Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2: Player ratings as Jack Wilshere impresses

Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 2: Player ratings as Jack Wilshere produces a match-winning performance at Villa Park

By Arandeep Dhillon
Aston Villa
1
Arsenal
2

Aston Villa

Brad Guzan Helpless for the goals and did not have much else to do apart from assert his presence for several Arsenal corners. 5/10

Matthew Lowton Looked nervy from the whistle but produced a delightful delivery into the visitors box for Benteke’s goal. 5

Antonio Luna Struggled to stay tight on his man a number of times but showed what he was capable of as the game wore on. 5

Ciaran Clark As ever, he made several key challenges and even got forward to help the Villa charge. Saw a lethal effort saved by Szczesny’s strong hands. 6

Nathan Baker Started well but suffered concussion after 21 minutes and had to be replaced. 5

Ron Vlaar The skipper was by far Villa’s best defender – producing a number of last-ditch interceptions including a fine tackle on Monreal when a goal looked on the cards. 7

Karim El Ahmadi Was revved up from the start and booked after 90 seconds but did give Villa another dimension up the park and saw a clever volley go over the bar in the first-half. 6

Ashley Westwood Another nervy starter in the game but played his part in the closing stages, giving the hosts options with his vision.5

Fabian Delph Should have done better with an early effort from 20 yards and seemed to run out of ideas as he surged up the pitch throughout. 5

Christian Benteke Back in the goals with a calm header which instantly gave him the confidence he was lacking and he could have drew the sides level after clever movement. 6

Gabriel Agbonlahor Looked lively on the ball and used possession well but struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities for himself. 6

Substitutes

Leandro Bacuna Did well after his early introduction but will be disappointed not to have tested Szczesny with his drive in the early stages of the second-half. 6

Andreas Weimann Offered a superb burst of energy after coming on and superbly kept the ball in play during the closing stages to keep the pressure on the Gunners. 6

Arsenal

Wojciech Szczesny Showed good positioning when tested and looked at ease which will delight Arsene Wenger. 6

Bacary Sagna Set the tempo right away with a number of teasing deliveries towards Giroud to unsettle Paul Lambert’s back-line. 6

Per Mertesacker Made a key block in the second-half as Villa pressed and again showed his experience which could be vital for Arsenal’s title hopes. 6

Laurent Koscielny The Frenchman kept Benteke at bay before his goal but can be pleased with his reading of the game which made it tough for the opposition. 5

Nacho Monreal Like Sagna, the Spaniard burst up the field from the start and came close to scoring after neat footwork but was denied by a superb challenge. 6

Mathieu Flamini Went about his business quietly but allowed Wilshere to get forward as he sat in to cover. 5

Serge Gnabry Not as influential as in recent performances but showed his strength and nifty passing before departing. 5

Jack Wilshere (Man-of-the-match) Back in his desired central role, the midfielder superbly finished to open the scoring before almost instantly setting up Giroud to double the lead. 8

Mesut Ozil A quiet game for the German who struggled with the ball after cheaply giving it away too much. 4

Santi Cazorla Gave Arsenal options with his unique passing and tried to wrap up the points late on but was denied by Guzan. 5

Olivier Giroud Could have scored early on but made amends with brilliant footwork before executing his left-foot shot past the Villa stopper to give the visitors a healthy lead. 7

Substitutes

Kieran Gibbs Gave his side a much needed pair of fresh legs in a testing time for the visitors during Villa’s late onslaught. 5

Tomas Rosicky Had to come off after picking up an injury. 5

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Will be happy to get back on the pitch but did not have enough time to get involved. 5

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