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[Ratings & goals] Arsenal 3-2 Villa: Maitland-Niles has nightmare as Guendouzi stars

By on September 22, 2019

matteo guendouzi

It was a thriller as 10-man Arsenal had to come from behind twice before seeing off Aston Villa 3-2 with two late goals at the Emirates this evening.

We were poor from the first minute and Villa took the lead following more shambolic defending from Arsenal. The defence stood still as John McGinn ran on to a cross from the left to poke past Bernd Leno in the 14th minute.

Our task became a lot harder when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off just before half-time for a second booking but we were gifted the chance of an equaliser when Matteo Guendouzi was fouled in the box. Nicolas Pepe converted to make it 1-1 in the 59th minute.

However, in true Arsenal style we conceded straight away as Wesley poked home from close range following a poor effort from David Luiz to prevent the goal. 2-1 to Villa and playing with 10-men, things looked bleak for Arsenal with 30 minutes to go.

However, we were well on top and grabbed an equaliser with 10 minutes remaining when Calum Chambers scored at the far post and a stunning comeback was complete when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lashed home a superb free-kick in the 84th minute to make it 3-2 to Arsenal.

Here are my ratings:

Leno  6/10 | Made a couple of routine saves but was once again exposed by those in front of him.

Maitland-Niles  2/10 | Blazed a good chance to open the scoring well over the bar early on, partially at fault for the opening Villa goal, was given a torrid time before being sent off for a reckless second yellow. Also injured himself while doing it. Had an absolute mare.

Sokratis  5/10 | Poor effort to stop Grealish in the build-up to the second goal and let Arsenal and himself down with some awful play acting to try and get a Villa player sent off. Expect better from him.

Luiz  5/10 | At fault for the second goal as his attempt to prevent the Wesley shot was laughable. He’s been a horror signing so far and should be as risk of losing his place to Holding soon.

Kolasinac  6/10 | Given a tough time by Trezeguet at times but worked hard and was involved a lot going forward in the second half.

Xhaka  4.5/10 | Slow, flat-footed and offered no protection to the defence at all. Once he went off midway through the second half while losing 2-1, we totally took control of the game and turned things around. That doesn’t surprise me one bit. Hopefully this was an eye opener for Emery.

pierre-emerick aubameyang arsenal

Guendouzi  8/10 | Failed to track McGinn for the opening goal but was excellent in the second half as we tried to get back in the game. Won the penalty with a lovely run, created the second goal and clattered the post from distance too. Dragged Arsenal almost single-handedly at times. Full of passion.

Ceballos  6/10 | Didn’t hide when things were tough and always wanted the ball. But things didn’t always come off for him and he struggled to have a positive influence at times. Subbed.

Pepe  6/10 | Opened his account from the penalty spot but continues to drift in and out the game. Flashes of his quality when on the ball but just isn’t doing enough right now. He clearly needs more time to settle.

Saka  6.5/10 | Great to see him start in the league and he was one of our better performers in a the first half. He showed no fear, always wanted the ball and went close with a long-range effort. Harshly hauled off at the break after we went down to 10-men.

Aubameyang  7/10 | Missed a great chance to make it 2-2 in the 70th minute but in true Auba style he scored the winner with a superb free-kick. Where would we be without him? 12th, probably.

Subs:

Chambers   7/10 | On at half-time to play right-back and lost possession in the build-up to the second Villa goal. However, scored a vital equaliser with a lovely finish.

Torreira  7/10 | Added some much-needed energy to the midfield and his high pressing helped pin Villa back as we scored two late goals.

Willock   6.5/10 | A couple of driving runs in midfield helped break the Villa resistance.

The defence was once again a shambles and we were fortunate to turns things around today. However, it was a vital win and hopefully Emery has finally realised Arsenal are a stronger team without Xhaka on the pitch. Nottingham Forest in the League Cup up next before a huge trip to Man Utd.

Here are the goals:

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