EPL

Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal: Martinez own goal inspires Gunners to dramatic comeback win

By Sports Desk February 18, 2023

Emiliano Martinez's late own goal proved the turning point as Arsenal came from behind twice to beat Aston Villa 4-2 and boost to their Premier League title hopes.

The Gunners, who were replaced at the summit after losing to Manchester City in midweek, looked to be heading to another underwhelming result at Villa Park before luck went their way in stoppage time.

Ollie Watkins' clinical finish put former Arsenal boss Unai Emery's Villa in charge early on, and although Bukayo Saka soon equalised, the visitors trailed at the break thanks to Philippe Coutinho's sensationally worked team goal.

Oleksandr Zinchenko levelled again and that appeared to be as good as it would get for Arsenal, but Martinez inadvertently put into his own net late on and was then caught up the other end of the pitch as Gabriel Martinelli completed a dramatic turnaround.

Arsenal's limp start provided few clues of the jubilation to come as they were behind inside five minutes.

Matty Cash robbed Zinchenko and released Watkins, who created space with a step-over before lashing across Aaron Ramsdale into the bottom-right corner.

Saka hammered into the roof of the net to level when Ben White's cross was only partially cleared.

But Villa restored their lead in style just past the half-hour mark, Coutinho coolly slotting in from 16 yards after Emiliano Buendia dummied Alex Moreno's cut-back to conclude a brilliant move.

Mikel Arteta's side began to exert more control after the break restored parity again when Zinchenko drilled home with 61 minutes played.

When Martin Odegaard then missed a glorious chance to win it, Arsenal appeared to be heading for a fourth consecutive top-flight game without a win.

But a stoppage-time potshot from Jorginho cracked against the crossbar and ricocheted in off former Arsenal goalkeeper Martinez's head.

Martinez went up for a Villa corner in the hope of making amends, but Arsenal countered, allowing an already-celebrating Martinelli to knock into an empty net.

What does it mean? Arsenal show immense character

Even if they had not ultimately gone on to win, Arsenal would have been due plenty of praise for their attitude here as they twice they came back from a goal down.

In the end, that spirit to keep scrapping away made the win possible, and the victory will surely be a massive boost for their title push after a tricky few weeks.

It looked like Arsenal were going to be four without a win in the Premier League, but they are back at the summit for at least a couple of hours and likely feeling they got what they deserved.

Odegaard a worthy winner

Had his late miss been costly, it would have felt so unjust given the quality of his performance.

Odegaard was sensational here and at the heart of so much of Arsenal's best play. He made seven key passes, including one assist, which is the most by an Arsenal player in a single Premier League game since April 2019.

Martinez antics come back to haunt him

Martinez had been acting up all day. He was routinely time wasting, seemingly trying to wind up Arsenal fans – there was something quite fitting about the late turnaround having him at the centre of it.

Key Opta Facts

- This was Arsenal's 14th Premier League away win against Aston Villa, their joint-best such record against a side in the competition (also 14 against West Ham).

- Arsenal have now conceded the opening goal in four of their last five Premier League games, one more than they did in their first 18 games of the 2022-23 campaign (3).

- Ollie Watkins has scored in each of his last four Premier League games for Aston Villa – it is his longest such run in the top four tiers of English football. Indeed, only Erling Haaland and Marcus Rashford (both 8) have more goals in the competition since the World Cup break than his five.

- Aston Villa’s Philippe Coutinho has now scored five Premier League goals against Arsenal. Against no other opponents does he have more (also five against Manchester City and Southampton).

- Only Erling Haaland (30) and Harry Kane (18) have been involved in more Premier League goals this season than Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (17 – nine goals, eight assists), while it is the second successive season he has reached double figures for goals in all competitions (10), netting 12 in 2021-22.

What's next?

Arsenal go to Leicester City next Saturday, while Aston Villa are at Everton the same day.

Related items

  • Barcelona could demand Real Madrid replay if ‘phantom goal’ deemed legal Barcelona could demand Real Madrid replay if ‘phantom goal’ deemed legal

    Barcelona president Joan Laporta has threatened legal action and could demand a replay after his side were denied a goal against Real Madrid at the weekend.

    Lamine Yamal thought he had scored in the 28th minute of Sunday’s 3-2 LaLiga loss at the Bernabeu but, after a lengthy VAR check, it was ruled the ball had not cross the line.

    The Spanish competition does not use goalline technology.

    Laporta has requested footage and audio of the decision-making over this “phantom goal” incident from the Spanish Football Federation and will then consider further action.

