Torreira earns 5/10 as Arsenal off the pace and void of ideas in bitter loss at Villa

Arsenal's hopes of qualifying for European football via the Premier League are over, after they were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa on Tuesday night. In a cagey game in which chances were at a premium, Trezeguet proved to be the match winner after finding space in the penalty area to fire home and lift Villa out of the relegation zone with just one game remaining.


Not many positives for the Gunners to take from this one, but Dani Ceballos put in the sort of showing that suggests he wants to stick around with Mikel Arteta's side.


Despite a wealth of goal-scoring prowess and creative flair, there was a complete void in ideas and incision, with the advanced full-backs particularly guilty of failing to stretch the game.

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Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Arteta had more than enough firepower to score a goal or two at Villa Park, but his side were desperately missing a player to knit everything together, in what was a toothless attacking display from the North Londoners.

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

GK Emiliano Martinez, 6 -- A virtual spectator until the opener, in which he was partially unsighted by Cedric Soares, and perhaps wrong-footed as Trezeguet sliced his volley home.

DF Rob Holding, 6 -- Was well protected by his wing-back, and had very little direct defensive work to deal with, aside from blocking an on-target Frederic Guilbert strike early in the second half.

DF David Luiz, 6 -- The Brazilian is starting to string together a run of decent performances, and the former Chelsea man is certainly playing with an extra element of control in his game recently.

DF Sead Kolasinac, 6 -- The Bosnian doesn't quite look comfortable in a central defensive three, and was often too narrow and negative in the first half, when he really could have done with stretching the pitch via Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down Arsenal's left. Switched to left-back in the second half and was much better, but picked up a booking in the 80th minute after pulling back John McGinn.

MF Cedric Soares, 6 -- Saw plenty of the ball in the final third, particularly in the opening quarter of the game, but was unable to provide a meaningful cross for his starved forward line, and the Portuguese should have got closer to Trezeguet for the Villa winner.

MF Dani Ceballos, 7 -- A busy outing from the Spaniard, who was operating in a deep-lying role with a sprinkling of forward forays, and the Real Madrid loanee looked the most likely to make something happen, although that isn't saying much.

MF Lucas Torreira, 5 -- Picked up the opening booking of the game for chopping down Conor Hourihane, in a first half in which the Uruguayan was generally off the pace, and he was replaced at half time by Granit Xhaka.

MF Bukayo Saka, 6 -- A night in which the 18-year-old was never able to impose himself as an attacking threat, with his only half-chance being a snatched half-volley that he skewed high and wide.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, 6 -- A frustrating evening was summed up when he was booked in the second half for nibbling at the ankles of Jack Grealish after being muscled off the ball by the Villa skipper.

FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 6 -- Playing out wide, the 31-year-old was unable to sniff out any meaningful chances against a well-organised Villa backline, but he should really have picked out Eddie Nketiah with what should have been a simple pass as the Gunners looked set to create what would have been their only gilt-edged chance.

FW Eddie Nketiah, 6 -- A combination of poor service and a well-drilled home defence meant the forward saw very little of the ball, but he can count himself desperately unlucky not to have equalised when his 76th-minute header kissed the post and bounced straight into the hands of Villa keeper Pepe Reina.


MF Granit Xhaka, 6 -- Did give his side a touch more zip when they moved the ball, but the Swiss international was unable to inspire any genuine creativity in the final third.

FW Nicolas Pepe, 6 -- Failed to add that sprinkle of quality that his side needed in his half-hour cameo.

MF Kieran Tierney, 6 -- The Gunners backline looks a lot more balanced and steady when the Scot is in it, and the former Celtic man wasn't afraid to bomb forward either.

MF Joe Willock, N/R -- Yellow-carded in injury time for bundling over McGinn.