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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Cazorla double seals 3 points for Arsenal

Arsenal returned to winning ways after defeats in the Cup competitions as Santi Cazorla's brace was enough to see off the challenge of Aston Villa. It was another far from convincing performance from the Gunners as once more there were frailties at the back for Villa's equaliser midway through the second half. The keeping asked more questions of Wojciech Szczesny who has been at fault for quite a few goals recently. It was also a game in which we weren't clinical enough or creative as we struggled to create many clear cut opportunities. Something which has seemed to be a recurring theme this season. Wenger named a few changes to the starting lineup as Jenkinson came in for the injured Sagna whilst Monreal returned to left back having been cup-tied in the week. There were also places for Diaby, who replaced Ramsey, and for Giroud who came in for Podolski.
Santi Cazorla scored two as Arsenal beat Villa
The first chance of the game fell to Wilshere as Giroud played him in but Guzan came out and managed to save the shot.

The next chance sprung the first goal of the game. Cazorla's first attempt was blocked by a defender but the ball came straight back to him and he fired the ball under Guzan and into the net.

Aston Villa hit straight back though as N'Zogbia broke away and then found Agbonlahor on the edge of the area but his shot was straight at Szczesny.

Agbonlahor then had another great chance but this time he failed to make contact with the ball after Weimann's driven cross was unable to be met.

All of the visitors chances were coming down the left hand side and Weimann then set up another chance. This time it fell to N'Zogbia but Szczesny did well to keep him at bay at the near post.

Arsenal's attacking play hadn't brought much joy since the goal but Theo Walcott then went close as his curling effort flew wide.

Giroud was to have the next chance but it was a difficult one, as after nice link up play with Cazorla, Guzan came out to break down the angle and then save the shot.

The score at half time was 1-0 to Arsenal.

The first chance of the second half came Giroud's way as he linked up well with Cazorla again but his shot was wayward and flew high and wide.

It was soon 1-1 though as Aston Villa scored against the run of play. Weimann picked the ball up inside his own half before running untroubled towards the area and then finding the net from 25 yards out.

Giroud was having the majority of the chances as soon after the goal he hit a speculative shot which was easy for Guzan. He then got another with 10 minutes left as Walcott's corner found him but his header crashed against the bar.

It was starting to become an extremely frustrating afternoon as Podolski then failed to meet Walcott's ball in when all it needed was a touch for it to find the net.

With five minutes left to play the Gunners were back in front. Wilshere played a lovely ball into Monreal who then cut the ball back for Cazorla to place the ball home. 

The final score finished Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa. 

The teams lineups:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson(76), Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Diaby(61), Wilshere, Walcott(90), Cazorla, Giroud. 
Subs: Mannone, Koscielny(90), Ramsey(61), Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Podolski(76). 

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Bennett, Delph, Westwood(72), N'Zogbia(82), Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke.
Subs: Marshall, Lichaj, Bowery, Sylla, El Ahmadi(72), Dawkins(82), Holman. 

My man of the match: Carl Jenkinson

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 60,079

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