    He said in a statement on the club’s website, fcbarcelona.com: “If, once this documentation has been analysed, the club understands that an error was made in the revision of the incident, we will take all available measures to reverse the situation, without discounting, obviously, any necessary legal action.

    “If it is confirmed that it was a legal goal, we will move ahead and we do not discount requesting that the game be replayed, just as has happened in another game in Europe due to a VAR error.”

    Laporta was referring to a decision to replay a Belgian Pro League between Anderlecht and Genk because of a VAR error earlier this season.

    Real went on to win the match 3-2 with a stoppage-time winner from Jude Bellingham and are now 11 points clear of Barca at the top of the table.

  • Football rumours: Five clubs in the race to sign Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise Football rumours: Five clubs in the race to sign Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise
    What the papers say

    Five clubs are in the race to sign Crystal Palace forward Michael Olise, Football Insider reports, with Arsenal and Manchester United joining Manchester City, Juventus and Chelsea. The 22-year-old has scored seven goals in 14 games for Palace this season.

    The Sun says Barcelona have joined Arsenal in the fight for Newcastle striker Alexander Isak with the Spanish club hoping to strike a deal with the Magpies for a player reported to be valued at around £90million. The 24-year-old Sweden international has scored 17 goals in 24 Premier League games for Newcastle this season.

    Meanwhile, the credentials of Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will be assessed  by new technical director Jason Wilcox as the club decides on the Dutchman’s future, according to the Telegraph, while the same outlet says former Wolvers manager Julen Lopetegui is a contender to replace David Moyes at West Ham.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Viktor Gyokeres: The 25-year-old Sporting Lisbon striker is Arsenal’s top target as the Gunners prepare to make several signings this summer, Football Transfers reports.

    Wilfred Ndidi: Crystal Palace are interested in the Leicester midfielder who is available for a free transfer this summer, according to Talksport.

  • Daniel Farke says seven-goal thriller was ‘good advertisement’ for Championship Daniel Farke says seven-goal thriller was ‘good advertisement’ for Championship

    Leeds manager Daniel Farke believes Leeds’ 4-3 victory over Middlesbrough was a “good advertisement” for Championship football.

    An end-to-end encounter at the Riverside produced five goals in just the first half, starting with the hosts taking an early lead through Isaiah Jones.

    Leeds netted two goals in 11 minutes when Summerville slotted home from the spot and Patrick Bamford came back to haunt the Riverside after bundling a goal home.

    Emmanuel Latte Lath drew Boro level on the 30 minute mark but Wilfried Gnonto restored the visitors’ advantage in a frenetic first 45 minutes.

    Summerville bagged his second of the game after the break with a curling strike and there was late drama when Latte Lath scored a looping header in the 87th minute but Leeds held on for the three points.

    Reflecting on a thrilling clash, Farke believes his players showed “great mentality” to see out victory.

    He said: “First of all a good advertisement for Championship football, I think all the supporters have enjoyed the game.

    “(It was) a great piece of football from two good sides who really went for it to win this game.

    “To start the game with this unlucky goal, deflected pass that normally wouldn’t have been a chance, they scored out of this.

    “Middlesbrough played today with freedom because it was more or less their last highlight, they could go for it and had a really good shape, then they are 1-0 up after just a few moments.

    “To show such a reaction in the first half to come back to create so many chances, to score fantastic goals, was great for us to have.

    “Compliments to Middlesbrough, they showed a fantastic performance, but great mentality from our players to lead 3-2 at half-time.

    “We needed to show some steel and resilience in the last minutes to dig in and grind out this important result for us and we did.

    “Many compliments for the heart, the mentality and the character of our players today and for their offensive quality.”

    The result means Leeds climb to second in the table, overtaking Ipswich who have three games left this season compared to the Yorkshire club’s two.

    Boro remain ninth in the table and boss Michael Carrick praised his side for their “incredible effort” but believes Gnonto’s goal, which appeared to be offside, was a “massive decision” in the game.

    “I enjoyed the game, I thought we did a lot of good things,” he said.

    “They’ve got some good quality and they’ve showed it all season. At the top end of the pitch they’re really dangerous.

    “I thought we defended largely in shape really well, we were really good with the ball and dominated and controlled large parts of the game.

    “I was really pleased with the boys and the effort was an incredible effort all the way to the end. We went for it, we had to go for it, we threw everything at them.

    “The offside goal is a massive decision. We asked the boys to defend well and hold the line together, the line’s impeccable really and I think there’s three of them in the line around the edge of the box hold the line.

    “You expect offsides given, which it was too clear not to be.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.