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Randy.Stand At The Emirates

3 - 0
Aston Villa



Attendance: 60 056


It was another frustrating afternoon in the Capital for myself!

Me watching games in London doesn't bring much success I'm afraid. My record is only two victories I have ever seen in London. Charlton in 2003 and Arsenal last season. Apart from those two it has been many miserable visits for myself.

I was hoping today might bring the third victory in London I have ever seen. We arrived in the Emirates about an hour prior to kick off and found out the Villa side was unchanged with Emile Heskey passed fit to play.

Arsenal started the game brightly with Brad Friedel making a decent save from a tame strike by Eduardo.

Stephen Warnock had to clear from the goal mouth after Samir Nasri's free kick fell right at the feet of Eduardo. Denilson also had an opportunity on the edge of the box but his shot flew into the stand behind the goal.

Villa finally showed their attacking threat. Emile Heskey went close after being teed up by Gabby Agbonlahor. Ashley Young and Cuellar then both attempts which went wide. It was a solid defensive display and looked bright attacking in the first half and spirits were high and I felt we could definitely take something out of the game.

Arsenal started brightly and Carlos Cuellar was forced into clearing the ball off the goal line early in the second half. Brad Friedel then denied Arshavin with a brilliant stop. Cesc Fabregas was introduced. That was where the game swung horribly into the host's hands.

Arsenal won a free kick about 25 yards out and Fabregas curled his shot over the wall. 1-0. Brad Friedel had no chance.

Villa tried to get back into it and looked the more likely to score but then James Milner played a suicidal ball which fell to the Arsenal players who broke quickly and the ball was played through to Fabregas who made it 2-0. Game over. Frustrating as it looked like we were getting on top.

The Villa never gave up. Gabby Agbonlahor should have burst the net with a one on one but Almunia charged the ball down.

In the final minute, Diaby shot from the edge of the Villa area and made it 3-0 to the Arsenal. One word on the referee- Mr Phil Dowd. He actually got a lot of the key decisions correct but he got some what I'd call 'niggly' decisions wrong. At times it just seemed to be advantage to Arsenal as far as the referee was concerned.

The time when an Arsenal player just lay down on the ball was the worst for me. It was a clear obstruction to Agbonlahor going through. Gabby got frustrated and pushed someone and a free kick was given the other way. But it should never have got to that point in my opinion. I think 3-0 flattered the Gunners.

They deserved to win but 1-0 would have been correct. Even 2-0 would have been deserved but 3-0 was harsh on the Villa. We weren't that bad. I'm not reading too much into it. A tough place to go the Emirates. We have had a hectic schedule recently and i think the boys deserve some plaudits for the way they have been playing recently, today was a bit of an off day but there's a chance to put that right on Tuesday night against Liverpool.

Keep the Faith guys.

Up the Villa.

Star Player

Emile Heskey

Player Ratings

Friedel 7

Made a couple of good saves, couldn't do a lot with goals.

L.Young 7

Solid. Made some good tackles.

Dunne 7

Solid enough. Couldn't do anything about goals (especially as he was on the left wing when the 2nd went in).

Cuellar 7

Solid again.

Warnock 7


Milner 6

Poorest games of the season, his ball was the key to Arsenal's 2nd goal.

Young 6

Poor game. Very poor. Suspended for Liverpool game.

Downing 6

Quiet. Didn't do a lot.

Petrov 7

Ran his heart out, got caught by the pace of Arsenal some times.

Heskey 8

Best player in claret and blue. Held it up well. No support elsewhere though. Game turned when he went off.

Gabby 6

Didn't have a lot going for him. Should have buried the chance at 2-0 though.

Carew 5

Waste of space on that performance.

Delph 5

Seemed lively, wasn't on long enough.

Date:Monday December 28 2009
Time: 10:37AM


I'm quite generous in my match ratings, wouldn't read too much into them.
28/12/2009 11:09:00
pretty good assessment 3-0 was harsh
28/12/2009 12:00:00
I can't believe I heard 1 of our fans during a rant on the radio, label James Milner as lazy! Lazy my A S S! He may have had a very rare off day but you can't ever question his effort. "Jimmy Milner is Brazilian, We won't sell for 50 million, On the wing he's f*-cking brilliant, We Love Jimmy Milner!" Bring on Liverpool. UTV.
28/12/2009 12:26:00
Personally think your report & ratings are spot on....thought the defence stood up well considering how much defending we had to do & 1st goal was from a dead ball & 2nd from milly's awful pass....thought it was one of the midfields worst display other than petrov who was battling hard & was one of the rare players who passed to a villa shirt....Gabby did not hold ball up well at all, although he did not get much service of any quality & heskey put in a good shift...felt sorry for freidel who did little if anything wrong...ashley young's form becoming very worrying for me & feel missing a match will do him or us no harm at all...2-0 would of been fair, & as mentioned did not get carried away with other good results & will not get despondent with this one, will hopefully fire us up for 2mora in what is a huge game for bith clubs...been a great first half of the season, lets hope we've learnt from ;ast year & can enjoy the 2nd part...either way its gonna be a roller coaster...up the villa!!!!
28/12/2009 12:26:00
Probably an arm chair fan who does not no to much about the game stu...he was pants yesterday but has been fantastic all season, and if you wanted to have a go about our milly, then lazy would not be something you could say about him...a really good player who I think will still improve!!!!Jimmy Milner is brazilian.................................................................
28/12/2009 12:30:00
Should take points off for diving (ash ) especially when its gonna cost us in the next game .
28/12/2009 13:14:00
One thing I noticed is that the lads never dropped their heads, we need to brush this one off and go destroy the pool. UTV
28/12/2009 14:57:00
If a poor performance gets a 6 how crap does a player have to be to get a 1?
villan of the north
28/12/2009 15:21:00
One thing you surely can't ever say about Milner is he is lazy? He covers every blade of bloody grass ffs! Must have been an armchair fan who pays very little attention. He did a sloppy pass yesterday, ok, even the best have off days but lazy?! Baffling! lol
The Fear
28/12/2009 17:41:00
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