What a 90 minutes. Unai Emery was looking down the barrel, muttering his last words to himself, as the paying public bayed for his blood. Ten minutes later, Arsenal come away with three points, and the Gunners boss lives to fight another day.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raised the Emirates stadium roof with a superb late free-kick which sealed the win for the hosts, after Aston Villa had been leading until the final ten minutes of the match.
It was harsh on the away side, but the hosts showed great character in turning the game on its head.
Let’s take a look back at an extraordinary rollercoaster match, through the eyes of you brave Arsenal supporters…
Who doesn’t love seeing a youth academy product getting a run-out in the starting XI? Bukayo Saka was given the nod after his impressive midweek Europa League display, and you were all buzzing to see what he can do.
Saka starting is great. Lifts the crowd, shows the kids there is a path to the first-team. Impress and you’ll be rewarded. Buzzing to see him in action.
— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) September 22, 2019
So happy for Saka. Completely deserving of his call up today after what he did in Frankfurt. I can’t help but think having Freddie Ljunberg on the sidelines is making it so much easier for the youth to come in.
Swapping Steve Bould and Freddie was genius.
— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) September 22, 2019
It wasn’t all good news for Gunners fans though….
Some Gunners supporters have seen this familiar scene before and feared the worst from the off.
Sure enough, Aston Villa took the lead after 20 minutes, John McGinn firing home to send the Villa fans into pandemonium.
is it possible to just support John McGinn instead
— Kieran Hurley (@kieran_hurley) September 22, 2019
Football expert Piers Morgan was absolutely fuming with the Arsenal defence, along with the rest of the fanbase.
0-1. Even by Arsenal’s abominable defence standards of recent years, that was quite mind-boggling diabolical. They literally just stood there like bloody statues. Pathetic.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 22, 2019
— Prosper vuga (@vugapella) September 22, 2019
People stopped losing their minds for a second to wax lyrical over Saka once again, as the youngster grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck for the home side.
Saka looking like he been playing consistent first team football and looks like he belongs in the 1st team #ARSAVL
— Toby Helyes (@Tobyjhelyes) September 22, 2019
saka is a baller. immense technical abilty.
— Halls of Marble (@Marblehalls_TV) September 22, 2019
Granit Xhaka then went into the book for hacking down Jack Grealish – a sentence which makes more sense than anything I’ve ever heard.
“Why oh why would you do that?”
Says @TerryGibson88 on Xhaka’s yellow card.
Well Terry. Quite simple really. It’s Xhaka.
— The Gooner Talk (@TheGoonerTalkTv) September 22, 2019
Xhaka once again an absolute liability in the midfield. Our 72 Million Pound winger is playing like a striker while AMN is crossing. And we now got a red card. What sort of clueless moron do we have for a manager?! #COYG #ARSAVL
— Asif Hasan (@AsifGooner) September 22, 2019
A red card, I hear you say?
Ainsley Maitland-Niles ruined plenty of Gunners’ weekends (and my Fantasy League score) by getting a second yellow card inside the opening 41 minutes. Nice one Ainsley.
AMN is diabolically poor. Poor attitude, poor going forward, poor defending, poor passing. Why won’t @UnaiEmery_ play chambers instead?
— John 진우 Han (@jinwooo_h) September 22, 2019
AMN getting sent off after a Xhaka yellow for what was possibly the most moronic thing he has done … in the last minute.
Worst half of football I’ve seen at the Emirates for quite a while
— Adam P (@ThreeFiveWho) September 22, 2019
Arsenal did equalise in the second half, but their joy was short-lived. Wesley stabbed home for Villa two minutes after Nicolas Pepe bagged his first goal for the club.
I started a tweet about Pépé’s first goal and Aston Villa got their lead back in the seconds I could’t even finish it. I resign as an Arsenal fan. Where to sign lmaoo
— Aubazettes (@Aubazettes) September 22, 2019
Nicolas Pepe scoring an equaliser and Wesley scoring another for Aston Villa has to be the most Arsenal thing under Emery, absolutely shambles
— Pye Waw (@pyewaw) September 22, 2019
David Luiz was caught out massively on the second goal, and none of us were particularly surprised.
David Luiz has been an absolute embarrassment since joining Arsenal. The environment is hardly conducive to great defending, but he’s still managed to lower the bar.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) September 22, 2019
But then, the unthinkable happened.
ARSENAL TURNED IT AROUND AND WON A GAME OF FOOTBALL!
It was all smiles in the end from the Gunners, who seemed more in shock that their team had produced such a spirited comeback.
Being an Arsenal fan should come with a health warning.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) September 22, 2019
Shoutout to all Arsenal fans around the world. With this much stress every weekend you’re probably damaging yourself. Don’t make us suffer anymore like this @Arsenal
— Aubazettes (@Aubazettes) September 22, 2019
Emery still came under heavy criticism, but the ex-PSG manager has bought himself a little more time. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, Unai.