Arsenal’s best and worst players in 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa

Arsenal’s best and worst players in 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa

Arsenal spurned the chance to go top of the Premier League on Sunday, losing 2-0 to Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta’s side had gone into the game buoyed by the prospect of taking a lead in the title race heading into the final six weeks of the 2023/24 campaign after Liverpool’s defeat to Crystal Palace, however a rather abysmal second half ensured that it would be Man City – not Arsenal – who’d be sitting pretty in first place after the weekend’s games.

Goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins ultimately secured the win for Villa on the day, with both coming late in the second half.

Here’s Arsenal’s best and worst players in the defeat, according to 90min’s esteemed player ratings.

Martin Odegaard: 7/10

Odegaard is one of the few who held his own / Catherine Ivill – AMA/GettyImages

One of the first questions Mikel Arteta was asked in his post-match interview was ‘why did you take off Martin Odegaard?’

That tells you all you need to know about Odegaard’s performance.

In the first half, the Arsenal captain was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch. Odegaard was at the heart of basically everything positive the Gunners did during a pretty positive first 45 at the Emirates – winning 100% of his tackles, five duels and creating two decent chances for his teammates.

Arsenal fans will be worried about the fact that Arteta confirmed theri club captain suffered a knock which led to him being subbed off on Sunday.

Oleksandr Zinchenko: 4/10

Poor performance / Catherine Ivill – AMA/GettyImages

Honestly, there were quite a few options for the ‘Arsenal’s worst player vs Aston Villa’ section of this article.

Gabriel was all over the place, Gabriel Jesus struggled, Bukayo Saka wasn’t himself, but the worst of the bunch was Oleksandr Zinchenko.

The left-back position has been a notable problem for Arteta in recent months, and judging by Zinchenko’s performance on Sunday it’s very easy to see why. During the second half of the game in particular, the ex-Man City man was thoroughly disappointing.

If you’ve been on X since the full-time whistle, you’ll likely have seen at least one post highlighting Zinchenko either losing the ball deep in his own half, miss-controlling a simple pass, or – most criminally – standing five yards deeper than his defensive teammates for absolutely no reason.

It was a bad outing for Zinchenko – to say the least.

Dishonourable mention

Gabriel Jesus: 4/10

Darwin Nunez and Gabriel Jesus are two hard-working forwards who get involved in the game as much as they possibly can, but the fact that Liverpool and Arsenal have them starting up front while Manchester City have the hyper-clinical Erling Haaland is the main reason why neither the Gunners nor the Reds will win the Premier League this season.

Frustratingly for Arsenal fans, Sunday’s game was business as usual for Jesus in an Arsenal. The Brazilian was lively, but ultimately lacked any semblance of quality on the ball in the opposition penalty area.


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