Tuesday, January 14, 2014
ARSENAL BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BPL AFTER WIN OVER ASTON VILLA
Arsenal are showing no sign of surrender just yet as two quick goals in less than sixty seconds from Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud as against Aston Villa, Benteke's goal, sent them back to top of the English Premier League log.
This was a gutsy win in the circumstances, Arsenal in complete control for an hour, only to be shocked by Christian Benteke’s first goal since September 14 against Newcastle United.
At that point it would have been easy for Arsene Wenger’s team, caught cold, to give up two points. Instead, they regrouped and held firm, even when the stadium announcer elicited one of the biggest cheers of the night by revealing there would be six minutes of additional time.
The damage was done in two first-half minutes when Arsenal scored twice, the second affording a cushion that did little for the entertainment value.
Mesut Ozil, has been quieter of late after his buzzy start, however his pass for Monreal on the left was a thing of beauty and caught Villa hopelessly flat.
Monreal crossed, man of the match Jack Wilshere met the ball on the edge of the area and his left-foot shot gave Brad Guzan no chance.
Wilshere was the architect this time, his deft chip picking out Olivier Giroud, who intelligently found the space between two Villa defenders and finished left-footed with a certainty that brooked no argument.
It made up for an earlier miss when a cross from Bacary Sagna after five minutes was headed wide by Giroud from close range.
The goals followed a freak injury. Mild concussion was the official verdict, but it was not so much Nathan Baker who saw stars, as the entire Aston Villa defence.
Baker was the unfortunate who took a ferocious shot from Serge Gnabry full in the face after 14 minutes and was taken from the field, head immobilised, wearing an oxygen mask.
The team-mates he left behind took the force of the next blow, however, with two goals that stunned the locals into silence and left Villa with too steep a climb to the summit. It is rare that a player is invalided from a game by the ball and Arsenal’s initial reaction when Baker was struck and collapsed was to play on.