Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal
The trip to Villa was important for our season, a victory and we will be in with a remote chance of the title, anything else and it’s a straight fight fro 4th place.
Injuries to Fabregas, Djourou and long term absentees Walcott, Eduardo and Rosicky meant we entered the tie with trepidation. Villa should have been 4-0 up before we moved into the half but we still managed to take the lead through Denilson. Arsenal extended their lead when Diaby took the ball on the wing played a great ball to Eboue who threaded back to Diaby and he made no mistake. Arsenal had several chances to make it three.
Villa got a penalty when Gallas was caught wrong footed and from then on we were hanging on to a 2-1 lead. The only problem with Arsenal is that we do not know how to defend. Midfielders do not track back; Eboue never came back to help Sagna, whilst Denilson and Ramsey were too interested in going forward. Give most teams in the Premier League a 2-0 away lead and they would defend with six players, give Arsenal a 2-0 lead and everyone attacks, full-backs, central midfielders even centre backs.
Four minutes injury time, do we start to pull players back, do we seek to kill the game off, no. Villa attack, Clichy, a second half substitute for Nasri, Denilson, Diaby and Ramsey all drawn to the ball, the ball goes into our area, we have four defenders against three attackers. This is at a time we are leading 2-1, why wasn’t Denilson and Ramsey in the box? The ball fell to Knight, unmarked who got the equaliser.
We have thrown two games now, Tottenham and Aston Villa, when we led by two goals. This is down to inexperience in our midfield, they need to learn to defend and sacrifice their attacking instincts.