Arsenal Stay Atop Premier League with Gabriel Jesus’ 8/10 Performance

Gabriel-Jesus

Arsenal stayed top of the Premier League as goals from Gabriel Jesus, and Gabriel Martinelli secured a 2-1 win over Aston Villa at the Emirates on Wednesday.

Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring after Emiliano Martinez could only turn Gabriel Martinelli’s deflected strike into the striker’s path.

Villa fought back after the break, and Douglas Luiz leveled with a little over 15 minutes remaining, but Arsenal hit back almost instantly through Martinelli, who fired the winner just three minutes later to continue Gunner’s perfect start.

Positives

There’s a long way to go, but Arsenal couldn’t have wished for a better start. The Gunners have issued a real statement of intent, and in Gabriel Jesus, they have an in-form striker with a point to prove.

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Negatives

This was a contest that was a little less comfortable than it might have been, and Mikel Arteta’s side survived a late scare against a Villa team who had been woefully out of form. The hosts should really have put the game to bed much sooner.

Manager rating (out of 10)

Mikel Arteta, 8 — You always felt that the Spaniard would repay the Arsenal board if they gave him time to build, and he’s doing just that. Five wins from five, and the Gunners are flying, and they’re playing some lovely stuff too.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Aaron Ramsdale, 7 — Forced into action for the first time in the 43rd minute with a comfortable save to deny Emi Buendia. Denied Leon Bailey with a fingertip saves to turn the Jamaican’s effort over the crossbar, although he found himself stranded as Villa leveled.

DF Kieran Tierney, 7 — Thwarted Bailey when he raced back to steal back possession after a mistake from Saliba. He had chances at the other end too, but his initial strike cannoned off a red shirt before he followed up on the rebound was tame and easily gathered by Martinez.

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DF Gabriel, 7 — Almost helped himself to a rare goal when his deflected effort flew inches wide of the post and he forced Martinez into a low save when he tried his luck again from distance moments later. Delighted the home faithful when he saw off Ollie Watkins late on.

DF William Saliba, 6 — Bailed out by Kieran Tierney after a loose pass out from the back invited Villa forward, although he was inches away from connecting with Martinelli’s cross at the other end, and that would have made things much more comfortable.

DF Ben White, 7 — Had barely anything to do in a quiet first half as the Gunners looked dominant. Missed out on the dramatic finale as he was replaced by Takehiro Tomiyasu in the 64th minute.

MF Albert Sambi Lokonga, 6 — Replaced the injured Mohamed Elneny, who played through the pain barrier at Fulham. That sums up the current desire of this Arsenal side, and Lokonga channeled it too with a hard-working display in the engine room.

MF Granit Xhaka, 7 — Battled well in the middle, frequently winning back possession and looking to unleash Martinelli on the left. Created a brilliant chance for the latter with an intelligent knockdown only for Martinez to make another stunning save.

MF Gabriel Martinelli, 8 — Another good display from the 21-year-old who forced the opener when his deflected cross caused Martinez all sorts of problems, and he steered home his third goal of the season to extend his side’s dream start.

Gabriel Jesus has been playing like a man on a mission ever since Manchester City let him go to Arsenal in the offseason.

MF Martin Odegaard, 7 — Saw a couple of efforts blocked and found himself in the book in a disappointing first half, but he forced a fine save from Martinez after the break with a whipped free-kick that was destined for the top corner.

MF Bukayo Saka, 8 — Caused the visitor’s endless problems with his electric energy, but he wasted a golden chance to open the scoring when he sliced horribly over with the goal gaping. Redeemed himself when he picked out Martinelli at the back post, who made no mistake.

FW Gabriel Jesus, 8 — The Brazilian continued his impressive form and was good value for his third goal in five games, powering home the opener after former Arsenal man Martinez could only turn the ball into his path. He could have had more, too, if not for a string of saves from the latter.

Substitutes

DF Takehiro Tomiyasu, 6 — Replaced White in the 64th minute. A steady display, but minute but he couldn’t preserve his side’s clean sheet.

DF Rob Holding, NR — Replaced Saka in the 88th minute as Arteta opted to shut up shop for the final moments.

MF Emile Smith Rowe, NR — Replaced Odegaard in the 81st minute but didn’t have time to make an impact.

Eddie Nketiah, NR — Replaced Jesus in the 88th minute. Provided a vital outlet in the dying embers and had the home fans singing his name as he charged forward before firing over the crossbar with the clock ticking down.

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