MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL sees the Gunners at Villa Park.
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Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal
19.49 – Good evening! We’ve just spent the best part of two hours watching the Ballon d’Or awards (which Cristiano Ronaldo has won by the way), which we’re now regretting.
Thankfully, however, there is live Premier League football to look forward to as Aston Villa host Arsenal.
There are just ten minutes until kick-off so here are the teams:
Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Vlaar, Baker, Lowton, El Ahmadi, Delph, Westwood, Luna, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Bacuna, Helenius, Weimann, Albrighton, Steer, Sylla, Tonev.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Wilshere, Flamini, Gnabry, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud. Subs: Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Park.
19.55 – On the opening day of the season, Villa caused a shock at the Emirates with a 3-1 win thanks to two goals from Christian Benteke.
Since then, the Belgian has only managed to add two more league goals while Arsenal put the defeat behind them to occupy top spot in the table. They currently sit third behind Man City and Chelsea but can leapfrog both with three points tonight.
What are your predictions for tonight? Tell us in the comments section below!
20.01 – The teams are out and we’re about to get underway. Villa tipping off in their traditional claret and blue, while Arsenal wear their yellow and blue away strip.
20.05 – Karim El Ahmadi crashes into Jack Wilshere and concedes the free-kick before picking up an early yellow card.
20.06 – Five minutes in and Arsenal have had a decent chance to score. Bacary Sagna gets time to pick out a cross on the right flank and puts the ball right onto the head of Olivier Giroud, who glances just wide.
20.07 – Down the other end, Gabby Agbonlahor attempts to slide Benteke through but it’s cut out. He may have been offside anyway.
20.11 – Sagna and Giroud again combine with the same end result. Arsenal beginning to get on top with plenty of short passes around the middle of the park.
20.14 – Sloppy play from Arsenal gifts Benteke possession and he finds Fabian Delph, who hits a left-footed strike wide of the post from 20 yards.
20.15 – Nathan Baker is on the deck and receiving treatment after taking a Serge Gnabry shot to the face. That looked painful.
20.19 – It’s not looking good for Baker and Leandro Bacuna is about to replace the English defender.
We’ll have quite a bit of additional time at the end of the half as we’ve been stopped for over five minutes already.
20.23 – And we’re back. Baker receives a round of applause as he is stretchered off. Hopefully it’s not a serious one.
20.24 – El Ahmadi arrives late in the box to volley a cross from the left towards goal but it’s off target.
20.30 – Gnabry getting on the ball regularly in the past couple of minutes and just earned Arsenal a free-kick 25 yards out. Cazorla curls to the back post but it’s punched clear by Brad Guzan. When the ball comes back in, the assistant referee flags for offside.
20.34 – GOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal (Jack Wilshere)
A well-worked move on the left sets Nacho Monreal free and the Spaniard’s cut-back is finished clinically by Wilshere.
20.35 – GOAL! Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal (Olivier Giroud)
Disaster for Villa. Seconds after the restart, Delph gives away possession and Wilshere turns provider with a great ball to Giroud. The French striker gets a bit of luck with his initial touch but strokes past Guzan into the bottom corner.
20.43 – News on Nathan Baker’s injury:
20.44 – Here are the goals:
YouTube credit: BeINGoal.com
20.47 – Half-time: Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal
We’ve reached the 45 minute-mark but there will be eight minutes of injury time played due to the stoppage earlier.
21.10 – The second half has just begun.
21.24 – Fine tackle from Vlaar there to cut out Monreal after Cazorla and Wilshere exchange passes.
Monreal gets treatment and has to leave the pitch temporarily but will be able to continue.
Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images
21.26 – Cazorla hits a powerful strike from distance but Guzan gets his body behind it make a routine save.
21.30 – That knock must be still bothering Monreal as he has just been substituted with Kieran Gibbs being introduced in his place.
21.34 – Wenger makes another change with Gnabry making way for Tomas Rosicky.
21.39 – Austrian attacker Andreas Weimann has just entered the fray with El Ahmadi making way. And Weimann is immediately involved in the action during a move which ends in Benteke chesting under pressure before firing wide.
21.40 – GOAL! Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal (Christian Benteke)
Lowton swings in a cross and Benteke peels away at the back post to head home and bring Villa back into it.
21.44 – 14 September is the last time Benteke found the back of the net…
21.45 – Check out the goal:
YouTube credit: FootballGolazos2014·
21.49 – Villa are playing with a lot more confidence since scoring and are pushing for an equaliser.
Agbonlahor has been booked for a trip on Ozil, meanwhile.
21.51 – Arsenal’s final substitution sees Alex Oxlade Chamberlain replace Rosicky.
21.54 – A ball from deep reaches Benteke, who heads at goal but just can’t steer it far enough away from Szczesny.
21.54 – Six minutes of additional time.
21.58 – Arsneal break through Ozil and Cazorla hits a shot at goal which is saved. Villa then attempt to put an attack together but Benteke is ruled offside when the long ball comes in.
22.00 – Full-time: Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal
22.06 – They weren’t at their best but Arsenal earn three points to return to the top of the table. Villa finished the game well and will be delighted that Benteke has is back among the goals. They stay in 11th on 23 points.
That’s all from me, thanks for the company.