Aston Villa seem unlikely to win their match this Sunday against Arsenal. For one, they're unlikely to win any match against Arsenal anyway. But there's also the fact that Villa are on pace to finish with 15 points. So because of that, I thought I'd write about a time when Villa did win a match against Arsenal.
Aston Villa started the 2013-14 season at the Emirates. Paul Lambert was starting his second season at the club and in general, people were pretty hopeful. Villa were in a relegation fight for most of the previous season, but they came alive down the stretch. Christian Benteke led them to safety and away from the drop.
Most of the signings from the previous season had worked out pretty well. So while now we know that Lambert's summer signings prior to 13-14 were cheap, cut rate acquisitions, we were all hopeful that they could be pretty good players.
The only summer signing to get the start on August 17, 2013 was Antonio Luna. Villa signed the left back from Sevilla over the summer. Before even playing a match for Villa, he was christened "Tony Moon", which isn't the most creative nickname, but hey. By the time the match ended, he would be a Villa cult figure.
The match started poorly for Villa as Olivier Giroud scored after only six minutes. Sixteen minutes later, Villa got back level. They were awarded a penalty. Benteke stepped up to take it. His initial effort was saved, but he quickly pounced on the rebound. We would go in to the half with the score level at one.
In the 61st minute, Laurent Koscielny took down Gabby Agbonlahor in the Arsenal box. Once again, Villa were awarded a penalty. Arsenal players and fans were aggrieved by the decision and on first look, they might've had every right. But from another angle, it was clear that Koscielny took out Agbonlahor's back leg. Some Arsenal people still might not agree, but in my eyes, it was fine. (My claret and blue eyes, admittedly.) Benteke slotted that penalty home and Villa had an improbable 2-1 lead.
As you would expect, Arsenal pressed hard to get an equalizing goal. But it never came. In the 85th minute, Villa sprang a counter-attack. It ended falling to the feet of Antonio Luna. Tony Moon put it away to give Villa a 3-1 win and three points to start the season.
Villa ended the 2013-14 season battling relegation again, as they did the next year, and again this year. Villa have since fired Lambert and then another manager. This win against Arsenal was just a blip on the general downward trajectory Villa have been on. But someday, we'll get back to beating Arsenal. Someday. Maybe Sunday. Probably not.