[Ratings] Villa 1-0 Arsenal: Torreira & Nketiah struggle as toothless Gunners give up

By on July 22, 2020

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal produced a shocking performance to lose 1-0 at relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Tuesday night to end our hopes of qualifying for the Europa League via the Premier League.

We were on top for much of the opening stages but it was Villa who took the lead in the 27th minute when sloppy play gave away a corner and Trezeguet lashed home at the far post from the resulting set piece.

Arsenal saw lots of possession but were absolutely toothless as we could barely trouble the Villa goal as we searched for an equaliser. The closest we came was when Eddie Nketiah’s header somehow stayed out after hitting the post in the second half.

We limped to a 1-0 defeat and finished the game without registering a single shot on target against a side that he conceded 66 goals this season, which is disgraceful. The result means we can not longer finish in the top seven and will have to win the FA Cup to qualify for the Europa League, plus we finish behind Tottenham for the fourth consecutive year.

I thought Mikel Arteta got everything wrong last night. His team selection was poor, he made too many changes and the team was woefully unbalanced without any creativity. The squad lacks creative players in general so that’s something we have to solve in the transfer window.

But what really annoyed me was the players’ attitude. They played for most of the game in first gear, showed no desire or passion to win the match. It looked like we’d already given up hope of finishing in the top seven before the game had even began. Their minds were already on the cup final, and that’s the biggest concern as Arteta should have had them focused and up for this game as much as they were against City on Saturday.

Here are my ratings from the game:

Martinez  6/10 | No chance with their goal and didn’t really have much else to do other than make a couple of routine saves.

Holding  6/10 | Was solid in the air for the most part but Grealish gave him some trouble.

Luiz  6/10 | Sloppy play to give away the corner that led to the Villa goal. Subbed as Arteta switched things up.

Kolasinac  5/10 | Showed why he shouldn’t be a regular starter – especially in a back three. Very limited, passing was poor and gave away some cheap fouls.

Cedric  5/10 | Turned his back on the Trezeguet goal. Should have been much braver. Was an outlet down the right but his crossing was woeful.

Ceballos  6/10 | Worked hard in the first half as he was basically trying to play two roles alongside Torreira in midfield. Needed more invention from him when trying to link midfield with the attack.

Torreira  5/10 | Struggled to make an impression in midfield. Plenty of energy but just didn’t offer enough. Taken off at half time after being booked in the first half.

Saka  5/10 | A disappointing display from the youngster. Lacked confidence to really have a go at his man and no end product. Subbed.

Nketiah  5/10 | Looked lost out on the wing. Doesn’t have the all-round game needed to play as a winger. Hit the post with a header when he should have scored.

nicolas pepe arsenal

Lacazette  5/10 | Had to drop deep to get involved in the play. Linked up a few times but wasn’t really a danger in front of goal at all.

Aubameyang  5/10 | After his heroics at Wembley, this was a really poor display. Barely offered anything going forward. One the one occasion he did get behind the Villa defence, his poor pass ruined the move. Caught out by Mings as his flick header set-up Trezeguet for the goal.


Xhaka   6/10 | On at the break. Was missed in the first half. Should have started.

Pepe   5.5/10 | Added a bit of variety in attack but still couldn’t break Villa down.

Tierney   6.5/10 | A positive impact as he was a real outlet down the left. Put in a couple of decent crosses.

Willock  N/A | On too late.