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Richard Dunne leaps high.
Arsenal were a bit careless with the corner that led to Aston Villa's first goal. They should have anticipated the short pass and pressed quicker with two players instead of one. This might have forced an error from Villa.
As it happened, Arsenal were punished for their lack of anticipation.
High and deep balls to the back post are usually dangerous. You'd recall that's how Arsenal conceded the first goal against Manchester United last week in the league game.
It was a matter of the defense being out-jumped, and it could have happened at the other end. Arsenal had about three players positioned where Richard Dunne's header came from.
Once Dunne won the jumping battle, the only thing that could have stopped the goal was either for the goalkeeper to stop the ball—if fortunate to be stationed favorably; in this case Lukasz Fabianki wasn't—or for the header to go wide. It didn't in this case.
Any team can concede in this kind of situation. We should bear that in mind. That said, the goal could have been prevented had the players been more alert to the corner.
The second goal was a sucker punch, a counter attack. One could try to blame Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for not tracking back wide enough, but I think that would be unfair. Counter attacks are by nature dangerous. The best of teams concede from them.
One could say that Fabianski should have parried the ball into touch. Well and good, and in fact, goalkeepers are trained to do so, but remember, these are reactions. Goalkeepers don't have time to think about what to do. They just do it.
Darren Bent was fortunate to latch on to the rebound. Credit to him for scoring at an acute angle. Misery to the Gunners and Gooners. Arsene Wenger looked crestfallen at the end of the half.
I do not think the boos at the end of the half were warranted. Two goals down at the end of the half wasn't down to a woeful display by the Gunners. They were a tad unlucky I'd say.
Yes, they were a little bit tentative on the ball in the first half. You'd be if you've lost three matches at a stretch.
All in all they kept possession well, even if rather tame. Perhaps they could have converted one of their corners into a goal, corners, however, tend to favor the defending team 90 or 95 percent of the time.
Arsenal were a bit unlucky in this half; Aston Villa rather fortunate.