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Arsenal have come from behind twice to defeat Aston Villa at Villa Park in what could be a huge win for the Gunners. The home side led twice through goals from Ollie Watkins and Philippe Coutinho but Mikel Arteta’s men pegged them back twice before securing all three points in stoppage time.
It looked a certainty that Arsenal would drop points for the fourth consecutive league game after losing to Everton and Manchester City and drawing with Brentford. However, an own goal from ex-Arsenal man Emi Martinez in the 93rd minute sent the away end into a frenzy.
Prior to that Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko had scored two equalisers for Arsenal before the game became more like a basketball match in the last ten minutes. Leon Bailey rattled the crossbar late on with replays showing that Aaron Ramsdale had got a vital fingertip onto the ball to keep the away side in it.
The victory will do wonders for an Arsenal dressing room that has undoubtedly been showing signs of nerves in recent weeks. It felt like a must-win game going into the match, but the manner of the victory will surely give the squad a much-needed shot in the arm ahead of the title run-in.
BIG. THREE. POINTS. pic.twitter.com/REx0sb1RpF
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 18, 2023
After the game, the Arsenal players were understandably elated with the win. January signing Jorginho, whose shot ricocheted off the crossbar before bouncing into the back of the net off Emiliano Martinez, told Bt Sport:
“That’s the Premier League. That’s why it’s the best league in the world – it’s just beautiful. It was very important after the last results we had. The start wasn’t easy when we were not producing our game. We came in at half-time, had a chat and then we went back to doing the basics and changed the game.”
Oleksandr Zinchenko, who scored his first goal for the club to bring the scoreline back to 2-2, said:
“From this game, I would like to say two things. First, we took an unbelievable lesson for all of us that we need to believe until the very end. Like I said in the past, this group has such amazing people and we can achieve everything we want if we keep fighting and believing. The reaction from all of us in the second half is a perfect way to go.”
What’s next for Arsenal?
After winning their Europa League group, the Gunners have the week off now which will be music to Mikel Arteta’s ears after the Spaniard complained about fixture congestion earlier in the week.
Their next game comes next Saturday afternoon when they travel to the Kingpower Stadium to take on a resurgent Leicester City. The Foxes were sensational last weekend against Spurs and ran out 4-1 winners. Brendan Rodgers’ side takes on Manchester United tomorrow where they will be looking for another scalp.
Arteta will be hoping Thomas Partey will be ready to return to action next weekend after the Ghanian missed the win today, and the loss to Manchester City on Wednesday, with an injury.
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