Ultimate Aston Villa Player Ratings, as Villa Attacking Firepower Blows Away Gunners

Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa

Back-to-back defeats put a dampener on what has been a very good start to the season, for Aston Villa. A chance to get back on track against an improving Arsenal faced the Villans. The last trip to the Emirates was in very different times, as Villa threw away two leads to lose 3-2 against ten men. Though, this wasn’t the most recent fixture against the Gunners, who could forget Trezeguet’s back-post heroics at the end of last season?

The one change made by Dean Smith was an enforced one, as Trezeguet replaced Bertrand Traore, who has a thigh strain. Neil Taylor and Anwar El Ghazi made their way onto the bench. The lack of a back-up centre-back, would mean Ahmed Elmohamady filling in if there was an injury.

It was almost the perfect start to proceedings for Dean Smith’s men, as John McGinn lashed home a Jack Grealish pass. VAR however, had other ideas, and found that Ross Barkley was in the Arsenal Goalkeeper’s eyeline. Villa then slumped a little, as Arsenal pressed. McGinn nearly turned from hero to zero, as his short back-pass almost let Aubameyang in.

A move that was beginning to look overworked from Barkley, Targett and Grealish then sprung into life down the Villa left. Targett fizzed a low cross toward Trezeguet, who was prevented from scoring by Bukayo Saka, as the Arsenal youngster jabbed into his own net. Villa went ahead without having a single attempt, the ultimate clinical first half display.

Villa hung on early on in the second half, as Arsenal had a handful of chances that could have leveled the scoring. Then the Villans clicked into gear, a sensational Douglas Luiz cross made its way into Ross Barkley, who volleyed it onto the head of Ollie Watkins. Before the Villa faithful could begin to get nervous about giving up a lead, Emi Martinez distributed the ball to Jack Grealish who ran the length of the pitch before playing in Watkins for the third.

Some Arsenal fans were sure to be shouting ‘STOP THE COUNT’ at their TV sets, and thankfully for them it did. It wasn’t for a lack of trying on the Villans part though, as they had several more chances to add to the score line.

After the international break, it’s Brighton for Villa, which should be marked down as potentially another three points after this complete performance.

Player Ratings

Emi Martinez – 8

Against his former club, Emi Martinez showed Arsenal exactly why some fans were angry to see him go. The Argentinian ‘keeper prevented John McGinn from embarrassing himself in the first half, as he stopped Aubameyang from opening the scoring, off a poor back pass. His distribution is great, and he emphasised this with quick thinking, to roll the ball to Jack Grealish before the third goal.

Matty Cash – 8

Matty Cash was up against one of the quickest and most dynamic attacking threatsin the league, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and he did fantastically. The energetic right-back threw in some big tackles, and added to the Villa attack without over extending. His three tackles, three interceptions and six clearances were the highest of any of the Villa defence.

Ezri Konsa – 8

Ezri Konsa cotinues to show what a reliable defender he is becoming. The 23-year-old was caught out of position a couple of times, but others in the team filled in for him. Konsa’s defending at the near post from crosses is brilliant, as he got across to cut out crosses from Aubameyang and co.

Tyrone Mings – 8

Whipping the ball from the attacker’s toes, clearing crosses, making blocks, Tyrone Mings did everything that was asked of him at the back. Many of the England defender’s long passes didn’t come off, but that is the only real downside to a very accomplished performance from Villa’s defensive leader.

Matt Targett – 8

The offensive elements of Matt Targett’s game shone. The left-back helped set up the first disallowed goal, and the opener, as he linked up with Grealish and Barkley. His defensive play was much more pleasing too, and despite being beaten by Hector Bellerin once or twice, he prevented any dangerous opportunities down the Arsenal right.

Douglas Luiz – 8.5

Back at his best, Douglas Luiz was pivotal for Villa from start to finish. The Brazilian knicked the ball in midfield several times, and despite being disciplined, still aided the Villa attack. The ball to Ross Barkley for the second goal was truly sublime, and showcased the phenomenal technique that the midfielder possesses. Douglas’ positional sense also came to Villa’s rescue in the second half, as Ezri Konsa gave the ball away on the left. There was Douglas to ably defend and prevent a dangerous attack.

