Arsenal succumbed to their fourth defeat of the season and one where any hopes of winning the title all but surely killed off. A Clichy own goal and Agbonlahor finish gave the Villains the three points. Aston Villa had a game plan and that was to pressure the Arsenal midfield high up denying any space, organising themselves in a line of turquoise shirts when Arsenal attacked and broke forward in numbers when they got the ball and/or look to free Agbonlahor. Arsenal lacked the movement and fluidity the youngsters expertly displayed in midweek.
Manuel Almunia (7): Produced a good save to deny Young from the spot and made some other key saves, one from Barry in particular.
Bakary Sagna (6): Was made to work by Ashley Young in the first half and was stretchered off with injury in the second. Subbed > (71 Toure )
William Gallas (5): Should have done better for both goals by showing the outside for Young and easily beaten by Agbonlahor for the second.
Mikael Silvestre (6): Was given an uncomfortable ride by Agbonlahor but coped fairly well. The better of the two centre backs.
Gael Clichy (6): Unlucky to head in his own net but generally played decent and had Milner in his pocket.
Theo Walcott (6): Looked to be Arsenal’s biggest threat but denied the space to run with his pace.
Cesc Fabregas (6): Kept plugging away but once again the movement in front of him was poor and lacking any ideas.
Denilson (5): Was kept busy but couldn’t stamp his authority in the middle. Needs a change in the centre as four defeats says it all.
Samir Nasri (5): Kept cutting in to Aston Villa shirts and while he looks like he be dangerous with the ball, doesn’t provide the goods.
Abou Diaby (6): Had a decent first half, with some nice touches but no real end product. Sacrificed to get a goal. Subbed > (61 Adebayor )
Nicklas Bendtner (4): So poor once again from the Dane. Lost the ball many times and looked like he couldn’t figure out what to do to get passed the Villa defense. Subbed > (68 Vela )
On 61 Emmanuel Adebayor (6): Hit the post with a header and provided the threat that was missing but not enough service.
On 68 Carlos Vela (5): Couldn’t make the impact due to a lack of space while fouls were waved away.
On 71 Kolo Toure (6): Looked to try and provide some dynamism towards the end.
Sub not used
Fabianski, Ramsey, Song, Djourou
Aston Villa: Friedel (6) , Cuellar (7), Laursen (8), Davies (8),L Young (7), A Young (8), Sidwell (8)* , Petrov (8) Barry (8), Milner (5), Agbonlahor (8)
Substitutes not used: Guzan, Harewood, Carew, Knight, Salifou, Reo-Coker, Gardner
Ref: Mike Riley (7)
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