Aston Villa vs Arsenal was match of the year
Probably the poetry of Nicola Roggero – who once quoted Stevenson to define him his colleague – played his part, but Aston Villa vs Arsenal was still the game of the year. If you open up the Premier League table and compare it to Serie A, the Villains have four points less than our not-so-fat little red Bologna. But what are we talking about? A team coached by the likes of Unai Emery and with people of the caliber of Coutinho, Emiliano Martinez, Buendia, Douglas Luiz on the field, capable of bringing that phenomenon to the running game from Leon Bailey – who played at 2 :2 the bar split 5′ from the end – in our championship she would finish top 4 in slippers.
Arteta’s Arsenal, for their part, is a very young and in some respects inexperienced team – as we have seen in the last three league games, two draws and a very painful home defeat against Guardiola’s City, which reignited the debate for first place (as we practically do) – but it is also one Joy: The Gunners play identity football, beautiful to behold and built on beauty – an almost foreign term for the rugged British spirit – a dream season. But yesterday Arsenal added something more to their ballistic repertoire: hunger (almost existential) to bring the shore into the turmoil of the storm. Because Aston Villa was stormy.
From the 5th minute, Johnny Cash, with his Hollywood name and gallant walk, threw Watkins – “a big Arsenal fan as a kid,” Nicola Roggero tells us – into a deadly duel with Saliba before ending with an unstoppable finish Transverse diagonal for Ramsdale. This started Arsenal’s very difficult journey to Birmingham. And while the clouds of upheaval were already rising for the Gunners in the stands of the inimitable Villapark, Bukayo Saka, with a left-handed punch unknown to the left-handers, beat Emiliano Martinez to make it 1-1. We were only 16′ and already felt like we had seen too much.
But Aston Villa meanwhile continued to play, pressed, sweated, pressed, wanted. Premier is nothing more than that, and it is all: will to power. Watch the rogues’ 2-1 signed by Coutinho: three passes, four men involved – with a veil from the visionary Buendia – and a masterful finish from the Brazilian who also sent our poor eyes to the bar with a crossed right foot. It looked like Arsenal could be out again. We felt like we were back in the post-Invincibles gray.
But in the second half, the Gunners brought out an age-old spirit – which, in Gunners’ sense, can never help but assume a brilliant aesthetic. And so Arteta’s team took a bar, ha drummed pushed sweaty pressed wanted a tiefinally completed thanks to a great arrangement from a corner kick and scored in the net by a rare precision placement by Zinchenko, who bet Emiliano Martinez on the edge of the post.
The Ukrainian then began to scream Fuck off! Fuck off! somewhat random, as if at that moment the whole world and its destinies were locked in the villa park. For those telling you about this game and lucky enough to witness it, it was exactly like that.
For the remaining 30 minutes of the game it was a constant bickering as if both sides hadn’t thought about a draw – apart from the crazy Martinez who started losing time from the 65th minute. Arsenal devoured a few goals – one of which was sensational from Odegaard – Aston Villa or rather Leon Bailey with a playoff our logic of football he went within an inch of the 3-2 (decisive Ramsdale, who touched the Jamaican’s shot to the crossbar), finally the Gunners found the overtaking goal in the 93rd minute: a right-footed shot from outside the box by Jorginho ended up being one crazy action for the qualitative patience of its texture.
The Italian midfielder’s shot, after all that passing and everything we’d seen, was like cock crowing after a night of fighting: liberating. He hit the bar but then the ball slammed into Martinez’s stubborn skull, who for once was screwed by the karma. The game would have ended here. But not this game: because on the Villains’ final corner, with Dibu in attack, Arsenal also found a way with Martinelli to make it 2-4 (in the 98th minute) in the end. “Game, match and match,” said Roggero, worthy singer of a legendary match. As only the Premier can offer.