Aubameyang Stars As Arsenal Triumph Over Aston Villa
Written by darling on September 23, 2019
Ten-man Arsenal twice came from a goal down to claim a much-needed 3-2 win over Aston Villa in dramatic fashion thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s free-kick six minutes from time at the Emirates on Sunday.
The Gunners’ winless run in the Premier League seemed set to stretch to four games when John McGinn gave Villa the lead and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s sending-off four minutes before half-time gave Unai Emery’s men a mountain to climb.
Nicolas Pepe’s first Arsenal goal from the penalty spot briefly brought the Gunners level, but Wesley soon restored Villa’s lead.
Arsenal heart and commitment was questioned after blowing a two-goal lead to draw at Watford last weekend.
But they showed no little spirit as Calum Chambers looped home an equaliser before Aubameyang took centre stage to rifle home a free-kick from the edge of the area.
A vital three points, which lifts Arsenal up to fourth, is a huge boost for Emery, who has faced questions in recent weeks over his ability to lead the Gunners back to the Champions League next season.
The Spaniard still has to find the right balance in midfield to protect an ailing defence, but with Aubameyang and Pepe in attack, Arsenal always look capable of scoring.
Maitland-Niles’s nightmare afternoon began after barely a minute when he blazed over Arsenal’s best chance of the first half.
The right-back then dragged down Anwar El Ghazi for an early booking that was to prove costly.
McGinn was a constant threat to the Arsenal defence as the Scottish international twice tested Bernd Leno from outside the box.
However, the hosts did not heed those warning shots as McGinn was allowed to ghost in at the far post to turn home El Ghazi’s cross on 20 minutes.
Maitland-Niles then naively dived into a sliding challenge with Neil Taylor and saw a second yellow.
Emery sacrificed 18-year-old Buyako Saka on his first Premier League start for Chambers to fill the void at right-back.