A good, solid win to take us to the top of the table; just what the doctor ordered. Before the game, there were a few concerns about player fatigue which turned out to be justified, but we had more than enough to blow past a Villa side that look to have accepted their relegation fate. They posed very little threat for large portions of the game, and it is safe to say that this was one of the easiest wins we will pick up over the course of the entire season.
However, we should not take the win for granted; our players did a good job to secure a win away from home. The midfield axis of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil paid massive dividends, and up front Giroud seems to be in the best form of his career. Our defence was also very well organised, which was good to see. Often we have given away sloppy goals to teams on the counter, but yesterday’s display from the back line was thoroughly professional and something that will hopefully continue throughout the season.
Here are our player ratings for the game.
Petr Cech – 7.0
Typical solid performance from the veteran. He had a near flawless display and restricted Villa to a handful of chances on the way to his 169th clean sheet in the Premier League.
Hector Bellerin – 7.0
A much more confident display for the youngster. He looked assured in defence and got forward a few times as well. Although he is yet to regain the explosive impact he had earlier in the season, he seems to have recovered well from his injury.
Per Mertesacker – 7.5
Confident, classy performance from the giant defender, just what you want to see. Mertesacker dealt with all threats comfortably, and made hardly any mistakes throughout the game.
Laurent Koscielny – 8.0
Great showing from the Frenchman, as he dealt with Villa attacks with ease and also went forward regularly to kill threats in midfield.
Nacho Monreal – 7.5
Yet another efficient showing from Monreal. He defended well and attacked whenever he could, and the opponents were never able to really pressure him.
Mathieu Flamini – 6.5
Dropped out of the game at times, and could have contributed more.
Aaron Ramsey – 8.5
MotM. Ramsey is a totally different player when played centrally, and the impact he has had over the past few games has been stunning. Yesterday, he was all over the ball, creating chances as well as threatening in the box. A proper box-to-box showing from the Welshman.
Mesut Ozil – 8.0
Not quite up to his recent standards, but still an excellent performance from Mesut Ozil. He picked up an assist when he unselfishly played in Ramsey while through on goal, at a place where most other players would have taken the shot. This ability to think for the team is what makes Ozil truly special.
With our next game over a week away, the German should have more than enough time to rest up and be prepared for the clash against Manchester City.
Joel Campbell – 6.5
A sub-par performance, especially after his display against Olympiacos. Campbell was rightfully subbed off early, and will need to work on his consistency if he wants a regular starting place.
Olivier Giroud – 8.0
Was very active in and around the box, and caused the Villa defence all sorts of problems. Did not manage to score through open play, but flawlessly converted a penalty after Walcott was fouled.
Theo Walcott – 7.5
A much improved showing from the Englishman, as his pace and craft allowed him to threaten Villa from out wide and also cut inside. He looks to be back to his usual self, and starting both him and Giroud together is giving us a lot of potential up front. Now all we need is for Sanchez to return ahead of the City game.