Liverpool were tamed. Manchester City were shown the exit door. Surely the challenge of Aston Villa should not worry the Gunners enough. Mikel Arteta’s boys came to this match with enough hype. Aston Villa had won just once in their previous 13 Premier League games, and the sixth win from eight matches was on the cards for Arsenal.

But the banter era of Arsenal is not over!

Aston Villa were at risk of being relegated and anything less than a win would see them head into the final day of the season stuck in that bottom – A horrible place for Dean Smith’s men to be in.

Watford getting blattered earlier in the day was the first motivator for Villa, not only did it mean they could go level on points with a win but it meant that they only had to win 1-0 to leapfrog the Hornets on goal difference.

Villa began the game by sitting deep and blocked off passing lanes – they threw bodies in the way and made sure they were always aware and alert of the position of Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Then Villa took the lead!

A Jack Grealish corner just short of the half-hour mark was flicked on by Tyrone Mings. Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet was back in space but would have to take it down and try to engineer some space to shoot.

Trezeguet contorted his body, cocked his leg back like a shotgun, and then fired one with a great force – Emi Martinez could do nothing!

That goal was enough to seal the fate of the match.

Villa played the way they intended to – sit deep and let Captain Jack lead the way. Meanwhile, Trezeguet did chip in with a game-high 5 tackles, but it was Jack Grealish who took his side on his shoulders, winning  5 fouls, creating 3 chances, including what should have been an assist with a gorgeous run and pass to Keinan Davis and completing 3 dribbles.

At the back, Tyrone Mings made 8 clearances and managed to thwart Arsenal most of the time. Eddie Nketiah struck the post with a lovely header, but beyond that Pepe Reina was untroubled as Arsenal were prevented from having a single shot on target.

Mikel Arteta left the field with his heads down and he knows very well, changes don’t happen so quickly, but it takes a lot of time to revive the golden past.

Arsenal ill finish outside of the top six for the first time in 25 years! They will end the season with just four away wins, which equals a club record for a single season. They cannot qualify for Europe through the league and will have to hope for luck in the FA Cup. And they have finished below Tottenham for the fourth-straight season.


Aston Villa, on the other hand, would need to beat West Ham on the final day of the season, to feature in Premier League next season.

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