Morning all.

What a game of football Aston Villa and Arsenal dished up. It really did have everything. A Hollywood actor in the stands, handbags on the pitch, hefty challenges, four fantastic goals and two  more late in the second half which were comical. The time wasting efforts of Emi Martinez bit him on the backside in the end. Talking of comical, I thought Mikel Arteta’s impersonation of referee Simon Hooper was rather good. If not a little naughty.

Mikel Arteta made two changes to the eleven which started against Man City with Leandro Trossard coming for Gabriel Martinelli and Ben White back in for Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Within five minutes, Aston Villa were ahead. Arsenal were in Villa’s half when Matty Cash nicked the ball off of Olesksandr Zinchenko, a bit too easily in my opinion, then hoofed his pass into the path of Ollie Watkins who shook off William Saliba with ease before firing his shot past Aaron Ramsdale and into the back of the net. All three Arsenal players could have done a whole lot better. Ramsdale was faffing around in possession a bit too much and nearly paid a heavy price for dawdling on the ball but thankfully, he got away with it.

Then we equalised thanks to a wonderful strike from Bukayo Saka. Mings headed a Ben White cross clear, at least he thought he had, but it landed at the feet of Saka. One bounce, a left footed rocket and Martinez was well beaten.

Just as I thought the players would settle, take control of the game even, Villa scored again. Arsenal’s defensive skills weren’t exactly at their best but the goal was very good. Passing, pace and a fine finish. The kind of goal Arsenal were scoring before the FA Cup fixture in Manchester.

Half-time came and went and Arsenal were desperately in need of an equaliser at least but as the players left the pitch for their slice of orange, I couldn’t see where one was coming from. The players looked lost, down and definitely out.

Eddie Nketiah hit the woodwork with a header begging to be buried into the back of the net and then we were awarded a corner. Bukayo Saka played it short to Martin Odegaard, our captain then played his pass to Oleksandr Zinchenko who was in acres of space on the edge of the box and he took a chance. A second wonderful strike by Arsenal from distance which was not only on target, but left Martinez with no chance of saving. Surely to goodness we’d hold on for a point at least.

We should have taken the lead before we eventually did though. One of the rare moments Eddie Nketiah did something really good was when he nicked the ball off of Konsa out wide, squared the ball for Captain Odegaard who had the whole goal to aim at but somehow, he dragged his shot wide of the post. He looked devastated. Villa then had a chance to take the lead through Bailey who first controlled a high ball really well, drove towards goal and rifled a shot towards goal. Ramsdale somehow got a touch to tip the ball onto the woodwork. Brilliant.

The 90 minutes were up but time wasting meant there’d be an added six minutes. Three minutes into the six, Jorginho hit a shot from twenty yards out. It smashed against the woodwork and as the ball rebounded, hit Martinez on the back of his head before landing nicely over the line. Welcome to Arsenal Jorginho!

We had one more goal in us. Villa had a corner, Martinez, against his manager’s plans, decided to go up the pitch for it. We headed it clear, Fabio Vieira picked up the clearance and ran with the ball before playing a lovely ball pass into the path of Gabriel Martinelli. He ran, and ran, and ran…

2 – 4 and Arsenal went home with three massive points in the bag….

Arsenal weren’t at their best, the defending wasn’t always very good, our attacking play unimaginative and for large periods of the game, Aston Villa looked the better team. But, when Arsenal were down and looking out, they didn’t give up. They fought long and hard, and despite looking totally devoid of confidence they earned, and I mean earned, three very big points. The players showed character and determination and as much as I love seeing Arsenal win games a lot easier than yesterday, I think that performance and result will do the whole squad a world of good.

Later in the day, Nottingham Forest scored late to draw with Man City and Chelsea dropped three more points at home against Southampton. Brighton were beaten at home by Fulham, Brentford were held to a draw by Crystal Palace and Newcastle Utd lost their match against Liverpool.

Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Leicester City.

Catch up in the comments..