Tag Archives: Aston Villa

Match Report: Arsenal 3 – 2 Aston Villa

Arsenal (0) 3 Aston Villa (1) 2
Premier League
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Sunday, 22nd September 2019. Kick-off time: 4.30pm

(4-2-3-1) Bernd Leno; Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, Sead Kolašinac; Mattéo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka; Nicolas Pépé, Dani Ceballos, Bukayo Saka; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Substitutes: Mesut Özil, Lucas Torreira, Calum Chambers, Reiss Nelson, Emiliano Martínez, Joe Willock, Gabriel Martinelli.

Scorers: Nicolas Pépé (59mins), Calum Chambers (81mins), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (84mins)
Red Cards: Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Yellow Cards: Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mattéo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pépé, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 58%
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Attendance 60,331

So okay, we can all now put our hearts back into the chest cavity from whence it came, ingest that stiff drink and take a massive intake of breath. This team certainly know how to keep us all on our toes, don’t they? On paper, this looked like a breeze, in the world of cold, harsh reality, it was a lot more complex and controversial that that flippant idea.

The first half looked akin to a car crash, where you can see the accident unfold in front of your very eyes, but could do absolutely nothing to redress the issue, just hold on and wait for the impact. Nothing in this first period would suggest that we would end up eventual winners, just sloppy and poor play and tragic circumstances. After just twenty minutes, The Villains were ahead, thanks to a Joe McGinn goal scored from an Anwar El Ghazi cross that should have been dealt with by the defence. From this moment onwards, we were clumsy, indecisive and unable to hold on to the ball. Then came the incident that defined the first half, and in many ways, changed the match. With just four minutes to go before the break, Ainsley Maitland-Niles stupidly followed through on a tackle with Neil Taylor; having already been booked, referee Jonathan Moss had no alternative but to show our first red card of the season to him, much to the chagrin of the disbelieving home crowd. What else could happen on this late September afternoon?

Second half, time to breathe again. Or so it seemed. At first it was looking as if the second period would be a carbon copy of the first, but wait! In a moment of pure inspiration, Mattéo Guendouzi boldly advanced into the Villa penalty area, when defender Björn Engels sloppily brought him down, and in doing so, gifted us a penalty. In an act of pure unselfishness, our usual penalty taker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang handed the ball to Nicolas Pépé, who wasted no time in introducing the ball to the back of the net. With almost no time to take a sharp intake of breath, Jack Grealish jinked and twisted his way past three of our players before crossing the ball to Moraes Wesley, who confidently restored the balance in the visitors’ favour.
The match was looking like a defeat, until the jeered and mocked Granit Xhaka was substituted for Joe Willock (along with Lucas Torreira, who replaced the ineffective Dani Ceballos). And now things just picked up in a heartbeat. We became masterful, confident, and dare I say it, assertive. Mattéo Guendouzi continued to inspire and showed a good example to everyone around him, and it was merely a matter of time before this sparky little player would be involved in an incident or two. And so it was, with just nine minutes to go, he was instrumental in an effort that led to our second (and equalising) goal. Calum Chambers was the grateful recipient of a Mattéo Guendouzi pass, and without even blinking, put the ball where it belonged, into the roof of the net. And still it wasn’t over; with just minutes to go, our top bandit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed the winner. Phew. Talk about a close run thing.

Okay, we won, and tonight we sit in fourth place in the Premiership on goal difference behind Leicester City; with our rivals Spurs, Chelsea and Mancheter United (whom we play next week) all losing this weekend, we have taken full advantage and seized a top four slot with this victory. But our defence is still rocky, and although the lads showed immense character today, there were times when a win seemed as far away as Christmas. But hey, at the end of the day, we won. Let’s celebrate. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match:Nottingham Forest at The Emirates on Tuesday, 24th September at 7.45pm (Carabao Cup). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.


Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

Match Preview: Arsenal v Aston Villa

It is Sunday the 22nd of September and that only means one thing, we are back in Premier League action. We are finally back at the Emirates Stadium where we will be facing Aston Villa. It has been a long three weeks, and everyone is buzzing to be back home.

We have won our last five outings against Villa, scoring 18 goals and not conceding once along the way.

Aston Villa currently sit 18th in the Premier League, winning one, drawing one and losing three times. Villa played West Ham last Monday; where they quite frankly failed to impress. Despite their opposition going down to ten men, Villa still saw the Hammers dominate possession and concede a hefty amount of shots.

Arsenal currently sit 10th in the Premier League with the chance to jump a number of clubs if they are able to win against Aston Villa. After an abysmal performance last Sunday against Watford, where we squandered a two goal lead, we enjoyed a very successful trip to Frankfurt on Thursday where we kicked off our Europa League campaign in style; beating them by three goals to zero. This made us the first English team to beat Eintracht Frankfurt at their pod. It was very much our youth players that inspired us to the win in Germany – despite the hostile atmosphere – they were excellent.

What can we expect from Villa? Well we can expect Villa to be very defensive in pursuit to frustrate Arsenal – hitting them on the counter attack. Defensively Villa are strong but have looked vulnerable at times. They have a new keeper in Tom Heaton who is a fantastic shot stopper and very experienced; 6″2 Tyrone Mings just in front who was amazing for Villa last year and has carried that form on into the new season. Going forward they have the attacking power of Jack Grealish who will cause many problems all afternoon. They will be using the pace of Wesley up top to get in behind Arsenal’s defence.

What can we expect from Arsenal? Well the majority of fans will be hoping for a very attacking side to enable us to break down Villa. Not only that, this is an incredible chance for us to increase our goal difference, currently having scored and conceding eight. As for the team, we are still very suspect at the back. It is unknown who will be played at the back. Rob Holding is definitely in contention to start, he travelled to Germany after declaring himself fit but was not apart of the 18 man squad. Both Luiz and Mustafi put in a good shift against Frankfurt, and fans are urging to see Chambers playing CB. Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are unlikely to play after both featuring for Arsenal U23’s on Friday night against Wolves. There are alot of options for the midfield, and there are also alot of goals to be scored for the Gunners, especially considering we are playing at the Emirates. Up top, Aubameyang will start again as Lacazette is out until October, with Pepe; Nelson; Smith Rowe; Martinelli; and Saka all in contention to start out wide.

Come on Arsenal, you’ve got this!


Written by Jack Skinner ~ Insta @oooh.to.be.a.gooner

Pitch invaders should not face imprisonment

I was sitting there at Sunday lunchtime having a cup of tea (Assam tea, little splash of milk) with the Birmingham v Aston Villa game on in the back ground. I was not really takingnotice when it happened. A fan ran on the pitch and punched Jack Grealish.

It was shocking.

Like many others, I like a drink before the game and get myself well up for the North London Derby. Adrenaline is running, you are on edge. Anything could happen. But running on the pitch and punching a player – that is simply idiotic behaviour.

A few hours later, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his penalty, an Arsenal fan ran on the pitch and pushed Chris Smalling before attempting to join the Arsenal celebrations.

Now I do not know whether this fans had watched the Birmingham v Aston Vila game prior, and was inspired by what he saw, but it was another silly act.

These two incidents were on the back of a Hibernian fan attacking Rangers’ James Tavernier on Friday night.

Three incidents in the space of 3 days.

The authorities will come down hard in all 3 cases, using the full of weight of the law to prosecute and punish.

On Sky Sports, they talked about making “entering the field of play” a criminal offence. It already is.

Under the Football (Offences) Act 1991 it is an offence for a person at a designated football match to go onto the playing area, or any area adjacent to the playing area to which spectators are not generally admitted, without lawful authority or lawful excuse (which shall be for him to prove).

