The last time Anthony Taylor oversaw a match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates the outcome was quite different than the one at the Emirates yesterday. That time around the match ended 3-1 to Aston Villa with Laurent Koscielny being sent off in the second half. This time around, fortunately for the home support was an completely different story.
On a day where everything seemed to click for the Gunners, Paul Lambert’s side could not have asked for a worst start to the match. A long clearance from a rare Villa attack found Mesut Ozil near midfield where a sublime flick forward from the German playmaker saw Olivier Giroud in on goal. The Frenchman did his best not to score with some sloppy touches on the run in, but a superb chip over Brad Guzan saw the scoring open in just the eight minute.
The rest of the half was dominated by Arsenal whose free flowing attack was certainly on display at the Emirates. Cazorla hit the woodwork near halftime and Ozil had a goal disallowed for offside (which was not actually off) slightly before that. Try as they might, Arsenal were not able to add to Aston Villa’s misery quite yet though and the halftime score remained 1-0.
Lambert and Villa might have thought at halftime that if they could knick a goal a draw was possible after some good luck at the end of the first half, but it would only take 11 minutes after the break for their luck to run out. Walcott made a nice interception in his own half, then found Giroud near midfield. Giroud then played a beautiful through ball nearly 20 or 30 yards forward for Ozil who gathered the ball near the edge of the box and dually slotted it home to give the Gunners a 2-0 lead.
Arsenal’s third came from another player who is making his return from injury in breathtaking fashion, Theo Walcott. The goal was another reminder of what the winger can bring to the team.
He caught a pass from Aaron Ramsey right outside the box, dribbled in and curled a real beauty in the top right corner, Guzan had no chance. You could really see what the goals meant to Ozil and Theo in particular when they scored and if Arsenal get those two firing on all cylinders there is not a team in the league that will want to come up against this strike force.
The fourth came in the 75th minute Cazorla got his reward for yet another fine, tireless display that saw him all over the pitch, when Chuba Akpom was taken down in the box by the Villa keeper, Guzan. The penalty was about as clear as they can be and Cazorla was the obvious choice to step up to the spot. Guzan actually guessed correct on the penalty and got to hands to it, but there was just too much power behind it and ricocheted into the upper 90.
Arsenal could not have been faulted for easing up on the gas being up 4-0, but the introduction of Akpom in particular and several other players trying to prove themselves meant that even more misery would be heaped on the Villains. The 92nd minute saw Arsenal’s young Spanish right back Hector Bellerin score his first goal for the club.
He slotted home in the bottom left corner from right outside the box, running in with full momentum from the right.
Bellerin has continued to improve all year and has put in some really impressive performances as of late.
On the day Arsenal put in a world class attacking performance and got their reward with a 5-0 victory. It should be noted that while Aston Villa’s attack is absolutely dismal( only 11 goals scored all season and not scoring for 6 league matches and 10+ hours) their defense has been solid and Arsenal did well to penetrate like they did.
Arsenal will now look forward to their North London derby this weekend coming in in absolutely blistering form. Villa on the other hand face off with league leaders Chelsea, it could be another weekend to forget for the Aston Villa fans next time out.