Unai Emery was disappointed following Aston Villa’s second 2-4 defeat at Villa Park in a row.
“I am very disappointed, very frustrated. It is embarrassing to lose 4-2 in two matches in front of our own supporters.
“Our performance, collectively, was poor. To concede eight goals at home in two matches is not normal and performances can’t continue like that.
I must admit, I was disappointed in the defeat but at the same time proud of the performance against an Arsenal side chasing the Premier League title. And on another day, with a bit of luck, it could have been so different.
Report: Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal
Unai Emery surprised many with his team selection. Following on from the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, Phillipe Coutinho, John McGinn, Alex Moreno and Matty Cash replaced Leon Bailey, Jacob Ramsey, Lucas Digne and Ashley Young who all dropped to the bench. A fit again Tyrone Mings returned, replacing Calum Chambers.
The home side took a surprise early lead when Cash won the ball off Oleksandr Zivchenko and played a lofted pass over the top for Ollie Watkins to chase. The forward battled with William Saliba before driving a low finish past Aaron Ramsdale into the far corner.
The lead was shortlived however and the Premier League title chasers were level after 16 minutes. The returning Mings should have cleared Ben White’s cross for a corner but instead nodded it straight into the path of Bukayo Sake, who smashed a left-footed half-volley into the back of the net.
Villa were soon back in the lead as they showed Mikel Arteta’s men that they wouldn’t be a walkover. Emi Buendia dummied Moreno’s cross with the ball falling to Coutinho who fired the home side into the lead for the second time in the game.
Emery’s side managed to go into half-time in the lead but once again, Arsenal were back in the game just after the hour mark through Zivchenko.
Villa were caught out once again from a short corner. Martin Odegaard’s pass which looked to be going to Saka found an unmarked Zivchenko on the edge of the box who drove the ball home. 2-2.
The visitors began to pile on the pressure and came close first through Eddie Nketiah when Odegaard but good defensive work from Ezri Konsa meant the forward could only shoot over the ball. Odegaard then had a chance himself moments later when Nketiah dispossessed Konsa and squared it to his captain but the midfield side-footed wide from just 12 yards out.
Villa wasn’t sitting back and had chances to win it themselves. Substitute Bailey came close to making it 3-2 when he brilliantly controlled the ball and charged towards goal before hitting a powerful effort which Ramsdale palmed onto the cross-bar.
The home side then had the first big effort of stoppage time when another substitute, Jhon Duran raced clear and forced a save from Ramsdale following a curling effort.
Then came the heartbreaker. The reason I stated that another day luck could have been on our side. It was Arsenal’s day and the luck they needed, they got.
Jorginho hit a first-time effort from the edge of the box that hit the bar and rebounded off Emi Martinez’s head and into the net.
And then just to add salt to the wound, Martinez went up for a corner late on stoppage time and Arsenal broke on the counter-attack for Gabriel Martinelli to score into an empty net.
You can look at this in two ways. Were we unlucky? I think so, I certainly felt we did enough to take something from the game. The other way is how Emery looked at the game. We did concede four goals for the second home game in a row despite playing well in both. Sounds pretty much like Leeds doesn’t it?
One thing I do like about Emery is if we were the side who snatched it late on, I don’t think he would have settled because of us conceeding two goals. We have an elite manager who strives for the very best and anything but will do.
Up next for Villa, Everton at Goodison Park.
Arsenal fan here I’m left left feeling lucky but proud of my teams spirit commitment and work ethic.
I would suggest Villa fans feel U lucky but proud of their teams spirit commitment and work ethic.
Thanks for the comment Nigel. We are proud but this is something we have seen before and where we are as a club. I believe in time, with Unai, things will improve.