Arsenal v Aston Villa - Player Ratings

Last updated : 17 October 2004 By Mike Bohndiek

Key Incidents:

Goal (Villa) (2) - A long ball down the right found Carlton Cole in space. Lauren failed in his attempts to contain him, allowing Cole to slice his ball over to the left wing and find Hendrie who cut inside and sent a curling shot beyond the reach of Lehmann to give Villa the earlier advantage.

Penalty (Not Given!!!!) -An outrage that this wasn't given. A long mazy run from Bergkamp saw him glide into the area. A challenge came in which diverted the ball into the path of Vieira. He touched the ball past the onrushing keeper, who left his legs trailing and brought Vieira down. Graham Poll said no and pointed for a goal kick. What a shocker of a game Graham Poll had!

Goal (Arsenal) (19) - Henrys pace saw him burst into the area, with no Villa player near him. Delaney then slid in with a rash challenge and this time Poll pointed to the spot. Bobby stepped up to equalise, sending his shot low into the right hand corner, leaving the keeper with no chance.

Goal (Arsenal) (45+1) - Reyes slid Henry through, and Thierry duly obliged with a whipped shot which ended up precisely in the corner of the net to give Arsenal a deserved half time lead.

Goal (Arsenal) (72) - Some good work from Flamini set up Henry in the area. He squared the ball to Pires who, in a carbon copy of his goal against Norwich, slammed the ball past the diving Posma.

Player Ratings

Jens Lehmann - 7 - Stayed sharp and alert through long periods of inactivity, but when called upon performed superbly, sweeping around the box to great effect.

Ashley Cole - 8 - A typical Ash performance. Quick and lively at both ends off the field. He made some great overlapping runs and maybe could have scored when put clean through on goal. A solid game at both ends for one of England's brightest stars.

Kolo Toure - 7 - Dealt with whatever was thrown at him and rarely looked trouble by what was in truth a fairly lackluster Villa attack.

Sol Campbell - 8 - Back to his best. Nearly gave Arsenal an early lead when his header cannoned back off the bar. Defensively sound.

Lauren - 6 - A good game going forward, but was caught out on various occasions by the pace of the Villa attack. He lost his man which lead to Villa taking a shock early lead.

Jose Reyes - 8 - Took on the Villa defence single handedly at times. His close control was superb and his interchange play with Thierry was fantastic on the eye. Apparently the Spanish manager's comments have not caused any hard feeling between the two.

Patrick Vieira - 7 - Was enjoying a good game until a hard, late tackle forced him off. A Sprained ankle and a bad limp; not looking good for United.

Cesc Fabregas - 9 - Man Of The Match. Controlled the midfield and organized the team. A truly world class display. This would have been the perfect ten if only he could shoot! One thing to work on there!

Robert Pires - 8 - Playing out on the right, he clearly missed the link play with Henry and Cole, to which he has become so accustomed. Took the penalty well and thumped home the third to see off any Villa fight back.

Thierry Henry - 8 - Instigated numerous passing movements which saw us cut through the Villa defence time and time again. Won the penalty and scored our second in first half injury time.

Dennis Bergkamp - 8 - A close contender for the MOTM award. Another great display where he orchestrated many an Arsenal move, and was unlucky not to see his early forceful run end with a goal.


Matthieu Flamini - 6 - Replaced the injured Vieira. Did well to help us see out the game, and was involved with the third goal.

Robin Van Persie - 5 - Was given the last six minutes, which wasn't enough for him to show off his skill.

Jermaine Pennant - 6 - Came on with around 20 minutes to go. Caused trouble to the Villa defence, and got to the by-line well. Still needs some work on the final ball if he is not to turn into another Jesper Gronkǽr.