Arsenal’s stuttering form has continued after a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa. Chances were few and far between as The Gunners could only muster one shot on target in the entire ninety minutes.
Aston Villa 0-0 Arsenal
Laurent Koscielny had their best chance after he shot over from close range whilst Wojciech Szczesny kept things level after palming Brett Holman’s dangerous 25 yard strike onto the bar.
Villa haven’t won at home to Arsenal this millennium but as it was it was to be The Villains who had the first chance of any note. Andreas Wiemann’s cross-come-shot had to be parried wide by Szczesny in the 13th
15 minutes later, Arsenal could have been ahead. A lovely touch from Olivier Giroud found Aaron Ramsey who slid in a pass behind the Villa defence for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The English winger drove into the box and tried to find Lukas Podolski but the ball was nudged away from him. Eventually the ball ended up with Ramsey on the edge of the area and despite some quick feet and some trickery, his shot was saved by the foot of Brad Guzan.
Villa then saw a goal disallowed for offside after 37 minutes. Szczesny handled outside his area after he came out to smother the ball and the resulting free kick was played short to Ciaran Clark. His shot was deflected and was turned in by Wiemann from close range but the linesman flagged for offside.
Shortly afterwards there were claims from Gabby Agbonlahor for a penalty after Per Mertesacker slid in to tackle but they were waved away after it was deemed that the big German defender won the ball cleanly.
2 minutes before half time and Arsenal should have been ahead. Koscielny started the move passing the ball out wide and it was worked to Giroud on the left hand side. He played the ball low into the box but Koscielny could only put the ball over from 8 yards. In fairness to Koscielny the ball was slightly behind him and on his weak foot but the Arsenal fans would have been hoping that he could have done better.
After the break Arsenal had another half chance to go ahead. They broke 4 on 3 and the ball was played to Santi Cazorla whose rifled left footed shot went just over. After that, a good run from Oxlade-Chamberlain saw him beat his man and get into the box but Ramsey couldn’t convert the cross as he was under close supervision from Matthew Lawton.
Just after the hour mark, good interplay between Kieran Gibbs and Ramsey saw the latter play in a decent ball for Lukas Podolski but his effort was blocked. From the resulting corner, Giroud won a flick on but Ramsey put the chance over the bar on the stretch.
In the 68th
minute, a one-two between Holman and Christian Benteke made space for Aston Villa and the ball was played to Agbonlahor. The pacey striker cut inside but shot straight at Szczesny.
10 minutes after that Villa had their best chance of the game. Holman was in space 25 yards from goal and he unleashed a rocket of a shot that produced a fine finger tipped save from Szczesny to help the ball onto the bar and over.
Arsenal had brought on Andrey Arshavin and Gervinho to try and get the win and that combination nearly paid dividends with 3 minutes of normal time remaining. The Russian playmaker cut in from the win and curled a cross bound for Gervinho but Clark made a good last ditch tackle to prevent the Ivorian from adding to his season’s tally of 5 goals.
It’s a disappointing result for Arsenal which sees them stay 6th
, 4 points behind London rivals Chelsea in 4th
. Aston Villa meanwhile move out of the relegation zone and into 17th