Arsenal’s win vs Aston Villa suggests Mikel Arteta finally finding right balance

Arsenal secured an emphatic win over Aston Villa on Friday night, with a dominant performance at the Emirates Stadium and a 3-1 win for Mikel Arteta’s side

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In pictures: Arsenal v Aston Villa

Arsenal jumped up to ninth in the Premier League on Friday night with a 3-1 victory against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

The Gunners are blessed with superb attacking talent and the stats on the night suggest manager Mikel Arteta is finally finding the right balance between attack and defence.

Arsenal had nine shots on target against Villa – testing their former goalkeeper Emi Martinez – the most they’ve managed in the Premier League since their 4-0 win against West Brom in January.

They hit the target twelve times against Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone but, worryingly, that was the only time they’ve managed more in the competition under Arteta in the past nine months.

The Arsenal boss failed to make the most of his attacking talents last term, scoring 55 Premier League goals – seven fewer than newly promoted Leeds.

Mikel Arteta is slowly but surely improving Arsenal

Even after Friday night’s results, the Gunners have only scored 10 league goals this season – the same amount as relegation threatened Newcastle.

Discussing the team’s attacking threat ahead of their recent 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, Arteta admitted: “There have been many areas [of focus], that is one of them obviously.

“It is certainly something we can do better and improve in our efficiency in front of goal – and when we get that balance right it will obviously help us to win more game.”

Arteta appears to have done with the victory against Villa, although Gunners legend Ian Wright has warned the team not to get complacent.

He told Premier League Productions: “That is the consistency and the kind of tempo that Arsenal need to have in all games.

“They’re going to come up against teams who are going to cause them problems, but this kind of energy will cause teams a lot of problems.

“The thing that they’re going to need to do against the better teams is play a counter-attacking game.

“They’ve got to try and let them come on, see if you can pinch the ball off of those teams and let that team know we’re going to counter-attack you and be clinical doing it.

“I hope [they’ve got the bravery to do it] because that’s the only way they’re going to beat those top teams because they’re not going to outplay them.

“Those teams will outplay Arsenal, it’s going to have be from a counter-attacking perspective.”

Has Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta found the right balance? Let us know in the comments below

One of Arsenal’s standout performers against Villa was Emile Smith Rowe, with Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher insisting he’s the best dribbler in the Premier League.

The Sky Sports pundit claimed : “There’s no doubt he’ll get England caps but he’ll have to bide his time.

“I love this lad, I always want him to do well. And to watch him with full flow with the ball at his feet. He’s the best player in the Premier League running with the ball.”

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