Trezeguet downs Arsenal to lift Aston Villa out of relegation zone
Defeat at Villa Park condemns the Gunners to their worst Premier League finish in more than 25 years
21 July, 2020 — By Steve Barnett
ASTON VILLA 1 (Trezeguet, 27)
MIKEL Arteta blamed “a lack of freshness” for Arsenal’s defeat away to relegation-threatened Aston Villa tonight (Tuesday).
The Gunners failed to muster a single shot on target as they were beaten 1-0 at Villa Park, a result that condemned them to their worst Premier League finish since 1995.
Arteta refused to criticise his players after the final whistle, insisting that they “gave everything” out on the pitch.
The Arsenal boss added: “We were in some really good positions but we didn’t manage to deliver the ball.
“Emotionally and physically it’s been a very demanding week but I saw a team who wanted to fight until the end.
“I’m not disappointed about the attitude – I know where we are in certain areas and where we need to improve more. We will get that.”
The only goal of the game at Villa Park was scored in the 27th minute when Arsenal failed to deal with Conor Hourihane’s dangerous inswinging corner.
The ball run out to Trezeguet just inside the area, who smashed a swerving shot past Emiliano Martinez and into the bottom corner.
The Gunners were playing as if they already had one eye on Wembley and their pending FA Cup final against Chelsea.
The Villans, on the other hand, simply had to win, and continued to press forward. Trezeguet saw a tame header easily collected by Martinez, while Jack Grealish ended a jinking run by firing wide.
What in truth was a forgettable match that was more about the points than the performance sparked into life in the final 15 minutes.
Grealish embarked on surging run before playing in Keinan Davis. The Villa substitute raced beyond Rob Holding and, with plenty of goal to aim at, scuffed a poor shot wide of the target.
Villa were almost immediately made to pay for their generosity in front of goal as Eddie Nketiah saw his header from a corner come back off the inside of the post.
In the end it took just the one goal to settle the tie, with the team that had something riding on the result finishing as the victors.
“Obviously when you give set-pieces away it makes things difficult,” added Arteta. “But congratulations to Villa, they were put under a lot of pressure as well and they managed to win the game.”
Aston Villa: Reina, Elmohamady (Guilbert, 25), Mings, Konsa, Targett, McGinn (Lansbury, 90+3), Hourihane (Nakamba, 73), Luiz, Grealish, Trezeguet, Samatta (Davis, 73)
Substitutes not used: Nyland, El Ghazi, Jota, Hause, Vassilev
Arsenal: Martinez, Soares (Willock, 79), Holding, Luiz (Pepe, 60), Kolasinac, Saka (Tierney, 60), Torreira (Xhaka, 45), Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nketiah
Substitutes not used: Macey, Bellerin, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Smith