“It all started so well” is the phrase that can be used to sum up both Villa’s season so far and the 0-3 defeat to Arsenal at Villa Park. Villa’s title hopes (disclaimer: sarcasm has been used here) were dented by an Arsenal side presumably unable to believe their luck with the defending for the second and third goals. Here’s the Good, the Bad and Ugly as Villa’s unbeaten start in the Premier League was ended.
The confidence that must have been coursing through the squad prior to kick-off shone through in the first half an hour, for which I would argue that Villa actually played about as well as they have all season. Villa started the game really well, pressing hard and closing down quickly and taking the game to an Arsenal defence who just did not look comfortable with Villa’s high tempo.
Although Ciaran Clark should have scored his headed chance midway through the first half, Tom Cleverley already looks to have the best set-piece distribution of any player at Villa in a good few years, which bodes well for the return of Christian Benteke and Libor Kozák. His passing before Villa fell apart after the first goal went in was superb.
Today was the only the second game of the season that Villa had had more than one shot on target. Usually this would have been a good thing, but considering the result I’d suggest we revert to just having one shot on target and scoring it.
The virus running through Villa’s squad undoubtedly would have had an effect on at least certain players’ performances. Considering the team’s performance in the opening half an hour and the way that they were able to keep Arsenal at bay during the second half despite the stomach bug, Villa fans should probably not get too het up about a defeat that was inflicted purely during a four-minute period during the first half.
[Click ‘Next’ page] or the Bad & the Ugly