Aston Villa enhanced their title credentials in the English Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal Saturday night barely 72 hours after inflicting similar defeat to current champions Manchester City.
John McGinn earned all three pionts for the Villians early in the seventh minute which has extended the club’s winning streak at home to 15 matches in a row.
Former Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has undertaken some sort of evolution at the club and they are now third in the Premier League table.
Arsenal came close to restoring parity on a number of occasions in the first half, with four shots on target.
First Martin Odegaard’s low-driven shot went agonisingly wide.
In the 36th minute Gabriel Martinelli ran through on goal and lifted the ball over Emiliano Martinez, but Diego Carlos came to the rescue, chasing back to clear the ball before it went in albeit there was suspicion of an offside by the Brazilian.
Then Gabriel Jesus played the ball back to Odegaard near the penalty spot, but the captain’s shot was telegraphed and well saved by Martinez.
Arsenal started the second half brightly and almost scored thanks to confusion in the Villa defence.
Emilio Martinez failed to claim a corner swung in by Bukayo Saka and the fumbled ball hit Ollie Watkins and then the post before Villa cleared.
As Villa players started to tire, Arsenal piled on the pressure. Havertz burst through the left and crossed the ball to Odegaard, but he sidefooted wide.
Amid this pressure, Villa showed an occasional threat on the break and Watkins forced Raya into action in the 68th minute after substitute Moussa Diaby had broken away.
Unai Emery’s second-half substitutions breathed new life into Villa to slow down Arsenal’s advances.
In the second minute of stoppage time Arsenal thought they had got their equaliser through Kai Havertz, but the bundled goal was ruled out for handball by the German in the build-up.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.