Arsenal have made it five wins in five to remain top of the league, as Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli scored to sink Aston Villa.
Arsenal fans are jubilant as they are getting used to a new norm of their team winning week in, week out. Mikel Arteta has reunited every facet of this football club as the Gunners continue their good form on the pitch.
Riding high on confidence after four wins in a row, Arsenal have made it five in five as they beat Aston Villa at the Emirates. The visitors started with an intensity nullified by Arsenal’s relentless pressure and work on the ball. The Gunners soon started finding spaces to exploit and took multiple shots.
The Brazilian soon found the opener. Bukayo Saka missed an excellent chance to open the scoring from three yards out but somehow skied his effort. Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus had an effort saved by Emiliano Martinez at the near post.
After brilliant work from Gabriel Martinelli, who found Granit Xhaka to square the ball, Martinez was on hand to save the deflection, but the ball fell kindly at Jesus’s feet, who smashed home the opener from close range. The Gunners could have had at least 3-4 goals in the first period alone but will have been content with the slender lead.
11 managers have won the first five games of a Premier League season:
◎ Kevin Keegan
◎ Carlo Ancelotti
◎ Sir Alex Ferguson
◎ Arsène Wenger
◎ Alan Curbishley
◎ José Mourinho
◎ Manuel Pellegrini
◎ Pep Guardiola
◎ Maurizio Sarri
◎ Jürgen Klopp
◉ Mikel Arteta
Perfect. ? pic.twitter.com/u6Cpz5nwfG
— Squawka (@Squawka) August 31, 2022
The second half began similarly to how the first period ended. Arsenal continued with their pressure, but Aston Villa soon gained some control in the game. Steven Gerrard’s men lacked the edge in the final third. Yet, until around the 74th minute, Aaron Ramsdale was untroubled.
Douglas Luiz, who had just come on the pitch, whipped in a corner that went past everyone and beyond Ramsdale’s reach for an Aston Villa equaliser. While the away fans and Gerrard’s bench celebrated, Arsenal conjured up a fitting response in no time.
Martinelli was at the thick of the action again, as some good inter-play around the edge of the box ended with Saka setting the Brazilian up nicely. The 21-year-old will not have missed from that range as he shot past Martinez to regain Arsenal their lead. The Gunners were able to see out the game but will sweat on potential fitness problems.
Here’s how the Arsenal players fared against Aston Villa, as they made it five wins in a row to top the Premier League table.
Aaron Ramsdale: 6/10
Ramsdale barely had anything to do except banter with the Aston Villa away support and pick the ball from his net on one occasion. There was undoubtedly an infringement from Boubacar Kamara to withhold him for Luiz’s goal from the corner. But beyond that, the England international was not troubled.
Ben White: 7/10
Ben White put in another solid performance from right-back, keeping his discipline and contributing immensely to the final third action. He was substituted midway through the second half, which looked rather unusual, and Arsenal fans will be hoping it was just a precaution and not an injury ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.
William Saliba: 7/10
Saliba put in another composed display and never let the Aston Villa attackers get the better of him. He seems to be growing in the game and showed remarkable defensive resilience when the opposition put his backline under some pressure in the last stage of the game.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 7/10
Gabriel seemed to have put the bad defensive display from the Fulham game firmly behind him with an assured display alongside Saliba. His chemistry with the Frenchman appears to be growing with each game, and he was nearly flawless. He could have scored in the first half, proving his threat level in the opposition box.
Kieran Tierney: 6.5/10
Tierney was better than in the last game and was more involved in his usual way. He kept the ball well at his feet and always looked to provide the likes of Martinelli and Xhaka with options. Arsenal must have him on form, especially if Oleksandr Zinchenko does not make it to Old Trafford.
Some were doubting him before the game but what a performance it was from Albert Sambi Lokonga tonight.
— now.arsenal (@now_arsenaI) August 31, 2022
Albert Sambi Lokonga: 8/10
While many have been urging Arsenal to sign a new midfielder to cover for Thomas Partey, Lokonga showed what he could do on the pitch with a brilliant performance in the Ghanaian’s role. The midfielder was excellent in possession and progressed the ball relatively well to forward zones. Arteta should continue to use him and develop his game further.
Granit Xhaka: 8/10
A brilliant display from Xhaka, who has taken the new box-to-box role rather well. He set up the first goal for Gabriel Jesus and was a constant threat with his runs in the final third. Moreover, he dominated the midfield zones with Lokonga, putting in an all-round display against Villa.
Martin Odegaard: 8/10
Fans will be eager to know the extent of his injury, although they would be hoping it’s just a knock. Odegaard was terrific in the first half, as he stitched together a fluid Arsenal attack. He always finds suitable space and players to make things more dangerous for the opposition and did precisely that against Aston Villa.
Bukayo Saka: 7/10
Saka missed at least two close-range chances but made up for that with his overall performance. The English winger was a threat all along and proved the catalyst to providing Arsenal with the winner after setting up Martinelli for the second goal.
Brilliant goal from Martinelli, 2-1 to THE ARSENAL pic.twitter.com/uJtb1PO7I4
— Renato (@rehnato) August 31, 2022
Gabriel Martinelli: 9/10
Martinelli proved a difficulty for the Aston Villa defenders, notably Matty Cash. The Brazilian was relentless as he set up a few chances in the first half and played a significant role in the opener. Then, he was on hand to finish from close range to secure Arsenal three points in a top-notch performance from the young attacker.
Gabriel Jesus: 8/10
Jesus is making it a habit to score at the Emirates as he got the opening goal. Beyond that, his all-around performance in the final third continued as he proved a threat to the Aston Villa defenders. He handled Tyrone Mings and his physicality well and troubled the England international throughout the game.
Gabriel Jesus' Premier League record when he scores:
?49, 49 UNDEFEATED ? pic.twitter.com/mGw78vYKCD
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) August 31, 2022
Takehiro Tomiyasu: 6/10
Tomiyasu was tidy after coming on and managed to keep up with Ben White’s work rate intact. He played a significant role in the winner after slipping Saka the ball before the winger provided the assist.
Rob Holding: 5/10
Holding was sent to shore up the backline as Arteta wanted to protect the narrow lead. He did his job well as Arsenal secured three points.
Eddie Nketiah: 7/10
Nketiah is a different weapon for Arteta, as the striker showed his ball retaining skills and creating attacking moments out of nothing. Timeously, the striker took the pressure off his teammates as he carried the ball for distance and could have scored with one chance before the final whistle.