Thursday, February 29

Early Watkins goal sinks Arsenal

With these kinds of results that Arteta claims to be so dominant, Arsenal have now lost points to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Villa.

As Arsenal suffered another injury setback with Thomas Partey coming off in the second half, Ollie Watkins’ early goal was enough for the victory.
Arsenal’s full-back Soares converted a strong interception by Gabriel into a prime opportunity for the home team in those first two minutes.

With the return pass, Gabriel was short and Traore interfered. It was too too quick for the full-back and picking out Watkins in the area. Watkins shoots, deflects off Rob Holding and Ryan had no chance. In the first half, Villa produced the best opportunities.

Most notably an exciting flick and direction switch from Traore on 31 minutes. It had the defense of Arsenal responding to the front door while he let himself in through the back. But he could put it into the net. Martinez was checked time to time by Arsenal as well. There was a moment when Konsa could have gotten himself sent off but Kavanagh played the advantage before giving him a yellow card.

Ross Barkley and John McGinn forced saves from Ryan after the break. While Nicolas Pepe was Arsenal’s constant threat, but failed to score. After the hour mark, Partey limped off and Jack Grealish almost doubled Villa’s lead. But to deny him, Ryan created a fine save. Arsenal almost equalized late, but a close range shot from Martin Odegaard blazed over the counter. In the latter stages of the game, Watkins also saw a strike go just past the post, but Villa survived to secure an important victory.

The side of Mikel Arteta remains in the league’s 10th place, but if results do not go their way, they could end up in the bottom half. Villa recovered against West Ham United from their midweek defeat and are five points from the top four positions with a game in hand.

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