In holding with this actually bonkers Premier League season, Aston Villa – who shipped seven goals of their previous two games – travelled to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday evening and put the Gunners to the sword 3-0.
It wasn’t fairly on the extent of the cruel efficiency that saw them best Liverpool 7-2 simply over a month in the past, but it wasn’t far off it.
At the back Matty Cash resembled a brick wall, registering three interceptions, six clearances, two blocks and three tackles. The ex-Nottingham Forest man also managed to prohibit his reverse number, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a grand complete of zero makes an attempt on goal – the first this has ever occurred on the Emirates.
He wasn’t the one member of the Villa backline to impress both. Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings have been silky easy at centre-back and left-back also Matt Targett played his position, offering the cross that led to Villa’s first goal.
Also key to the construct up of Villa’s opener was their best performer, Ross Barkley. Since arriving on loan from Chelsea, the 26-year-old has slotted in properly. There was at all times a feeling that this was precisely the kind of move Barkley wanted, but even nonetheless the outcomes have been shocking.
Often lost within the shuffle at Stamford Bridge, his transition from wonderkid to considerably of an inconsistent Premier League plodder had been unhappy to watch. However, since arriving at Villa Park, the shackles have been loosened and Barkley has been excellent – even when some of that troublesome inconsistency has persevered.
Against Arsenal he positively had one of his good days. For that aforementioned first goal the previous Everton man played a wondrous reverse cross that break up the Gunners backline open like a sizzling knife by way of butter.
Barkley also played a huge position in Villa’s second, volleying Douglas Luiz’s luxurious crossfield ball back throughout goal for Ollie Watkins to slide home. The approach of this cross was exemplary – indicative of midfielder’s extraordinary footballing items.
Overall, Barkley created an unimaginable six probabilities towards the Gunners. The last person to do this on the Emirates? Former best playmaker on this planet turned skilled Tweeter Mesut Ozil. That’s the extent of efficiency we have been handled to on Sunday evening.
Dean Smith deserves credit score for serving to to get the best out of Barkley. After avoiding relegation by the pores and skin of his tooth last season, Smith would have been forgiven for setting the Villa midfield up in a extremely structured manner – particularly with Jack Grealish offering ample creativity from the left
Instead, the Villans have played to Barkley’s strengths, permitting him license to roam on the tip of a midfield trio and lead the charge in transition. Against the extremely structured Arsenal this gamble paid off massively.
If Barkley can carry on at this fee not solely will Villa proceed their shock charge up the table, he ought to also be back within the England fold in time for next summer season’s Euros.