Arsenal demolished Aston Villa at the Emirates to secure a vital victory, courtesy of goals from Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe.

Aston Villa continued their dismal away run this season with yet another defeat. Their late victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford remains their only win this season on the road, with this loss at the Emirates being their fourth this term.

Dean Smith’s side were rendered obsolete in the first half, as they could not even muster a single shot towards Aaron Ramsdale’s goal. They did score a consolation with ten minutes left and could have gotten another 90 seconds later, but Arsenal held their ground to see out the victory.

The Gunners produced an attacking performance that would please the Emirates audience. Their nine shots on target was their second-most in a game under Mikel Arteta. Against Villa, they were dominant, with goals from Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe securing the three points.

Partey, in particular, produced a top-notch display as he got his first-ever Arsenal goal. The Gunners were awarded a penalty under controversial circumstances at the stroke of half-time. While former Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved Aubameyang’s spot-kick brilliantly, the rebound fell rather favourably on the Arsenal captain’s feet to score.

Smith Rowe’s brilliant work on the evening was then rewarded with a well-taken goal amid great fortune due to the wicked deflection it took off Tyrone Mings. Jacob Ramsey’s late strike was only a consolation as Arsenal held their nerve to take three points home. Here’s how the players fared during Arsenal’s win over Aston Villa.

Aston Villa

Emiliano Martinez: 6/10

Martinez would have been disappointed with how a return to his old ground ended after conceding his first goals against Arsenal since leaving the club. He saved well from a Bukayo Saka chance in the first half and should be appreciated for the penalty stop. The rebound, unfortunately, fell gracefully for Aubameyang to tap home.

Ezri Konsa: 4/10

Konsa had a terrible evening, struggling thoroughly in his bid to contain Aubameyang. The striker got the better of him time and again. He will be thankful to Craig Pawson for blowing the whistle over a Lacazette foul, which could have otherwise resulted in a goal.

Axel Tuanzebe: 3.5/10

Tuanzebe was poor on the evening, as Arsenal attackers identified him as the weak link to target his area time and again. The Manchester United loanee could not come to terms with the Gunners’ pace in attack and was eventually substituted at half-time.

Tyrone Mings: 4/10

Mings was supposed to be this physical presence in defence to keep Arsenal’s young and experienced attackers at an arm’s length. Instead, those in front bossed him around as the defender could not get a hold of the game. He gave away a silly free-kick from which Partey almost scored.

Matty Cash: 3.5/10

Aubameyang, Smith Rowe and Nuno Tavares all ran riot on Cash’s side of the pitch. Defensively weak, whenever the full-back attempted going forward, he was often robbed off the ball or had no one to combine with — terrible evening for the wing-back.

John McGinn: 3/10

One of the worst showings from McGinn in an Aston Villa shirt. At fault for two of Arsenal’s three strikes. For Partey’s goal, he simply ducked when the ball could have headed away. In the build-up to the third goal, he passed straight to Smith Rowe under no real pressure and told the story of his evening.

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Douglas Luiz: 3.5/10

Luiz was one of the players who went into the referee’s book. The Brazilian was never in control of that midfield when Lokonga and Partey gave him no room to operate or settle in. For most parts, the Brazilian chose to camp in his half to protect any potential attack from Arsenal.

Emiliano Buendia: 3.5/10

Buendia’s name was spoken a lot in the build-up to this game after he was linked with a summer move to Arsenal before choosing Villa eventually. The Argentine was miles off the pace and was never allowed the time and space he craves so much by Arsenal defenders. He did have one great chance to score, but Aaron Ramsdale saved very well from the effort.

Matt Targett: 4/10

Much like Cash on the other flank, Targett found the pace and intensity of the Gunners attack far too tough to handle. He was also the culprit in conceding the penalty, although the call looked somewhat harsh.

Ollie Watkins: 4.5/10

The early yellow card within the first 80 seconds seemed to have slowed his game down, although he was abysmal in the first half like the rest of the side. He forced Ramsdale into a save early in the second half while he had the golden chance to make the score 3-2, which could have ensured a nervy finish for Arsenal.

Danny Ings: 3/10

With his style of play, Ings could have had a good game; instead he got bossed around by Gabriel and Ben White. However, due to the Gunners’ pressure, he dropped as deep as left-back in the game, which surely rendered him irrelevant.