John McGinn – 8

After his disallowed goal in the opening minute, John McGinn had a ropey start to the game. Several misplaced and badly weighted passes put Villa under pressure. The Scotsman kept on working in the centre of the park, and the hard work paid off. Mohamed Elneny for Arsenal was chasing shadows as he attempt feebily to keep McGinn under wraps.

Trezeguet – 8.5

The word ‘shift’ is always one of the next words out of people’s mouths when talking about Trezguet. The Egyptian’s work-rate is incredible. Up and down the line he goes, defending, attacking, and pressing. To emphasise just how impressive Trez’s defensive work is, the entire Arsenal team combined (7) only made one more tackle than the tireless winger (6). A tremendous effort from Trezeguet.

Ross Barkley – 8.5

After some disappointing showings in recent weeks, Ross Barkley needed to show his early season form wasn’t just a flash in the pan. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder’s play with Jack Grealish is brilliant to watch, and the pass to send in Matt Targett to set up the first goal was marvelous. The only downside to his performance was his set piece delivery, as bar from one, all of his corners were dreadful.

Jack Grealish © – 9

Jack Grealish put together an explosive display in London, that Guy Fawkes would have been proud of. Villa’s skipper was at the centre of the attack, as he is expected to be, and he was unlucky to come away with only one assist to his name. Bellerin and Willian didn’t know what to do as Grealish and Barkley combined to create fluid attacking moves down the Villa left. The pace, strength and weight of pass to set up Ollie Watkins for the third, was outstanding.

Ollie Watkins – 9 MOTM

When Ollie Watkins was starved of service for periods of the first half, he still managed to have an impact on the game. Villa’s record signing held up the ball and dominated the Arsenal defence whenever required. He danced away from tackles, passed well and proved what a complete striker he is. Then when presented with the chances, Watkins didn’t pass up the opportunity. Granted, he couldn’t miss the first goal, but he got into the right position and was rewarded. There will be many more goals to come from the ex-Brentford man.

Use code MOMS10 for 10% off selected items below

Off the Bench

Anwar El Ghazi (87) – n/a

Much like Donald Trump’s attempts to keep hold of the US Presidency, Anwar El Ghazi’s introduction was pretty pointless. It did allow a tired Trezeguet to have a six minute rest, when the game was very much over.

Manager Rating

Dean Smith – 9

Well, this is one way for Dean Smith to shut the doubters up, after the previous two defeats. An all-round fantastic performance, three goals and a clean sheet, against an Arsenal side that has been gradually improving. Though the previous defeats may have tempered expectations, this highlights just how good this team can be, and the wheels haven’t fallen off as some on social media suggested.

A 100% win record away from home, is so far removed from the dismal performances away from Villa Park last term. Two wins in 19 games on the road last season, three in three this time round. The work on the training ground to get the team playing direct when there is space in behind, but intricate and quick around the box is clear to see. There is also a greater element of knowing when and when not to take risks, after throwing away so many points. The influence and Premier League know-how of Craig Shakespeare can only have helped this. This team is moving forward, it’s just a shame we have to wait two weeks to watch them again.



  1. … ignoring the trolls, and absolutely not feeding them. Enjoyed last night’s game so much. Not only winning, but playing great football. Thought we were awful against Leeds, but still think the Southampton game was just one of those games where everything they hit went in (apart from their first which was just poor marking). Going to Arsenal and spanking them? Terrific. Have a feeling though that no fans in stadia is having a big effect on results and home advantage. But regardless of whether we are home or away, our next three games look very winnable. Shows the progress we have made. Optimistically looking at nine points. Last season I would have been hoping for four or five

  2. Right let’s have less politics & more footie ! As for El Gahzi he’s a member of the squad & a few minutes on pitch is better than none & there may be a time when he is needed to play for real especially as I suspect Smith will not do as MON used to & keep using the same starting 11 untill they drop . And @ times El Gahzi shows real potential it’s just a shame he has not yet learnt to use it for the whole 90 mins

  3. The Pentagon have restricted the airspace over Biden’s house. I guess they should stop reading the MSM, right?

    Back under your bridge, troll.

