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Arsenal consolidates Top 4 position

BrotherA 1-0 win over hosts Aston Villa, Arsenal move four points clear of fifth-placed Man Utd in the Premier League on 19 March.

Bukayo Saka’s only goal in the 30th minute was enough to help Arsenal win three crucial points at Villa Park. If they win the remaining games, teacher and student Mikel Arteta will make it 7 points clear of Man Utd. A place in the Top 4 will almost go to Arsenal, helping them return to the Champions League for the first time in 6 years.

Saka's goal acrobatics.  Photo: Reuters

Saka’s goal acrobatics. Photo: Reuters

Arsenal are without goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and striker Gabriel Martinelli but this has had little effect on the visitors’ defence. In the third minute, Saka, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith-Rowe combined well to lead a shot that bounced over the bar.

Saka stood out on Arsenal’s right as he created more chances for Smith-Rowe to miss after 18 minutes. The visitors didn’t have much possession but created many better chances. 30 minutes, Saka converted the opportunity into a goal with a low shot from outside the penalty box. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez seemed to be out of sight so fell a bit slowly and did not have time to push the ball out. This was the 20-year-old midfielder’s 9th goal in the Premier League this season.

Saka not only scores goals, but also often appears in hot spots on the field. In the 33rd minute, he was hit in the ankle by midfielder Tyrone Mings with the bottom of his boot. Referee Andy Madley only gave Mings a yellow card, although Arsenal’s players reacted strongly and demanded that the midfielder be sent off.

Saka (center) played the game that stood out the most in the match.  Photo: EPL

Saka (center) played the game that stood out the most in the match. Photo: EPL

Steven Gerrard’s men were a huge disappointment when they couldn’t find a chance to finish until the 60th minute. Midfielder John McGinn received the ball outside the penalty area and cut his heart off the post. The opportunity came to Aston Villa also thanks to Arsenal being deeper in defense, preventing any gaps in the penalty box.

The hosts’ performance was so disappointing that many spectators left with about 10 minutes remaining. It was only in the last seconds that Aston Villa scored their first goal against Arsenal, from Philippe Coutinho’s free kick. But goalkeeper Bernd Leno did a fine job, flying in to push the ball out just as the final whistle sounded.

The Arsenal players ran to Leno for a hug, and Arteta screamed with joy. From the moment they finished bottom of the table after the third round, Arsenal were firmly in 4th place. This was also their fifth consecutive away win in the Premier League. This series of matches will take place if Arsenal win at Crystal Palace on 4/4 night.

Competition list

Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young, McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Ramsey (Bailey 69), Buendia (Traore 69), Watkins (Ings 82), Coutinho.

Armory: Leno, Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Odegaard (Holding 86), Partey, Xhaka, Saka (Pepe 69), Lacazette (Nketiah 79), Smith Rowe.

Hoang An

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