Aston Villa v Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: January 13, 2014 8.00 PM BST
A game which puts Arsenal back on top of the table, but a far tighter affair than it should have been. 2-0 and dominating at half time, before a tense final 20 minutes saw the game finish 2-1 to the Arsenal. Here are the player ratings:
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Wojciech Szczesny | 7.25: Didn’t have a lot to do, Villa’s first shot on target coming in the second half. He couldn’t do much about Villa’s goal, but there were a couple of times he made mistakes on crosses, thankfully his defence was solid tonight for the most part.
Bacary Sagna | 7.5: Had almost complete freedom to get forward in the first half, was far more restricted in the second. Had a good game for the most part
Per Mertesacker | 7.5: Won a lot of important aerial battles, despite the strength and aerial presence of Benteke. Was partially at fault for the Villa goal by not keeping tight to Benteke.
Laurent Koscielny | 7.75: Was really dominant tonight, in the air and on the ground. His pace was vital in dealing with Agbonlahor.
Nacho Monreal | 7.5: Was far better going forward than he was defensively. He made a good run and a great cut back to assist Wilshere’s goal.
Mathieu Flamini | 7.5: His tackling and aggression was vital tonight. His energy also allowed Wilshere to get forward a lot, which he probably couldn’t have done if Arteta was along side him.
Jack Wilshere | 8.0: (MotM) A great first half, with a good goal and a nice assist. Dropped down a level in the second half, along with a lot of the team. He was dispossessed a few times after dawdling on the ball a few times.
Mesut Özil| 7.0: Another distinctly average performance from our record signing. A few good passes and some nice link up play, but also a number of wasted opportunities.
Santi Cazorla | 6.0: Once again a worrying performance from last years player of the season. He was largely at fault for the goal and was generally a bit sloppy on the ball at times.
Serge Gnabry | 7.0: A good first half, although seemed to drift inside a little too much. Dropped off a lot in the second half and the youngster was deservedly substituted.
Olivier Giroud | 7.5: The Frenchman had a good first half, scoring a good goal and holding the ball up well as usual. Looked a bit tired in the second half, and missed a couple of chances to put the game to bed with another goal or an assist.
Keiran Gibbs | 7.0: Fairly solid after coming on for Monreal, our defensive play and deep back line didn’t suit his game but he adapted fairly well.
Tomas Rosicky | N/A: Looked good when he came on for Gnabry, like he was going to need some much needed energy and drive to the team. Unfortunately took an elbow to the face from Agbonlahor and had to be substituted soon after.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | N/A: Was ok in his cameo experience after returning from injury, would have liked to see him running at players a bit more.