Ignore the score line, as it masks many frailties. This wasn’t a pulsating encounter, rather a professional hit job upon an increasingly unimaginative Villa side.
Arsenal, might look back and consider it a strange fixture. Until the decisive first half goals they had crafted little and largely tinkered across the Villa final third. Biding their time, in predatory fashion it seemed.
Villa had appeared resolute and had been wasteful with two oportunities to test the keeper spurned. Then two gifts in a minute, two examples of the types of defending that give most fans nightmares.
And with that the game was over.
The first half was not a good display. Timid, predictable and slow build up play, tinged with criminal defending.
The second was Lamberts opportunity to show some invention. We got pretty much more of the same. What marginal improvement there was came as Arsenal coasted in training ground mode. As we sought to attempt a comeback, long punts up the field continued to be the main source of attack. Simply unacceptable.
Aside from a welcome goal from an industrious Benteke, this defeat served as a reminder of quite how far we have slipped competitively. Next up, Suarez.
Guzan – 5 -Twice beaten and long ball.
Lowton – 5 – Hit and miss again.
Luna – 2 – Torrid time.
Clark – 4 – Struggles.
Vlaar – 5 – Erratic.
Baker – / – KO’d.
El Ahmadi – 2 – Bafflingly poor.
Delph – 5 – struggling for form. Looks tired.
Bacuna (Sub) – 5 – worked hard.
Wiemann (Sub) – 2 – Anonymous.
Agbonlahor – 4 – forgettable performance.
Benteke – 6 – Strong and improving.
Westwood – 3 – Struggling youngster.