Unai Emery won a stay of execution of sorts after his team pulled a result out of the hat against Villa. Ten-man Arsenal came from behind twice to beat Aston Villa 3-2 at the Emirates on Sunday.
In another erratic performance, Arsenal went 1 – 0 down to a deft John McGinn finish. Then, Ainsley-Maitland Niles was sent off for a second yellow card. The contentious decision just before halftime gave Arsenal something to rally against, and perhaps deflected from the poor display.
The Gunners equalized on 59 minutes through a Nicolas Pepe penalty. However, in true Arsenal style, they conceded again 90 seconds later. Jack Grealish drove down their left and crossed to Wesley who tapped home.
Arsenal drove on and found another equalizer through Callum Chambers. On 84 minutes, a stunning Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang free kick sealed the comeback.
The elation of such a dramatic comeback can only paper over the cracks temporarily. Another bad result will throw Unai Emery into the firing line once again.
The things about Arsenal fans now is that they are free from the almost-suffocating long termism of the Wenger reign. They now follow a more typical Premier League club that will turnover players or managers that don’t work out – and they quite like it.
Patience is wearing thin with Unai Emery after Arsenal’s early-season inconsistency. The fans waited years to part ways with the under-performing Arsene Wenger, and they won’t wait that long again.
Emery is safe for now, according to the bookies at least. He is the 11th favorite manager to leave their post this season at 33/1.
He will feel a lot safer if his team can improve defensively, something he acknowledged needs to happen after the game.
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“In 90 minutes a lot of things happened,” he told the BBC.
“When it was 11 v 11 we didn’t control the match how we wanted because we lost a lot of balls in the middle and gave them chances in the transition.
“When we could attack and get the ball in the box we weren’t bad really and we were also creating chances to score.
“After the goal we could be calm and improve and the red card changed the idea. For the second half we needed to play first with the head but also with our heart. We needed supporters pushing us and us to take some risks. The team spirit was amazing, we need to continue working and improving things.
“Aston Villa is a good team and an organised team. After this I hope we can improve and be strong. Together with the supporters we will be strong for the matches and hopefully improve.
“It is our challenge to improve defensively. They didn’t have a lot of chances to score.”