    Also, excellent team performance and really enjoy these these player ratings. Keep up the good work, MOMS.

  4. Simone- I’m an Ex-Pat (and avid Villa fan) living in Miami. Chill. 2016 was a perfect storm for Chump to win… 4 years later he is voted out (for many reasons I’m sure) mainly due to his mis-handling of COVID. Just like people said 4 years ago: “let’s give our new President the benefit of the doubt and back who has been elected.” I’m usually on here dissing Coach Dean- my hat goes off to him for yesterday’s great game plan. I hope we can go on a great run of results. This league is SO wide open… Cheers, AM

  5. “Much like Donald Trump’s attempts to keep hold of the US Presidency, Anwar El Ghazi’s introduction was pretty pointless.”

    You’re seriously claiming that’s an apolitical point?

    The 70.5 million who voted for him (plus any politically aware reader of your site) would disagree, because of the salient fact Trump has every right to vigorously try to fight for the Presidency, given the strong possibility of fraud.

    I wonder if your writer is even aware of what’s going on beyond the headlines.

    (Your “here come the bots!” is not an argument btw).

  6. Hold up. You do know the election is still not officially called, right?

    Just because MSM has called it, that’s meaningless.

    How is he a “sore loser” if he has not actually lost at this point?

    There are recounts right now ongoing and this will go to the courts.

    Remember Gore was proclaimed President in 2000 by the same news outlets…

    Keep politics out of this website.

    • Here come the bots! I’ll be happy to issue a correction come the end of January, if DT is still the president. I have to point out though, there is much more chance of Villa winning the Premier League title than that happening.

      PS – It’s you fellas that are bringing ‘politics’ to this website via this comments section.

      P.P.S – Don’t come on the site and tell me what should be on it.

    • The only people expressing political views are you and the other person who can’t view life past their binary prism. Politics has nothing to do with it, as neither the writer or myself vote in your election. The reference is to the character of DT. If you worship him, then you have bigger problems to address, then coming on here to cry, when we’re trying to enjoy a magnificent Villa victory.

  7. I should add, it’s great to see Barkeley and especially Watkins up front. They are reasonably big, but have quick feet and skills, so can keep the ball away from opponents. At times recently we’ve retreated backwards, and not been able to hold the ball up (let alone have the pace to turn opponents around)- our only tactic to go forwards was Grealish, and he was easily stopped by grabbing his shirt. This year we aren’t just providing ‘attacking practice’, but are always getting on the attack ourselves.

    And I think that teams are putting someone on the back post, not when we have corners, but whenever Jack shoots. He and Trez are unlucky to not have more goals this year.

  8. I don’t know whether we learned anything new, but having what we do know refreshed was nice. We have a really good plan A- so if the opponents can’t stop us playing like that, we can skewer them. I don’t want to give less credit than we deserve though- that was a top performance, and much better than expected.

    I mean, we still have Elmo as our CB cover, and we don’t have many tactical or personnel changes up our sleeve during the game, so we’ll hit a wall at some point. But going toe to toe with teams in the Premier league, knowing that both sides could smash the other at any moment, is what it’s all about.

  9. “Much like Donald Trump’s attempts to keep hold of the US Presidency, Anwar El Ghazi’s introduction was pretty pointless.”

    Why alienate a big chunk of your readers and subscribers? We don’t need to know your political views.

    • But the writer does not express a political view…he’s referencing a certain sore loser man-child’s behaviour. Unfortunately, US politics wasn’t about politics any more, it was about Trump. Getting rid of such an ungracious man is good news for both sides of the US political spectrum. It’s a shame the world has become so dumb and binary in its discourse, or you’d realise this.

Comments are closed.