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Player Ratings: Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal - Sluggish Villans suffer defeat at home

Sluggish and bereft of any attacking intent, Aston Villa stumble at home as Bukayo Saka’s first half goal proves to be the difference at Villa Park.

Aston Villa v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Emi Martinez: 5/10

With only three shots on target, it was another slow day at the office for the Villa goalkeeper, but he failed to make a save on Bukayo Saka’s lone goal of the game and he’ll surely be ruing that blunder.

Matty Cash: 6/10

Easily one of the most impressive Villa players on the day, which really isn’t saying much, but the right-back had some quality spells of possession when on the ball and tried to push Villa forward as much as he possibly could.

Ezri Konsa: 6/10

Replacing Calum Chambers in the starting lineup, it wasn’t the best of starts for the central defender as he nearly put Arsenal 1-0 up via an own-goal (thanks for the fine save, Emi!), but did slightly redeem himself later on as he made an important block on Martin Odegaard’s effort in the latter stages of the first half.

Tyrone Mings: 6/10

Can’t really say that the Villa captain put a foot wrong on the day and was harshly penalized for a challenge on Saka, with the central defender winning the ball back in what only can be deemed as a clean challenge.

Ashley Young: 5.5/10

Really struggled to keep up with the pace of Saka and looked rather lost at times in the first half, but redeemed himself with a much stronger performance in the second half, showing more quality when on the ball and delivering a number of decent crosses as well.

Douglas Luiz: 6/10

Was tidy when in possession and didn’t really make any major errors in that regard, but struggled to keep up with the physical nature of Arsenal’s midfield, with Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey bullying the entirety of the Villa midfield throughout the match.

John McGinn: 6/10

Made a few strong tackles throughout the game and was easily one of the hardest working Villans throughout the entirety of the game, which again, isn’t really saying much. Had a decent attempt on the Arsenal goal, which went just wide as well.

Jacob Ramsey: 4/10

A day to forget for the young Villan, who struggled to make any impression on today’s proceedings. Surely it’s time to take him out of the firing line for a match or two?

Philippe Coutinho: 4/10

Was basically invisible throughout large periods of the game, with the likes of Xhaka and Partey nullifying the attacking midfielders spells of possession. Delivered a threatening free-kick in the last few seconds of the game, but it’s just another game where Villa left things far too late.

Emi Buendia: 4/10

A frustrated figure in his return to the starting lineup, the attacking midfielder created very little going forward and was surprisingly laclustre in Villa’s pressing game as well.

Ollie Watkins: 5/10

Given very little support from an attacking point of view and struggled to maintain control of the ball when in possession. He did create Villa’s most threatening scoring opportunity of the game, with his shot from the right-hand side of the Arsenal box hitting the post via a deflection.


SUBSTITUTES:

Leon Bailey (69 mins): 6/10

Replaced Jacob Ramsey and looked to make an instant impact through his delivery into the Arsenal box. Perhaps bringing on Bailey at half-time would have made more of a difference?

Bertrand Traore (69 mins): 5/10

Replaced Emi Buendia and was Villa’s busiest attacking outlet in the later stages of the match, but the tricky winger couldn’t direct any shot attempt on target.

Danny Ings (81 mins): N/A

Replaced Ollie Watkins and nearly made an instant impact, heading a cross just over the Arsenal goal.


MAN OF THE MATCH: Matty Cash

There clearly wasn’t a variety of strong performances today from a Villa point of view, but I do believe that Cash deserves some praise. The right-back at least showed the desire and quality when on the ball to maintain spells of possession within the opposition half, which is probably the biggest positive from a frustrating day at Villa Park.

Aston Villa v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images