As it stands, the criminal punishment for entering the field of play is a fine. A court will also likely hand out a 3 year Football Banning Order (FBO) if it is a first offence. This banning order can increase to a life time banning order depending severity of offence and previous offences.

Clubs also have the civil power of banning fans from the ground in the same way a pub can ban a punter. It is private land. They can choose to ban however they want for however long they like.

In the case of the Birmingham fan, he will probably receive a life ban. It is not just that he ran onto the pitch, but he also assaulted Grealish.

He will be prosecuted under the Football (Offences) Act for entering the field of play but also likely to be prosecuted for common assault Criminal Justice Act 1988. This could lead to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months. (Note: he was given 14 weeks).

The CPS who probably also try and add Actual bodily Harm (ABH) in as this carries a sentence up to 5 years. However as there has been no bodily harm, this will probably fail and he will be convicted of common assault (note: he plead guilty to common assault).

In the cases of the Arsenal and Hibs fans, they will be fined and banned. Probably for 3 years by the courts and longer by the clubs.

All for 30 seconds of fame.

Pitch invasions are not a new thing.

For years in the League Cup Arsenal have suffered from silly children running on the pitch, and recently a YouTube channel decided to invade a Tottenham European tie. Whilst these are harmless acts, all would have been arrested and prosecuted.

The concern for the authorities is 3 incidents live on Sky over 3 days have shamed the English game.

They have a brand to protect, and will ensure that all those involved will be prosecuted to the full extent.

My concern is that the law makers go OTT.

Like with the Dangerous Dogs Act, governments throughout history have responded disproportionally to a minority of offences as they gained public interest. This results in them quickly passing legislation without thinking of the greater impact.

If they add imprisonment to the punishment for those fans that enter the field of play, it could have far reaching consequences.

Yes, the Birmingham fan deserves jail time as he assaulted a player. No one should fear being assaulted when at work – or any other time.

But if they role out imprisonment for all pitch invaders, this could be misused.

There was an incident a few years ago during an Arsenal v Manchester United game that highlights this.

“When Manchester United were away to Arsenal last season,” says Amanda Jacks from the Football Supporters Federation, “Rooney scored a winner and about half a dozen fans went tumbling over the barriers as the crowd surged forward. Clearly they weren’t trying to run on the pitch, it was just the momentum that carried them over. They all got arrested and charged with pitch encroachment. One pleaded guilty, the others pleaded not guilty, but the magistrates were pretty disparaging that the case had been brought at all.”

You could be completely innocent and be punished over a barrier, or simply be caught up in celebrating a goal, and end up with 6 months in jail.

Jumping on the pitch is not the equivalent of assault; so should not have the same maximum punishment.

The UK has a huge knife problem at the moment.

Sentencing guidelines indicate courts must impose a mandatory six month minimum prison term on those caught carrying a knife for a second time.

So you could be caught carrying a knife twice before being handed a 6 months sentence (and only in 63% of cases have people been sentenced to 6 months for their 2nd offence), or you could be jailed for 6 months for entering the field of play once whilst celebrating a goal.

It clearly is not a proportionate offence and the law makers need to think carefully before adding imprisonment to the list of possible punishments.

The bigger concern for me as a fan is that these fans behaviour supports those who do not want to see a return of Safe Standing. It supports the law which bans drinking in view of the pitch at football. And it supports kick offs at noon for big games.

Next season when Birmingham play Aston Villa it will be at 11:30am.

Fans will moan, they will complain, blame the police, the TV companies. The real person to blame is the chap who ran on the pitch and assaulted Grealish.

The actions of a single fan have consequences for every single other fan that go’s.

I do not want early kick offs for “security reasons”. I want to be able to stand and watch the game. Have a beer. But whilst people continue to misbehave.

Those who ran onto the pitch over the weekend will face proportionate consequences. My fear is that we will see a disproportionate response from the law makers and the consequences for the majority of fans could be greater.

Think before you run on the pitch.