Well this is a difficult write. The absolute joy of winning ,with ten men, after being twice a goal behind, has to be tempered by how awful we were for almost 70 minutes.
Until AMN was sent off it had been an even game, with both sides being equally poor. We appeared to have the edge in attack, but Villa looked to be more in control of the midfield. Once again we left spaces between our defenders and the midfield and didn’t keep the ball well enough when in possession.
Xhaka was playing some great balls into the final 3rd, but blotted his copy book with a stupid booking , he also looked to be the one midfielder to be dashing back to cover the defence, but being captain, perhaps he should have been better positioned and demanded that Dani and Matteo were also keeping a better shape. I thought both of the young lads were having stinkers,especially Dani who slowed down play as a matter of course. Until Joe and Lucas came on ,our midfield unit just didn’t work. There is of course an argument that when they did come on, Villa sat back and allowed us time and space in the midfield, that made us look better. Who knows, but look better we did. Especially Guendouzi who transformed into a real driving force in the latter stages.
The players deserve full credit for the result, it was achieved became of their spirit and skill. But it somewhat masks the clear problems we had. Why, one must ask, do they need to perform a miracle to get a win at home against Villa?
Aubameyang is simply wonderful, in that he gave the penalty to Pepe, who looked in dire need of a goal. That is true team spirit. We owe him a lot this season, and it’s only game 6.
So I’m very happy that we won, but once again there are more questions than answers.
Ozil just has to play, not playing his is an act of self harm.
Also, there was some real cheating going on today, trying to get players sent off, Papa, I’m looking at you. I hate that sort of nonsense when it’s done to us, and I hate to see us do it.
Right, goodnight and COYG.