Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa: What Did We Learn As The Gunners Extend On Their 100% Start To The Season?

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Sep 01, 2022, 16:35

In the midst of what has become a stellar purple patch, Arsenal extended on their 100% start to the 2022/23 campaign with a 2-1 victory against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

With the mood around the Emirates at a red-hot high, Mikel Arteta’s men managed to claim five Premier League victories on the spin thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli.

While second-half substitute Douglas Luiz might have briefly dragged Villa level after scoring his second strike of the season direct from a corner kick, the Gunners were a more than worthy winner here.

In a showdown between two sides already battling it out at opposite ends of the Premier League table, what did we learn from Wednesday’s battle in north London?

Arsenal are a leading top-four contender

Eventually falling at the final hurdle back in May and watching Tottenham snatch away that final Champions League spot, Arsenal have enjoyed a remarkable summer purple patch.

Although many might have wondered if the Gunners would show some signs of a hangover, Arteta’s youngsters have only continued to gain a string of plaudits from across the Premier League.

Opening the 2022/23 campaign with a 2-0 victory away at Crystal Palace, there is no doubt that the ex-Manchester City coach will be desperate for his side to go one-step further this time around.

Breezing past Villa on Wednesday night and knowing that they could have easily grabbed a handful more strikes, the mood around north London appears to be at the highest it has been in recent memory.

Winning each of their opening five Premier League contests and the only team who can still boast a 100% record heading into September, Arsenal are sat in pole position to clinch their first top-four finish since 2016.

Smelling the chance to lay down another marker this weekend, Arteta’s high-flyers will be next seen on Sunday afternoon when they make the move to Old Trafford.

Martinelli & Jesus spearhead Arsenal’s youth revolution

While the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko might have really impressed since arriving in north London, it is his former Manchester City teammate who has continued to set the Premier League alight.

Putting in another rampant display here and opening the scoring just after the half-hour mark, Jesus has already cemented his spot as one of Arteta’s leaders both on and off the pitch.

Despite only making the move from Manchester on July 4th in a deal worth £45million, the 25-year-old has already been appointed as one of Arteta’s vice-captains.

Mustering three Premier League strikes since opening the 2022/23 campaign, Jesus should already be regarded as one of the best signings of the summer.

However, while Arsenal’s new attacking talisman might be enjoying a free-scoring start to the new season, Martinelli certainly deserves an honorable mention.

Bagging the winner on Wednesday night and playing a vital role as the Gunners extended on their 100% start, the 21-year-old is enjoying life alongside side his international counterpart.

Also notching three top-flight goals from his first five appearances, who can stop Arsenal’s new Brazilian partnership?

Gerrard is fighting for his life

While Arsenal might rightfully deserve all of the headlines following Wednesday’s 2-1 victory, Gerrard will be more than aware that the pressure on his shoulders is getting heavier and heavier.

Although the former Rangers boss might have had his sights set on trying to mount a genuine European charge this season, Villa are in the midst of what has become a real blip.

Opening the 2022/23 campaign with a shock 2-0 loss away at Premier League returners Bournemouth on August 6th, Gerrard’s downbeat squad have now lost four of their opening five top-flight contests.

Only coming under more scrutiny for their toothless 1-0 defeat at home against West Ham last weekend, many feel that the clock is ticking on Gerrard’s tenure in the Midlands.

Only managing to guide Villa to a disappointing 14th-place finish last season after taking over back in November, the ex-Liverpool skipper has also seen his side win just a trio of their last 16 Premier League matchups on either side of the summer break.

With a showdown against defending champions Manchester City next up on their agenda, where does Gerrard go from here?

Match Report:

Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney, Lokonga, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Jesus

Subs: Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Holding, Tomiyasu

Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, McGinn, Kamara, Ramsey, Buendia, Watkins, Bailey

Subs: Luiz, Ings, Coutinho

Goals: Arsenal: Jesus (30′), Martinelli (77′) – Aston Villa: Luiz (74′)

Yellow Cards: Arsenal: Saliba, Odegaard – Aston Villa: Ramsey, McGinn, Konsa

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Robert Jones

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