Leon Bailey: 6.5/10

After he came on at half-time for Tuanzebe, Bailey instantly brought a change to the atmosphere. His direct attacking style caused some problems to Arsenal but did get Villa higher up the pitch. He provided the assist for Ramsey’s goal. With a run of games, he can find his full fitness again and become a lethal option.

Jacob Ramsey: 7/10

Ramsey’s introduction changed the dynamic a bit, and his well take goal surely gave Villa some level of hope going into the last ten minutes of the game. Had Watkins scored from his chance 90 seconds after Ramsey’s strike, the game might have turned on its head. In all, he was his team’s best player by a mile, alongside Bailey.

Anwar El Ghazi: N/A

El Ghazi replaced the ineffective Ings around the 78th minute mark and could not spark a revival for his side.


Aaron Ramsdale: 8/10

A top-notch second-half performance from Ramsdale, who did not have anything to do in the first half. He made smart saves to deny Buendia and Bailey in the second half, but the shot by Ramsey was beyond his reach. Handled his area pretty well and showed further improvements with his distribution.

Takehiro Tomiyasu: 7/10

Tomiyasu is proving to be a fine defender with every passing game; however, he needs to improve his attacking play and possession skills. Despite those flaws, he made some good recovery runs to prevent potential attacks while displaying his usual superiority in the air.

Ben White: 8.5/10

Ben White was excellent against Aston Villa, keeping calm when defending and also contributing at his best when passing the ball forward. This was by far his best game in an Arsenal shirt, while some of the vital blocks and interceptions he made were a bonus to an incredible performance.

Gabriel: 8/10

Gabriel showed his aerial superiority and contained the physical presence of Aston Villa’s two strikers. He kept things tight at the back, without any suspect moments.

Nuno Tavares: 8/10

A terrific full debut for the Portuguese youngster, who ensured Kieran Tierney’s absence was not felt at all. Tavares covered more ground than anyone else on the pitch, while his pressing caused all sorts of problems for Villa to progress the ball. Outstanding.

Bukayo Saka: 7/10

Saka was a surprise inclusion in the lineup given his fitness status all week, but the England international was a classy presence on his favoured right side. He gets a lower rating than other attackers due to missing two presentable chances in front of the goal.

Thomas Partey: 9/10

What a time to get his first goal for the club. Before his strike from a corner, Partey had already rattled the bar once. Later in the first half, he came close to striking again with another header. In midfield, he was colossal, controlling the proceedings and giving no room whatsoever to McGinn and Luiz.

Albert Sambi Lokonga: 8/10

After the terrible error that gifted Palace a goal on Monday, Lokonga did more than just make amends. Lokonga proved he could be a fantastic partner in the middle to Partey, emphasising ball progression skills. His pressing was near perfect and gave less time on the ball to Villa’s midfielders, controlling them throughout.

Emile Smith Rowe: 9/10

Without a doubt, the man of the match. Smith Rowe showed Aston Villa why he was right to reject them in the summer with a masterclass performance. A goal and assist to his name, the youngster continues to impress with his relentless display across the pitch.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7.5/10

Aubameyang may not get involved as much as his teammates, but all his shortcomings get forgotten when he produces the final output. Similarly against Villa, he lacked the energy he showed against Palace but came up with a goal and assisted while missing a gilt-edged chance early in the first half. Also, with the penalty, he stuck it rather predictably, although he was sharp to anticipate the rebound.

Alexandre Lacazette: 8/10

The Frenchman’s re-introduction has certainly changed the energy of Arsenal’s attacks. On the one hand, his superb link-up play gave defenders all sorts of problems; Lacazette ensured he kept battling and pressing whenever Arsenal did not have the ball. A terrific turnaround for the striker after being seemingly frozen out in the opening seven games or so.


Martin Odegaard: 6/10

Odegaard came in place of Lacazette, who called to be substituted. The Norwegian still showed rustiness with some sloppy passing. However, after that, he still managed to keep things tight and see out the game.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6/10

Maitland-Niles came on to do a specific job in midfield. Got locked up in challenges and committed a few professional fouls to see the game through.

Gabriel Martinelli: N/A

He barely even touched the ball to get any rating.

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