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 EPL: Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa

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KomentarNaslov komentara: EPL: Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa   Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:42 pm

Barclays Premier League

15th Nov 2008

KO 15:00

Ground: Emirates Stadium

Att: 60,047

An own goal from Gael Clichy and a strike from Gabriel Agbonlahor handed Aston Villa a deserved 2-0 triumph over Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Villa impressed throughout the encounter and were handed a golden opportunity to break the deadlock in the first half when Ashley Young was felled by Theo Walcott in the penalty area.

Young, however, saw his spot-kick saved by Manuel Almunia, but Martin O'Neill's troops were rewarded for their endeavour on 70 minutes when Clichy headed a dangerous cross past his own goalkeeper.

The Gunners looked unconvincing in their search for a leveller, and Villa wrapped up the result in the 80th minute as Agbonlahor raced onto a deep clearance to fire home and seal the visitors' first win over their opponents in 20 attempts.


The result cancelled out Arsenal's good work of last week when they beat Manchester United, and the club's Carling Cup stars may now be breathing down the necks of the current team following the type of defeat which has undermined the Gunners' recent title challenges.

Villa were played off the park by Chelsea during their last trip to London but there was no repeat and they should have gone into the interval ahead, regardless of Young's miss from the spot.

Arsenal's passing was sloppy and their attack lacked an edge while they had Nicklas Bendtner up front on his own, with Emmanuel Adebayor only on the bench after recovering from an ankle injury.

Carlos Vela and Aaron Ramsey were among the substitutes but there was no room for the precocious talent of Jack Wilshere. His time may be coming sooner than expected.

Wenger used his programme notes to highlight the speed of Agbonlahor and Young and they caused the hosts all sorts of problems, with a warning sign coming in the opening minute when Young fired straight at Almunia.

Brad Friedel fumbled a straightforward shot from Cesc Fabregas, with Curtis Davies required to hack the ball clear as William Gallas lurked, but apart from that it was Villa dictating play.

Young missed his penalty in the 20th minute after earning the spot-kick himself.

Mikael Silvestre had cleared only as far as Young after a deep cross caused chaos, with Walcott sliding in when the Villa winger surged back in the box.

Almunia went the right way with the weak penalty but it still required a brave tackle from Gallas as Young chased the rebound.

Young may not have even been taking the penalty had Gareth Barry not been injured in the build-up, with Fabregas getting a yellow card for clattering into the England midfielder.

Villa were still taking the game to the hosts and former Arsenal trainee Steve Sidwell volleyed straight at Almunia.

Young almost atoned for his penalty miss with a drive that went just wide of Almunia's post, and he had another effort that went straight at the Arsenal goalkeeper after a mazy run.

Almunia was made to work harder when Agbonlahor pulled the ball back for Barry, the Spaniard down sharply as Villa threatened again.

Arsenal were struggling for fluency so Wenger made his move just after the hour mark, with Adebayor coming on to replace Abou Diaby.

Now playing a 4-4-2 formation, Arsenal appeared more threatening, although Wenger still looked frustrated on the touchline. Vela was the next to come on, replacing Bendtner, but it was Villa who took the lead.

Sagna was injured during the build up after falling awkwardly, with Villa raiding forward. Young crossed for Agbonlahor and the ball glanced past Almunia into his far corner as Clichy challenged.

Agbonlahor claimed it and there was no argument about the second when he chased a long ball, held off Gallas and fired home.

ARSENAL TEAM:
Manuel Almunia
Bacary Sagna(71)
William Gallas
Mikael Silvestre
Gael Clichy
Cesc Fabregas
Denilson
Abou Diaby(61)
Nicklas Bendtner(68)
Theo Walcott
Samir Nasri

ARSENAL SUBSTITUTES:
Lukasz Fabianski
Kolo Toure (71)
Johan Djourou
Alexandre Song
Aaron Ramsey
Emmanuel Adebayor (61)
Carlos Vela (68)
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