Saturday, 15 November 2008

Arsenal vs Aston Villa 0-2 Players Rating


Almunia – 6: Made a clever save to deny Ashley Young from the spot midway through the first half. Couldn’t do much to stop the two goals, though. Perhaps can be faulted a little for not closing down the angle when Agbonlahor’s strike beat him at his near post.

Sagna – 5: Looked very lively early on making overlapping runs down the right flank. He left his wing exposed and allowed Young to exploit the space and forced Gallas out of position to set-up the opening goal.

Gallas – 5: Showed great alertness to beat Young to the ball and clear the rebound from the penalty. But he was completely bamboozled by Young which led to the goal and then he was outmuscled by Agbonlahor for the second.

Silvestre – 5.5: An exact opposite of Gallas. Started very nervously but grew in confidence as the game wore on and made a few crucial interceptions and tackles.

Clichy – 5.5: Very unfortunate to nod the ball into the back of his own net. As usual, very involved in attack, persistently pumping in crosses and long balls into the Villa penalty box.

Walcott – 6: Made the rushed challenge on Ashley Young to give away the penalty. Despite a bright start, couldn’t impose himself. Frequently displayed his great bursts of speed but there was never any end product. Constantly marked by at least two players.

Denilson – 4: Not very convincing in his defending and barely helped out the team offensively. Surprised to see him stay on the pitch till the end of the game.

Fàbregas – 5: Still struggling to rediscover his majestic form of old. Never allowed time on the ball to work on his piercing through balls. Had a few long range efforts but had no significant impact whatsoever in midfield.

Nasri 6: Worked hard to run with the ball to take on players and draw out defenders…but to no avail. Drifted all across the midfield line looking for open spaces but he was constantly surrounded by Villa’s teal shirts.

Diaby – 5: Had no trouble adapting into his role as a second striker/forward just behind Bendtner. Showed some neat touches in the first half but mysteriously disappeared from the game after the restart.

Bendtner – 4: Other than a few half touches of the ball inside the box, he barely had any meaningful contribution to show. Didn’t even muster a decent shot at goal.


Adebayor – 5.5: Had a glorious chance from a header five yards out but he thumped it onto the ground and allowed Friedel to tip it over the bar.

Vela – 5: Didn’t have enough time to influence the game and turn it around.

Touré N/A


Friedel – 7.5: Made at least two superb reflex saves to deny Adebayor and Fàbregas to keep his side in the lead. Other than a spilled shot early in the game, he never put a foot wrong.

Cuellar – 8: Did not look out of place at all in an uncustomary rightback position. Barely allowed Nasri, Clichy or Walcott to run past him. Never roamed forward past the halfway line but very solid at the back.

Davies – 8.5: Superb defending from start to finish. Never let anything past him. Made a crucial interception to clear a rebound after Friedel had spilled a Fàbregas shot in the first half. And it was his brilliant, and clean, tackle to rob the ball off Walcott which set Agbonlahor on his way for the second goal.

Laursen – 7.5: Tidied and cleaned up whatever got past Davies, which wasn’t a lot. Assisted Gaby’s goal with a precise long ball out of defence.

Luke Young – 7: Looked as though he was going to have a long, long day ahead of him going up against Walcott but he settled in well as the game went on and like his fellow defenders, he put in a near faultless performance.

Ashley Young – 8.5: Created more chances in the first half than any other player. Won a penalty but also saw it saved when he took it himself rather tamely. Made up for it with a stunning assist for the first goal and looked absolutely menacing all game long. Man of the Match display.

Sidwell 8: Rock-solid performance in midfield. Was present everywhere across the middle to cut out the through passes and even pitched in attack by ghosting in blind behind the defence a few times.

Petrov – 7.5: Like Sidwell, he always knew where to position himself to intercept the ball or run into empty space to cover the wide open gaps.

Barry – 7.5: Not an especially stunning individual performance but he marshalled his midfield line brilliantly. Always there for support in defence and ever-present whenever his teammates charged forward in attack.

Milner – 7: Held up the ball well on occasion and always made himself available for his teammates when they were cornered.

Agbonlahor – 7.5: Very isolated upfront initially. Had to drift out wide to the flanks to get involved in the action. But once Villa played on the counter, he was a real menace to the Arsenal backline. Outstanding clinical finishing for the second goal to kill off the contest.

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