Arsenal gained a crucial three points in the Barclays Premier League with victory over Aston Villa thanks to goals from Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud. Read player ratings here.
Wojciech Szczesny: 7/10
Could do little about Aston Villa’s goal, which was more thanks to Santi Cazorla giving the ball away unnecessarily and Arsenal being caught out in a dangerous position. Saved or punched clear everything else.
Bacary Sagna – 8/10
Sagna never lets Arsenal down. The Gunners right back possesses remarkable athleticism, and is able to perform impeccably in defence and get forward to supply some wonderful crosses.
Nacho Monreal – 7/10
Nacho Monreal is a great backup left back to Kieran Gibbs, and got forward well to assist Jack Wilshere’s opening goal. May have broken his metatarsal.
Per Mertesacker – 8/10
Per Mertesacker is the true captain of this Arsenal squad, and rightly laid into Santi Cazorla for his error leading to the Aston Villa goal.
The Big F***ing German organised the Gunners’ defence impeccably after Benteke’s strike to help his team head back to north London with all three points.
Laurent Koscielny – 7/10
Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker have cultivated a fantastic partnership over the last two seasons, and although the Frenchman lost Benteke for Aston Villa’s only goal, that was largely down to Arsenal losing possession in a dangerous area and being caught out.
This may prove a valuable lesson in concentration for Koscielny, who has been near flawless for much of the campaign (since a nightmare against Aston Villa in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season).