsea , man city or manure get him?
    I know it is a mater of cost but at the right given a chance , I trust that a young technically gifted French speaking player rather play under Wenger unless he thinks that Arsenal is no longer ambitious and won’t be playing in the CL.

  11. This team has a whole lot of problems offensively and defensively, You have to be able to do one of these very well to be in contention and frankly we’re crap at both, and until we sought this out we won’t win sh*t.

    On the booing i agree it doesn’t help the team BUT i can understand the fans frustrations, they pay high prices for tickets so they must feel let down.
    I feel for ashavin and i think no player should be booed, ever, as a matter of fact they players don’t pick themselves wenger is the one who should be booed.
    Ashavin’s career has been spoiled by the manager because he is out of position
    as is the norm with wenger so all the blame is on him, ashavin came here a top class player and now he looks totally crushed.

    I mentioned a few weeks back that ultimately the fans are to blame for what we find ourselves in, by this i mean having a manager who has too much power, Booing won’t help the team so the alternative is simple DON’T GO TO THE GAMES or if you go according to one guy DON’T BUY ANYTHING, NO PROGRAM NOTES AND NO FOOD OR BEVERAGES.
    that’s the only two ways to get your point across because as long as wenger keeps bringing in more then he sends out there is noway in hell the board will release him he has a job for as long as he wants.
    If the either of the too alternatives are done then for sure the board will have to act so instead of booing act with your feet and your wallets……………

  12. Kel I agree with you 100% the fans are to blame! Been silent for too long.
    There has been a false and easy excuse for the departure of Fab to Barcelona.
    I am convince that he left because he saw that our lacked ambition, very few quality players. Henry went to Barca not because he was from there.
    Nasri did not go to Mancity just because of money.
    Many fans have had their heads in the sands for far too long.

  13. @Kel
    I don’t feel the slightest bit sorry for Arshavin.
    He’s a talented player who makes a bunch of money,tries when he feels like it and quits when his fat arse gets tired. If you or I performed our respective jobs with his attitude we would not get booed,we would get fired.
    I find him personally charming, hope that he stays and finds his form again. But to avoid further booing he might give a better effort.

  14. Good read Mark. I missed the game, personally, with it being on at 2am Australian time on a Sunday. I woke up and thought ‘Yay!’ that we’d won, followed quickly by a ‘Drats!’ that I didn’t get to watch it. I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes.

    A great result, a fight-back that we really needed and a chance for some momentum. And I hear the Ox had another good game?

  15. Yes very brilliant, guy are played for their all Heart. CONGRATULATION. Do as the same in Reebok STADIUM

  16. Wenger has 4 hours to convince RvP we have ambition. Its that simple. Or are we to assume RvP wont get injured or that Chamakhs gonna start bangin the in?No striker signing. No RvP next season. Who’ l blame him?

  17. Wenger has 4 hours to convince RvP we have ambition. Its that simple. Or are we to assume RvP wont get injured or that Chamakhs gonna start bangin the in?No striker signing. No RvP next season. Who’ l blame him? Hel be 30 with nothing to show for his talent and Wenger will still be stubbornly ploying his own agenda..why should he stay and be loyal. Should Wenger not be repaying his loyalty up to now soon?

  18. @shambo
    I would have thought loyalty is a two way street. how about all those seasons we have continued to pay pretty decent wages while the guy is crocked? when has he completed a full season? but i agree the lack of cover for him is a big problem. i was hoping for podolski but looks like we are going to have to make do with what we have.

    as for the january transfer window – arshavin was our last major jan signing and look at him now.

  19. It looks certain now we will sign the teenager Eisfeld within the hour. A good future prospect I think. How about some adult help for the here and now?
    Any chance at all?
    BTW: Chelsea announced a loss of $105Million USD (67M lbs)
    Typically Chavish.

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