Aston Villa – Arsenal: Efficient Win By Cohesive Gunners (0-1)
Aston Villa attempted to pose a challenge to Arsenal with their narrow defensive scheme, but Arsenal proved very effective in progressing over the wings. This, along with their strong high pressing game, helped Mikel Arteta’s side to dominate the first half and take the lead. The home side were more aggressive in the second half but Arsenal showed good defensive organization to minimize the threat faced, and leave Villa Park with a 1-0 win.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Arsenal’s recent winning run ended in midweek as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium. For this visit to Aston Villa, Mikel Arteta made two changes from the side that started against Liverpool as the Gunners tried to get back on track and stay ahead of the pack in the race for fourth.
In goal, Arteta was forced to bring in Bernd Leno as Aaron Ramsdale missed out through injury. Meanwhile Emil Smith Rowe was introduced into the attack to replace Gabriel Martinelli. Alongside him in their 4-2-3-1 shape was Martin Ødegaard and Bukayo Saka, while Alexandre Lacazette played up front. In midfield there was the partnership of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka protecting a back four of Cédric Soares, Ben White, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney.
Aston Villa had their own three game winning run broken last time out against West Ham as they sit comfortably in mid-table in the Premier League. Steven Gerrard’s side lined up in a 4-3-2-1 shape . . .